by Kevin Burton
If you follow team sports, I am sure you can remember a time when your favorite team drafted poorly.
A highly-touted amateur player who does not perform well is called a bust. And you think, of all the players you could have chosen you picked this bum? Who is this general manager making the selections anyway?
Stay with me and we will circle back to this draft pick business.
On Page 7 we introduce today, a series called “10 Questions from the Bible.” We will look at questions posed in the Bible and possible answers that spring from them.
Today’s question comes from Moses, in Exodus 3:11. In the NASB it reads, “But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?”
For some background, here’s a passage on the website www.theologyofwork.org.
“Moses had just come upon the burning bush in the wilderness. God had spoken to him conveying the good news that He had heard the cries of the Israelites and that He was coming down to save them from their bondage in Egypt.”
“No doubt Moses rejoiced to hear this great news. But them God said something that quickly changed Moses’s attitude. ‘Now go for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.’”
Some time has passed since the days of Joseph, the exiled Jew who rose to the office of prime minister of Egypt. The Israelite population in Egypt has swelled. A new Egyptian Pharaoh who did not know Joseph, saw Israelites as slave labor.
Moses had tried his hand at this leader thing before, with disastrous results. Seeing an Egyptian slave master fighting with one of the Israelites, Moses intervened, killing the Egyptian. When that news got out, Moses fled for his life, into exile in Midian. He took a job as a shepherd and was more than content to continue in that vocation.
Then the burning bush, then God’s call. And Moses asks, “Who am I?”
You could interpret this as Moses having a sense of humility. It’s probably true that you don’t want a messenger who says in effect, “Yes God, I can see why you have chosen me for this task. Now step aside and I will tell Pharaoh a thing or two.”
Moses was raised as an adopted grandson of the previous Pharaoh, but he surely did doubt his ability. But more than anything, he just didn’t want the job.
One relevant non-answer to the “who am I” question is Moses, you just asked the wrong question. It’s not about who you are, it’s about who God is. Moses was in fact given that assurance.
“Assuredly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain” (Exodus 3:12 NASB).
That wasn’t good enough for Moses and he gave God a string of excuses why he was not the right man for the job.
That brings us to the answer to the “who am I” question: “You are the choice of the sovereign God of the universe.”
Unlike our sports team scenario with a general manager and assistants choosing ballplayers, there is not one chance in the world that God has made the wrong choice.
Chances are good God won’t give you a huge job like leading Israel out of Egypt. But he may give you a job that within your family, work or other context, seems plenty big to you. No matter what the size of the job, He gave it to you for a reason.
God is all-knowing, all-powerful. He equips us, knows us personally. It might be that no one else can do that task. It might be that He chose you to bless you.
Don’t think of the size of the task, think of the size of your God. Be fearless like David confronting Goliath.
Don’t be a heavenly draft bust. Trust in the living God and move forward in His strength.