Exodus 6:12 (HCSB)
12 But Moses said in the Lord’s presence: “If the Israelites will not listen to me, then how will Pharaoh listen to me, since I am such a poor speaker?”
In this passage, God reminds Moses of His covenant to bring give Canaan to His people. He again reassures Moses that He has heard the plea of the Israelites, and He is at work and will keep His covenant.
Then, in Exodus 6:6-8, God lists out what is about to happen. God goes on to make 10 “I” statements, either proclamations about Himself, or what He is going to do. Just as the covenant God referred to was called, “My covenant” by God, so the acts that are to come are solely dependent upon God. Outside of God commanding Moses to tell this news to the Israelites, there is nothing Moses, nor the Israelites, are required to do.
But the Israelites ignore Moses. Their spirit is broken by the oppression of Pharaoh. Is this understandable? Certainly! I’m not sure this is a rejection of God on the part of the Israelites here, as much as it is a distrust, or rejection even, of the prophetic status of Moses considering the worsening of their situation following Moses first audience with Pharaoh.
Moses is then commanded to go back to Pharaoh with the demand to release the Israelites. And Moses slips here. After all the “I” talk from God, Moses turns it to “me”. In one question, Moses makes 3 “I/me” statements! How easy it is to slip into the world’s trick of making everything seem about us, and under our control. Moses, despite this communion of sorts with God, still falls into the trap. The things God claims as His jobs, His duty, His responsibility, are His. Salvation? God’s job. Imparting righteousness? God’s job. Taking on the sin of mankind? Jesus’ job. Changing the hearts of sinful men to turn to God? Sure, we influence, we lead, we plant and even sow, but it is the Spirit, it is God, that does the real work of changing a man’s heart.
See, Moses thinks God’s plans here apparently sink or swim based upon Moses’ effectiveness, or his skill in presenting the plan to Pharaoh. But the truth is, God’s already got it handled, He needs no help, certainly not from a jacked up man, and He is guiding this whole thing. We are no different today. We know God has plans for our lives. God has told us we shouldn’t be living with each other before marriage… but we probably know better about how to handle this relationship. God has told us how to handle our finances… but that will apply when we make just a little bit more, or after we buy that one more thing. See, we put ourselves in the center of everything all the time, when we should simply submit and follow God’s commands.
Lord, thank You for providing guidance for our lives. Because You know that left to our own devices, our lives would be even more jacked up. I pray that You make clear Your commands to me, whether they be through scripture, through prayer, or through others and circumstances, and give me the will and strength to follow You. Amen.