I used to judge Moses for asking God to send someone else. He was being offered the opportunity, not only of a lifetime, or the century, but like, of all of time. Moses, you’re going to stand up to the most powerful man in the world, the Pharaoh. Then you’re going to lead God’s people through the Red Sea on dry ground! You’re going to lead the people in the desert, where God will feed you manna from Heaven and water from a rock. Oh, and did I mention the Promised Land? All you have to do is trust God and do what He says step by step. C’mon Moses. It’s what you were made for, saved from the Nile for, raised in the palace for. Moses! This is your chance!!!
But what did he say?
He said, “Lord. Please send someone else” (Exodus 4:13). Moses was not a young duck. He was forty when the Lord called him through that burning bush. He’d been herding sheep for, what, a decade? Possibly longer? He. Was. Done. He’d given up on that dream of doing anything meaningful or adventurous or that required much faith, a LONG time ago. He was content, living in the desert with his sons and his wife, living the simple life. He’d messed up in his past with a criminal record. He struggled with his stuttering tongue. Yet he’d found a way for himself and his family despite all that. Moses had overcome a lot in his life. But then, the Lord called him to do something else.
I’ve written on this before, but since I’m nearly forty, the age of Moses here, I so relate to the weariness and skepticalness we see from Moses in this meeting with the Lord in the burning bush! He’s just worn out. He doesn’t doubt God. He’s just tired. Maybe he gave up on dreaming. Maybe he gave up on his faith. Maybe he just didn’t want anymore adventures in his life. Maybe he’d lost a lot of money in the stock market or the sheep market that year. Maybe he had a trying child that had worn him out. Maybe he’d tried to follow the Lord but just gave it up.
Does any of that sound familiar? Are you a young person in your teens or twenties, eager to change the world? Or are you busy doing just that in your thirties? Or are you in your forties, completely over it? Hardened by the world and the circumstances that have come your way. I hear by the time you’re sixty you’re refreshed and ready to jump into ministry again. But those forty-somethings, are worn out. There’s a reason they call it over the hill! Moses was there! Maybe he literally was in his mid-life crisis, or wondered if running off to Egypt with his family in a new corvette would look like that. I mean, he did have that new magical staff snake thing, right? It’s kind of the same as a corvette. And no, he didn’t have a car, but used a donkey. But hey, the Bible doesn’t say anything about him not painting it red, just saying. JK.
On a more serious note, do you think God makes mistakes? Of course not. But why didn’t God call someone younger, more energetic, more passionate? Or why didn’t God call Moses at a younger age? I wonder such things, but I also greatly appreciate that He called Moses at age 40, in the middle of his life, to pursue something BIG. It give us hope that God has not forgotten us, or those middle aged folk. Most of the disciples were young. Mary and Joseph were young. Noah was old. John’s parents, Elizabeth and Zachariah were old. Abraham and Sarah were old when they had their baby Isaac. God can use anyone at any age. Praise God, right?! Praise Him! He’s used children too. Miriam, Moses’ sister was used as a child to help save his life as a baby! Moses wasn’t young and energetic or old and free. He was middle aged.
Moses’ story shows us just how hard it can be at that age to pick up and start an adventure for the Lord. Many times, Moses returned to the Lord saying, “What were you thinking? How can this be? These people! This mission!” Ultimately, his concerns were always either “I can’t do this,” or “this is impossible,” or “these people don’t want my help!” And every time the Lord delivered. Granted, they did face some discipline along the way, like not actually making it to the promised land until the next generation. But step by step, God led Moses with what to do next. He led Moses day by day.
Do you feel the Lord calling you or someone you know in the middle of their life to something? Can you encourage them or pray for them to have the faith to simply take steps of obedience trusting God to do His work? If you’re in that position, pray for faith to believe God to do what He can do. Remember, God never answered Moses’ question about who Moses was. He only pointed Moses to who God is (Exodus 3:11-14). It doesn’t matter who we are or if we’re tired or not. It matters that we continue persevering and trusting God by taking the steps of faith He’s leading us toward. I pray you are encouraged by this, my Friend. I have been.