The LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?Exodus 4:11(NASB)
Moses was from the Levitical line from Jacob, and was called to be God's great prophet to Israel. He was the one who led the children of Israel out of Egypt and became the nation's renowned Lawgiver, at eighty years of age! Kept in social isolation for half his life, he was in the despised vocation of sheep-herder, and lived in the parched, arid wilderness, where his self-will was broken.
It was here that the fiery flame of the Lord met with him at the burning bush and Moses found himself being summoned by the God of His fathers, to save God's people from slavery in Egypt. Before his intense training programme, Moses thought He could do all things through his own strength. But it was not until his will was crushed by the Lord in his own wilderness walk, that Moses had his earth-shattering encounter with God on Mount Sinai, Who announced, "I AM Who I AM."
Moses... the former prideful prince of Egypt, became the most humble of men, due to his encounter with God. He recoiled from the enormous responsibility God chose to lay upon his shoulders. How could a man that stuttered so badly and spoke so inarticulately be the chosen mouthpiece for the God of the universe? How could Moses convey God's orders to the great king of the earth?
"I am not a man of words," he pleaded. I am not good at public speaking. I do not have a gift of the gab. I am not fluent in language. I find it difficult to get my words out and stumble over my speech - I am not an eloquent orator - was his excuse. Moses had not yet proved God's sufficient grace. He had yet to discover that His grace is perfected in our weaknesses. Moses had not yet acknowledged the inexhaustible riches of God's grace and His unlimited power to work in the lives of His people.
But God not only makes man's lips and mouths. He makes the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, and gives sight to the blind. The Lord is the One Who possesses power over all the senses and attributes of men. He is the One that created all things, and He is the One Who holds all things together. God is well able to equip His chosen vessel with the qualification and abilities needed to fulfil His heavenly instructions - for His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Claiming to have a speech impediment was only one of a number of excuses Moses gave to the Lord. He was also concerned that Israel would neither believe him nor respect his word, and he begged God to send someone else who was more qualified than he. He claimed that he would not be able to explain Who the Lord was to the people, and had to be told sternly, "I AM Who I AM." Moses had to learn that God was the answer to every question and the provider for all we need.
The lessons Moses had to learn are as relevant today as the day he was ordered to remove his shoes from on the holy mount of God. It is never easy when the Lord says GO, for we often want to stay. Nor is it easy when He instructs us to STAND STILL and wait, for too often we think we want to go.
But when our fleshly self-will has finally been broken by our gracious God and we can unreservedly whisper, "Thy will, not mine be done," as did Christ in Gethsemane... then as we open our mouth we will speak the words that He chooses to give us, and we will finally discover His grace IS sufficient for His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
One theologian summed up the attitude that each of us should have when God places a call on any of our lives, "Cherish the lowliest thought you choose of yourself, but unite it with the loftiest conception of God's All-Sufficiency. Self-depreciation may lead to the marring of a useful life. We must think soberly of ourselves, not too lowly... nor too extravagantly. The one talent must not be buried in the earth."
Father, I begin to understand that irrespective of how limited my ability or how boundless my talents, unless I am led of You and speak the words You instruct, I will be ineffective in my work for You. May I never forget that You are the one who made me as I am, and to trust You to fulfil the work that You have prepared for me to do. May I follow in Christ's footsteps and learn to speak only those things that I hear from You. Teach me Your will and guide me in Your ways. Lead me in the paths of righteousness and may Your will not mine be done. In Christ's name, AMEN.