There’s no doubt that Moses was a reluctant leader. He would have made a great de-motivational speaker.
God calls Moses. Moses says, “Here I am.”
And then everything Moses says and does goes downhill from there.
- Moses hides his face because he was afraid. Ex 3:6
- “Who am I?” (i.e. I’m a nobody.) Ex. 3:11
- “But what if…?” Ex 3:13
- “But what if…?” Ex 4:1
- Moses’ staff becomes a snake, and he runs from it. (Ex 4:4)
- “But I’m not a good public speaker.” (Ex 4:10)
- And finally… “I really don’t want to do this. Send someone else.” Sure, you’re only the God of the universe and can change my staff to a snake and can give me leprosy on the spot and are going to help me answer all the questions…
But I don’t wanna go!
When God calls us to a difficult task, it’s really easy to find reasons not to do it. Moses sure had no problem coming up with objections.
So God sends Aaron to help him. I was a little amused by this.
- Aaron tells the elders everything God said to Moses (Ex 4:30)
- Aaron performs the signs (v 30).
- As a result, the people believe and worship God. (v 31)
If you ask me, Moses sure seems a bit gutless. And here is Aaron, ready to step out in front and say what God says and perform miracles. Articulate, confident… prime leadership material!
Why didn’t God choose Aaron?
This baffled me for a bit. Until I read further what happened after the Israelites left Egypt.
- Israelites: “Why did you bring us out of Egypt! We’re gonna die!!!!” (14:10-12)
- Moses: “Don’t be scared. The Lord will fight for you.” (v 13-14)
- Israelites: “The water’s bitter! What are we supposed to drink?” (16:24)
- Moses: “God, help!” (v.25)
- Israelites: “We’re thirsty! Why did you bring us out of Egypt?” (17:3)
- Moses: “God, what am I to do with these people?” (v 4)
The Israelites grumble and complain. Moses’ strength is God and he looks to Him and encourages the Israelites to do the same.
Then Moses is out for a personal retreat with God. So, naturally, the Israelites go to the First Officer, Aaron.
- Israelites: “Our leader has gone AWOL. We need some gods to lead us.”
- Aaron: “Sure. One idol, coming right up.”
God did not make a mistake in choosing Moses. He knew that Moses had the heart of humility to rely on Him instead of taking matters into his own hands and doing what he thought was best. When the pressure was on, Moses repeatedly showed himself faithful. But Aaron caved at the first opportunity.
God chooses those who are not obvious choices. We first look to experience, skill, and personality. But God looks at the heart.
A friend once told me, “God’s glory is safe with those who are humble and don’t seek the limelight.” God often chooses the most unlikely people to do his will. But part of the reason He does is because he knows that their pride and confidence won’t get in the way.
If you find yourself reluctant in your calling or doubting your ability to measure up, you are not alone. Perhaps it could be that God has put you where you are, not because you are necessarily the most qualified, but because He has seen something in you that honors him and will keep his glory safe.
It’s when the rubber hits the road that the clarity of a person’s character is revealed. Whatever you face, even if you are reluctant, remember that God never makes mistakes in the people he chooses.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
– Psalm 46:1-3