Exodus 4.1-4, 10-14 – God’s choice in calling his servants
Posted: 31 July 2012 in Exodus

And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee. And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand….. And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the Lord 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 the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses…..

The Bible is full of instances where somebody receives a call from God to fulfil a role. No reason is ever given for the choice, other than it was God’s sovereign will to call that person. Sometimes it is less than obvious that the person called is ideally suited to the task he has been given, and sometimes, as here, the person chosen is well aware of his limitations. So he remonstrates with God, and tells him he has made a mistake. The prophet Jeremiah reacts in a very similar way to his call. But God does not make mistakes, and he never changes his mind. Sometimes, indeed, he loses patience with his recalcitrant servant.

As I said, no reason is ever given for God’s choice of one person, or one group of people (Israel) over against anybody else. But we might guess that one reason he choses people who seem ill suited to the task they have been given is God’s perennial concern for his own glory. It is not his will that his servants should succeed in carrying out their mission by relying upon their own resources, but rather that they should give glory to their Lord by having to rely upon him. Their success rebounds to the glory of God, because his chosen servant was no more than a tool in God’s hands, and the omnipotent God was the real agent of success.

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