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Reluctant Obedience Reluctant Obedience

Reluctant Obedience


The words of the well-known spiritual, “Go Down, Moses,” describe the emotional anguish of the Israelites as they waited for deliverance:

“When Israel was in Egypt’s land,
Let my people go,
Oppressed so hard they could not stand,
Let my people go.
Go down, Moses, way down in Egypt’s land,
Tell old Pharaoh: Let my people go.”

But when God first asked, Moses did not appear eager for the task. One day, while Moses was taking care of his sheep on Mount Horeb (also called Sinai), he saw a bush that burned but was not consumed. How could this be? What did it mean?

This was God’s way of getting Moses’ attention (3:3). Moses removed his shoes, a gesture of respect and humility that was only proper before the God of his ancestors (v. 6). He also hid his face in fear and reverence. God then announced His plan: to rescue His people and bring them from Egypt to the promised land of Canaan (vv. 7–10). Moses didn’t exactly rise to the occasion. His first response was doubt, asking, “Don’t you know I’m just a shepherd? Don’t you know how spectacularly I failed 40 years ago?” God assured him, “I will be with you” (vv. 11–12). Then Moses asked God’s name, to which the Lord responded, “I AM WHO I AM”—the uncaused Cause, the unmoved Mover, the very ground of all existence and reality (v. 14).

Despite reminders of God’s promises to the patriarchs, and despite powerful signs, Moses continued to stall, eventually blurting out, “Please send someone else” (4:13). What an unlikely hero! Had God picked the wrong man for the job? Of course not! By choosing a person like Moses, God shows us that He alone would get the credit and glory for what’s about to happen.

Pray with Us

As Moody Radio’s Share continues today, please pray for the staff of WDLM, broadcasting in the Quad Cities: Jason Crosby, Ken Brooks, and Deborah Gustafson. We pray this station whose call letters commemorate D. L. Moody will always be a light to the community.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Bradley Baurain is Associate Professor and Program Head of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Moody Bible Institute. Bradley has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has just published his first book, On Waiting Well. Bradley taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Bradley and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Northwest Indiana.

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