God has called Moses to be His human instrument to deliver Israel out of slavery in Egypt, but Moses has all kinds of doubts and concerns about what God is doing here. Moses doesn’t exactly fit the profile of a born leader. Remember that in Chapter 3, Moses asked God: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11) And God said, basically, “I will be with you. And he asked: “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Exodus 3:13-14) And, God gave him his personal name and he promised him that the Israelites would listen to him, but that Pharaoh would not. (Exodus 3:18-19) Now, here in Exodus 4, the questions and concerns continue.
- “They won’t believe me.” (Exodus 4:1)
- “I’m not a very eloquent speaker.” (Exodus 4:10)
- “Please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:13)
God is very patient with Moses’ concerns and lack of faith.
- To the objection that Moses won’t be believed, God responded with supernatural signs (Exodus 4:2-9)
- To the objection that Moses wasn’t a good speaker, God responded, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” (Exodus 4:11-12)
- Finally, the Lord gets angry when Moses asks him to send someone else. He tells him that he will send Aaron, Moses’ brother, with him to do the talking. (Exodus 4:14-17)
Moses is a very reluctant, but willing servant of God in this whole scene. We don’t see Moses saying, “No problem, God. I’m your man.” In fact, we see just the opposite. But God likes to use people who aren’t qualified to do His work, because then all the glory goes where it is supposed to go anyway – to God. (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
Notice that God tells Moses that even with all the miracles that Moses is going to show Pharaoh, Pharaoh is not going to budge until it comes down to the shedding of innocent blood. In fact, God specifically says that He is going to “harden Pharaoh’s heart.” (Exodus 4:21-23) Of course, this is exactly what happens. Moses will show Pharaoh incredible acts of supernatural power, but Pharaoh will not let the Israelites go until the innocent blood of the firstborn of Egypt is flowing. God is showing Moses, Israel and us that redemption is accomplished at a very high price.