But Moses said to the Lord, ‘O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Who gives speech to mortals?… Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.’ (Exodus 4:10 passim)
In times of great stress, my faith can wax and wane. When it has been strong in the last few weeks, I truly trust that God will give me whatever I need in whatever I need to face. When my faith has been weak—like it was last night, I wonder if God is there, if God cares, if God can do anything, and if He can, why doesn’t He act, heal, solve, and cure?
When my faith isn’t strong, I often compound my misery by becoming impatient with myself, which then leads to scolding myself. Here are some typical words: “After all God has done for you, how could you doubt, fret, worry, and whine? What’s wrong with you? What does God need to do for you to really trust in His goodness, power, and mercy?”
As I took my struggles with my faith from last night into my prayers this morning, today’s scripture of the interchange between Moses and God was given to me. For the Jewish people, there has never been a leader like Moses. He confronted Pharaoh. He called down the plagues. He led God’s people in the Exodus out of slavery into freedom. He brought down the ten commandments. He was their leader to the Promised Land.
Even though, again, there has never been a leader like Moses for the Jewish people, was Moses always strong, always faithful, always confident? By no means. In fact, he often doubted, equivocated, and hesitated. In today’s scripture, for instance, God asks Moses to speak strong words to Pharaoh, and Moses tried to duck by saying that he can only stutter.
How does God respond to Moses? He says, “Who gives speech to mortals?” In other words, God’s saying, “Moses, I don’t care if you stutter, if you are slow of tongue and slow of speech, if you don’t know what to say. I will provide all you need. I will be with you. ”
If you sit and pray with today’s scripture, I believe you will begin to see and feel hope. Just as God provided for Moses, so God will provide for you. Just as God wasn’t deterred by Moses’ doubts, so God has enough faith in you to work out His purposes. Just as God remained steadfast and patient with Moses, so God will do so with you. Just as God led and carried Moses through all of his struggles with faith, struggles with the Hebrews, struggles with the Egyptians, so God will lead and carry you through whatever struggles you are having. Just as God never gave up on Moses, so God will never give up on you.
Look again at the last words in today’s scripture, when God says, “Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.” Now go. Now carry on. God will be in your mouth and in your heart. He will teach you how you are to live, breathe, trust, and rest.
- What happens to your faith during times of crisis?
- What can cause your faith to sometimes wax and sometimes wane?
- In today’s interchange between God and Moses, how might God be speaking to you? What hope might God be asking you to embrace? What might God be asking you to learn?