God chose a spectacular setting to call Moses to his mission of leading the Hebrew nation out of Egypt into the Promised Land. The burning bush that was not consumed symbolized God’s powerful presence. Instead of experiencing a great thrill at receiving the call, Moses looked for excuses to refuse it. We can understand some of the thinking. He was eighty years old, not an ideal time for a career change. The last forty years of tending the sheep did not seem the right preparation for such a major responsibility.
Moses suggested five problems. The first was “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh?” (Exod. 3:11). The Lord’s answer, “I will be with thee” (vs. 12), should have been enough. The next hurdle for Moses was that the people might ask God’s name. The Lord told Moses that he should say, “I AM hath sent me” (Exod 3:14). That name showed that God was eternal, steadfast, and faithful. He was the God who had guided Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses worried that people would not believe that the Lord had spoken to him (Exod. 4:1). The Lord assured him to do signs and wonders that would impress Pharaoh and the children of Israel. To prove this, He turned Moses’ staff into a serpent and then back into a staff. Next, God allowed Moses’ hand to become leprous; then He healed Him (vss. 4-7).
Moses continued his protest by insisting that he was not a good speaker. The Lord assured him that He had made his mouth and that He would open it all at the right times (Exod. 4:10-12).Finally, Moses said what he really felt. He did not want to go – he wanted the Lord to send someone else (Exod. 4:13).
The last words angered the Lord who insisted that Moses go. God said that Moses could take his brother, Aaron, along to do some of the talking (Exod. 4:14). Why did God not call someone else – someone younger, someone with experience in leading people, someone more articulate, someone with more positive attitude than Moses? That answer is in the mind of God. It is clear that God wanted Moses and that He would help him lead the children of Israel.
The call of Moses teaches us that God does not always choose talented people who can do everything well. He calls people with flaws. When God calls a man or woman, He enables that person to accomplish God’s mission. If someone else is needed to help, God will take care of that. Whether God calls us to go to Africa or to accept an assignment in a local church, His promise is the same as it was to Moses: “I will be with thee” (Exod. 3:12).