I am reading the Bible through this year using a chronological reading plan. I have started this a few times over the years, but fail in completing the years reading. Consequently, I have read Genesis through 1,2 Samuel (including Job) a few times, but not the rest of the Old Testament. These narrative passages are familiar because of this and because we reference them often due to their relevance to and their repetition in the New Testament. As a consequence, I read them with the mindset that I already am familiar with the content. I don’t expect to glean too much in terms of understanding ancient Israel and expect to be minimally challenged spiritually. I suspect I am not the only person with this mindset. I know this is an arrogant and unteachable attitude. Acknowledgement is the first step to recovery.
But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”
Ex 4:13 (ESV)
As I read through Exodus, I can identify with Moses. He was a reluctant participation in God’s plan to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt, bring them into the promise land, and establish a people for Himself. No where is this more obvious than in this verse. Several times Moses asks God to amend His plan. He claims to not speak well. God brings Aaron on board. He asks God to send someone else. It is an understatement to say that this displeases God.
So what can I glean from the retelling of Moses’ story? Well, I recognize myself in Moses’ responses. Sure, I want affirmation and recognition. I want to be involved with God’s work. I am involved (this writing being an example). However, I don’t really want to do the hard things. I want to do the things I want to do. I don’t want to be challenged outside my comfort zone. I don’t want to exceed my capabilities to the extent that God is my only recourse. When He requires something difficult, I want Him to send someone else. Or, maybe what I really want is for someone to come along. When He lays on my heart to do something, I want Him to do the same to one of my friends so we can do it together. I find it daunting to do hard things and I want my load lightened by another person rather than God.
How do I move forward from here? God has placed us in relationship with others and with other believers. Sometimes He calls one to a task, sometimes a group. I can be the only one called and still be encouraged by the support and prayers of my fellow believers. But, it is God I follow, it is His voice I listen for, I am to obey Him, even if it is hard and I must do it alone.