Slow of Speech and Tongue

“Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Exodus 4:10

God does not simply take and use the equipped, but more often equips and uses the willing. A humble heart and willing spirit is far more important to the work of God than an adequate résumé. The credentials will come. God always empowers His servants to do the work to which they are called.

Moses had already raised concern that the people would not believe he had ever heard from God. But in mentioning his slowness of speech and tongue he was simply grabbing at straws, looking for some way to get out of this assigned task. His very normal, human tendency to look at the outside caused him to weigh his own abilities and find them wanting. He had, after all, made a small failed attempt to help his people (Exodus 2:11-15). That is why he was in the desert in the first place.

He was scared, and rightly so, but God was encouraged him.

Moses could not see past his own fears;

God would not ignore the people’s cries.

Moses was thinking of himself;

God was thinking of the people.

Moses feared he was not the man for the task;

God was prepared to make Moses that man.

And so, unfazed by Moses’ attitude, God asked Moses some very simple questions:

“Who gave man his mouth?

Who makes him deaf or mute?

Who gives him sight or makes him blind?

Is it not I, the LORD?

And then God drove His point home. “Go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (Exodus 4:11-12). In essence, the Lord said, “I made you, your mouth, and all things in the world. I know how they should be used and what they are capable of.”

Often we swing from self-confident bravado to fearful doubt, but doing the work of God is about operating beyond our means. If we could do all things in our own strength, we would not need God. But then we would not be doing the works of God; we would be doing our works. Without exception, the works of God require the power of God. He says to us, “Of course you can’t, but through you I can.”

Later Moses saw what God could accomplish through a broken vessel. Now, let us lay down our staffs and put aside our feelings of inadequacy. Let’s see what God will do with so many broken but willing hearts.

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