Thursday, January 1, 2009

"I Am Slow of Speech and Slow of Tongue"

I will be continuing with the family project shortly. But, today, I'm doing something differently.

Then Moses said to Jehovah, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue."~Exodus 4:10

I have been thinking back on this record of Moses talking to the Lord a lot lately. It was on my mind quite a bit yesterday and the day before. I was thinking how much I could understand and empathize with Moses. I was kind of feeling bad for him, as I was thinking about it. I also have a speech problem. My brain works slowly to get the words out that I need or want to use. I sometimes have a hard time pronouncing my words well, and I often stop in the middle of sentences, at a loss of words. Most people who have known me for some time and are close to me know that I don't really like my voice and the way I talk. It's frustrating to me.

It's not that Moses wasn't highly educated or didn't know what he was talking about. Acts 7:22 says, And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.

The Greek word for "words" here is logos, meaning "word," but also can mean "doctrine."

A person can be great in achievements, highly educated and intelligent, and still have learning disabilities, speech problems, etc. I am highly educated myself and have excelled in academics throughout my life, but I had to take speech therapy when I was a child, and I still do not speak well. I have other learning disabilities, too.

However, I've also given good speeches to large audiences, but I do not like to do so. I am very self-conscious of my talking disabilities. So, I can totally understand what Moses may have been experiencing.

Well, it never fails. God always has something ready for me whenever I'm meditating about something in great depth.

So, today, what did I come across? I started flipping through some of yesterday's mail this morning, and I opened a Churchlight booklet--a publication of a Church of God group in Colorado--and flipped through it. Page 8 caught my eye, as it had an article called "Moses and the Burning Bush." So, I was skimming through the article, and I recognized that the author (Pieter Barkhuizen) is addressing each of Moses' confessions and excuses that he gave to God during the "burning bush" conversation.

The author stated, "But, Moses had a problem with this tall order, and he began to confess some of his apparent disqualifications for the task ahead. Have you ever felt disqualified for something you knew God wanted you to do? Every made any excuses?"

So, the author discussed first Moses' confession of inability. He then moved on to Moses' excuse of ignorance of who God was. Then the excuse Moses gave of Israel's unbelief, which Pieter said included Moses' unbelief, because God had already told him what He was going to do--lead Israel out of bondage. Then, he got none other than:

"In Exodus 4:10, we discover that Moses had a speech impediment, which created a feeling of inadequacy."

Since the author didn't share the scriptures, I grabbed my bible and read through a few verses. Verses 11 and 12 say, And Jehovah 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 Jehovah? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say."

Okay, so it would have been wise for Moses to just GO then and trust that God would be with him and help him with whatever his speech problems happened to be.

Back to Pieter's article: "So the speech problem was no problem for God. And right here Moses made the blunder of his life! In Exodus 4:13, he asked God to send someone else. Suddenly, God's anger was kindled..."

God then told Moses that Aaron his brother would be helping him, because God knew Aaron could speak well.

Pieter continued, "With all the other excuses, God was very patient, but now His anger was aroused. Why? Because Moses said the one thing that made God angry: 'I'm not available.' And God responded by saying that He would use his brother Aaron. Moses would still have the responsibility--but he would have to share the privilege of being God's sole agent in Israel's salvation history.

Is God calling you for something special today? Are you ready to fire your excuses at God? Please remember that the only requirement God has of you, is availability. 'Are you willing?' is the big question. Feeling inadequate?...Notice what happened to Moses, and how God used an imperfect person to bring honor and glory to His name."

Pieter later said, "Moses was a positive person--sure he had questions, but once his course was set, he couldn't be moved."

That was refreshing for me. It's just what I needed, just when I needed it. Thank you Father.

Pieter is right. The only requirement God has of His servants is availability. Are you willing? I personally AM willing to do what God wants of me, but He doesn't get it without my continuous questioning and asking for help. I can't do it without His help, but I do trust that He can use me.

What about you? Are you available? Are you willing? Are you being called by God now to do something? Are you feeling inadequate? Trust in God, and be willing, and He will help you.