"WHO AM I?"
On Sunday, I preached on the five excuses or protestations Moses makes in Exodus 3-4, and God’s responses to them. Each is a brief, masterful study not only in Moses’, but also in fallen human nature in the face of God’s command.
The first is found in Exodus 3:11-12:
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
Moses, in the burning presence of God, says, I can’t go; Who am I?
It’s amazing how quickly Moses jumps to the presumption that God is calling him to take care of things himself. That is, please note, what led to him fleeing to Midian in the first place, 40 years earlier (when he killed the Egyptian guard himself, trying to address the Hebrews’ slavery himself – 2:12). And it will be Moses downfall when he strikes the rock himself in the wilderness instead of speaking to it – Numbers 20).
It’s one of our most persistent, basic sinful tendencies, and it runs deep.
At its heart, it’s a matter of Flesh vs. Spirit.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8)
Moses reveals how easily we fall into life in the flesh. That doesn’t mean anti-body; it’s in regard to whether we approach our life as something we manage ourselves or something we allow God to direct. The prior seems natural to us…until we realize that it can be different. This is a long lesson to learn – for Moses and for us.
In some ways, the Exodus is about the saving of Moses.