Whilst shepherding his father-in-law’s sheep in the desert, Moses met with God. Forty years is a long time to wander in a desert, but for Moses it was preparation time; at the burning bush God called him by name and revealed to him the purpose for which he had been born. He was chosen by God to rescue his people from Egypt and to take them into the Promised Land, because God was ‘Concerned about their suffering.’
Moses thought God had got the wrong man and at the burning bush, in a conversation with God, he asked a series of questions revealing his deep lack of confidence(Exodus 3:11-4:13). God gave the reassuring answers needed for Moses to step out in faith to fulfil his life’s destiny.
The first question says it all. ‘Who am I that I should go?’ In his own eyes he was insignificant and he needed God’s reassurance, ‘I will be with you.’ Moses was concerned that his knowledge of God was so limited he didn’t even know His name. ‘If they ask me, “what is the name of the God of your fathers?” what shall I tell them?’
The revelation of God’s name, ‘I am who I am’ addressed Moses’ insecurity. God was saying ‘I am now, and always will be what I have always been’. Moses’ sense of inferiority arose in his third question, ‘What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say,” The Lord did not appear to you’?” But the miracle of his staff turning into a serpent assured Moses that God’s work is a supernatural work done in His power. His next excuse was that he was inarticulate. ‘O Lord I have never been articulate, I am slow of speech and tongue.’ In desperation he asked God to send someone else.
Most of us experience desert times. As we look back we can often thank God for those times. They were times when God was preparing us, times of refining and change, and, above all, times when God revealed Himself to us in a new way. It’s reassuring to hear Him say, ‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wilderness’ (Isaiah 43:19).
‘Moses was very meek’ (Numbers 12:3 A.V). A meek person can be described as someone who humbly acknowledges their dependence on the goodness and grace of God. An insignificant person in the world’s eyes, whose security is in God, is a person who can be used by God. Such a one may not be very eloquent, but Moses’ prayer can be their own, ‘Let my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants’ (Deuteronomy 32:2). This is a prayer that can’t fail to be answered.
Question: Have you known desert times when God has spoken to you? Are you presently in a desert time when you long to hear His voice?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that You’ve promised to make a way in the desert. Help me today to keep my eyes on You and Your faithfulness, rather than on my circumstances. Amen.
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