The Power of a Whisper
Day 12 Reading: Exodus 3:1-4:18
Pastor Lisa’s Journal
But Moses said to God,
“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”- Exodus 3:11 (NRSV)
God calls Moses to lead the people of God out of slavery in Egypt. It is a loooooooooog and involved conversation.
- God gets Moses’ attention with the burning bush (Exodus 3:2-3)
- God calls Moses by name (Exodus 3:4)
- God’s identity and the sacredness of the conversation are established with references to holy ground and the covenant (Exodus 3:5-6)
- God reveals the misery of the slaves to Moses and calls him to tell Pharaoh to free them. Moses makes excuse #1 – Who am I to do this? (Exodus 3:7-11)
- God assures Moses of God’s presence and gives Moses the next part of the plan- the people will worship God in the wilderness. Moses makes excuse #2- What if the people question me about you? (Exodus 3:12-13)
- God reveals the name “I AM” to Moses and instructs him to take the elders with him when he speaks with Pharaoh. God then reveals more of the plan to Moses, explaining how Pharaoh will deny the slaves their freedom but God will move in powerful ways to make it happen anyway. The slaves will not only leave Egypt but will leave with great riches. Moses makes excuse #3- What if they don’t listen to me? (Exodus 3:14-4:1)
- God provides Moses with three powerful signs- a rod that can turn into a snake, a coat that can turn skin leprous and then clean again, the ability to turn water
to blood. Moses makes excuse #4- I don’t speak well. (Exodus 4:2-10)
- God promises to supply Moses with the words he needs to fulfill the call. Moses pleads with God to send someone else. (Exodus 4:11-13)
- God provides Aaron to speak for Moses. Moses accepts the call. (Exodus 4:14-18)
All great religious traditions recognize that the deepest desire of the human heart is for freedom from inner oppression. We feel “conditioned”: bound by the chains of our habits and compulsions, our likes and dislikes, our fears and guilt, our inability to love. Our great tragedy is that we so often mistake these habits and compulsions for our true self. Perhaps most of us operate on the assumption that this conditioned, unfree self is all there is, all we can ever be, and we fear that without it we could not exist at all. We are unable, therefore, to stop protecting ourselves at all cost. This fear, however, is an illusion and we need to be freed from it. -Irma Zaleski, The Way of Repentence
Moses seems as much a slave to his fears as the people are to Pharaoh. Moses makes excuse after excuse after excuse to avoid God’s call to action, but eventually agrees.
Is this all a waste of time? God grows irritated with Moses’ excuses (check out Exodus 4:14), yet uses Moses’ hesitation to good ends. Ultimately, Moses is better prepared to face Pharaoh and the questioning of his own people.
Romans 8:28 (NRSV)
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose.
Some people follow God quickly, others eventually get around to it like Moses and Jonah, while others refuse the call completely. How often do I delay and debate or just walk away from a clear calling from God?
Praise the One, True Living God
Holy, Holy, Holy
Liberating Flame, burning away our chains
Empowering Flame, burning away our excuses
Praise our Rescuer, the Compassionate
Who draws near and hears our cries,
pleas of desperation and deliverance
alongside pleas to send someone else
Praise the Great I AM,
The Redeemer who brings
good out of evil
salvation out of slavery
answers out of questions
preparation out of hesitation
certainty out of maybe
yes out of no
Praise the Lord!
Click Here, for a powerful reflection and prayer by Jan Richardson entitled Blessing at the Burning Bush
Click Here, for another striking reflection/poem based on the burning bush passage by Steve Garnaas Holmes entitled The One Who Hears
For more information on the Power of a Whisper campaign or for a copy of this reading plan, click here
As you read, you are encouraged to use the SOAP Method for keeping a spiritual journal, as taught at New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii. For
more information on this simple and powerful way of engaging the Word of God, please click here or use the simple instructions provided in the reading plan itself.
I look forward to reading your comments and to all that Jesus will do in you and through you as you learn to better listen and respond to God’s whispers in your life. – Lisa <><
PS- For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.