In this text our God reveals what He will do through His servant, Moses, specifically in response to Moses’ five objections or excuses. We covered the first two objections last time we met, and we will conclude this section on Sunday.
God begins with a command to “Go!” In verses 16-17 He says, “Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The Lord (Yahweh), God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt; and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey.” The LORD also told Moses that while the Israelites would heed him, the king of Egypt (Pharaoh) would not let them go until the God of wonders stretched out His hand; only then would Pharaoh relent. In verse 19 God says, “But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go.
Moses responded to God with his third objection in Chapter 4 verse 1: “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’” In this objection Moses is actually saying he doesn’t believe God! But God graciously answered Moses with a miraculous sign whereby He brought illness upon him, and then healed him. He then told Moses of the sign that the Nile River’s water would be turned into blood; a sign that would hold major significance for the Egyptians to whom the Nile was their source of life, representing life itself.
But Moses raised a fourth objection in verse 10: “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”
The Lord gave Moses a lesson about His sovereignty in verse 11 before He again commanded him to go. “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” Despite all of this grace, Moses opened his mouth one last time in verse 13 “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”
In this section of Scripture, we see man’s weakness and insufficiency. Even when he is called by God, Moses finds excuse after excuse to not serve Him. God in His sufficiency and grace is more than able to bring about His will through Moses, and there was no adequate excuse that could stop God from using Moses to carry His people out of bondage. And praise the Lord, for to this very day, God still brings those under bondage of sin to salvation.