1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. 2 And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. 3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: 5 That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. 6 And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. 7 And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. 8 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. 9 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land. 10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. 11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. 13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. 14 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. 15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. 16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. 17 And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs. (Exodus 4:1–17)
We have been looking at the account of Moses meeting the Lord at the Burning Bush. The Lord God had called him to go back to Egypt, where his people were slaves, and to tell Pharaoh to let God’s people go.
Not exactly the kind of thing that would make a person jump for joy—downright dangerous and even, from a human viewpoint, a sure-fire way to commit suicide.
Immediately, Moses began raising objections. His first seemed humble, but it wasn’t:
11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? (Exodus 3:11)
God understood that Moses spoke out of fear, and so he responded, not with a list of good reasons why Moses was the right guy for the job, but with a more comforting, “Certainly, I will be with thee.”
Moses’ second objection concerned the authority by which he would speak to the Israelites. When they asked about God, “What is his name?” (Exodus 3:13), what was he going to tell them?
Again, this was Moses’ own fear controlling him. He was afraid of going into the situation and discovering that the God who sent him was not powerful enough to back him up.
So God comforted his fears by giving his name—the most powerful name in the universe: Jehovah or Yahweh.
Further, he defined his name for Moses: Jehovah means, “I AM THAT I AM,” which means, among other things, that God has had no beginning and will have no end. He is simply, “I AM.”
Systematically, the Lord was helping Moses to obey him by removing his fears.
What fears keep you from obeying God? The fear of embarrassment? The fear of losing your security? Whatever fear it is, be assured that God can take it away.
Look and see how God helped Moses overcome his fear of obeying him.