The third wave of adversity Moses faced was discouragement. Crushed by Pharaoh, then cursed by the Israelite foremen, Moses was in the dumps. But God said something astounding to get Moses back on track in Exodus 6:3, “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself fully known to them.”
The name “Lord” speaks of God’s involvement, care, sovereignty, provision, and protection over all creation. Abraham had a close relationship with God. God promised him a son and fulfilled that promise when Abraham was one hundred years old. But through Moses’ life, God was about to unveil his lordship in an unprecedented way for all to see.
Stirred up by this promise, Moses pulled himself together and went to the Israelites to share the vision again. Notice how it turned out in Exodus 6:9, “Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.” Moses did the “three p’s”. He prayed, planned, and prepared. He sent out e-invites, brought Starbucks and croissants. But no one listened because of their discouragement.
He struck out with Pharaoh. But far worse, the Israelites rejected him for the second time. Moses began singing his old country song, “I’m not qualified. I’m not gifted. I’m not capable. I don’t belong here. I’m just going to fail again.” As Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:8, he felt less the least of all the Lord’s people.
Over the next few verses, twice Moses brings up his old “faltering lips.” In the Hebrew, the literal meaning is “uncircumcised lips,” a strange metaphor. Circumcision again was the outward sign of Israel’s covenant relationship with God. In other words, “The evidence of your grace on a person’s life is charismatic speaking, and I don’t have the flow.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing this. If I could go back in time, I would shake him and say, “Get over yourself or hit the road!” But, God was relentless in his pursuit of Moses. Like 43-year-old Tiger Woods pursued his fifth Master’s win after multiple back surgeries, God went after Moses with a never-ending love.
Question. Have you ever been discouraged about sharing the good news of God’s deliverance? It’s called the gospel. Like Moses, we’re to walk into a dark world, and speak this news to those blinded by the spirit of the age.
What a crazy assignment! Who are we to share such a divine message? We’re not qualified. We’ve never been to seminary. Some think the word “apologetics” is when you say sorry to mom. Think about the gravity of this message. Paul called it the divine mystery, revealed by God to his holy apostles and prophets. The mystery is that through the sharing of the gospel, anyone who believes in Jesus can belong to the family of God (Eph. 3:6). And yet, God has pursued us, even with all our issues and hang-ups, to walk into the marketplace, the coffee shops, break rooms, neighborhoods, and board rooms of the world, and be his mouthpiece.