Willing to Learn – Exodus 4:1-12
Then Moses answered, “But suppose they do not believe me or listen to me, but say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” 2 The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” 3 And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw the staff on the ground, and it became a snake; and Moses drew back from it. 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Reach out your hand, and seize it by the tail”—so he reached out his hand and grasped it, and it became a staff in his hand— 5 “so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”
6 Again, the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” He put his hand into his cloak; and when he took it out, his hand was leprous, as white as snow. 7 Then God said, “Put your hand back into your cloak”—so he put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored like the rest of his body— 8 “If they will not believe you or heed the first sign, they may believe the second sign. 9 If they will not believe even these two signs or heed you, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground; and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”
10 But Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.”
WHAT DOES THE PASSAGE say?
V. 1-5 The passage is the following story of Moses’ call; encountering God in the burning bush. Moses ask God, ‘how can I prove that you sent me to the people.’ God answers by giving him an ability to perform three signs and wonders. The first sign was transforming his staff into a snake.
V. 6-8 God gives Moses another way to prove that God sent him. Moses puts his hand in his cloke and it becomes leprous.
V. 9 Then God even goes further, preparing him for the worst, by giving him the third sign, to blood the Nile river.
V. 10-12 Even with these three signs, Moses did not have the confidence and asks God to reconsider God’s call, because Moses can’t do public speaking. We know how this story ends; God promised Aron to be the spokesperson.
What Does the passage Mean to Me/US?
We see two different characters in this passage. The people of Israel and Moses, who are filled with disbelief. And God who knows their disbelief and preparing Moses with many signs and wonders, but at the same time a God who understands the disbelief of the people.
Do the sign and wonder give us comfort to believe?
We see how Moses, the one performing the signs and wonders still not believing fully.
God is, however, patient and waits for us to believe.
And when one puts their trust in God, they will slowly believe.
Remember, Moses, despite his uncertainty, went off the Egypt, responding to his call.
And when he decided to embark on this journey, he saw the God who was with him.
” Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak” (v. 12 NRSV).
If you read further in the book of Exodus, you will notice that Moses does all the speaking, not Aron.
When God is with us, and when we are willing to learn, we will see God work through our lives.
Lord, we ask for the willing heart to learn from you. Help us to be obedient to your call, and follow you faithfully. In Christ Name, we pray, AMEN.
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