Moses on my mind

michelangelo-moses-eyes(Michelangelo’s Moses)


Moses has been on my mind.

A lot.

The great metanarrative of what his life offers us. The great covenant of ownership and home he fought for.

And then, there is this…

Genesis 4:10, ‘…I am slow of speech and tongue’.

Did Moses stutter or suffer from some speech impediment? Did he agonize over public speaking? Was he not confidant in his ability to speak Hebrew?

Whatever it was, literal or figurative; Moses felt that he was unable to carry out the job God asked him too.

I am sure that many a sermon has been preached, and many more will come, that use this verse to extol the greatness of our God who uses us despite our imperfections. I am sure we all take great comfort in knowing God is our strength when we are weak.

I am sure that I have used this verse to justify standing still.


But I’m not sure that this is the point of this story.


After pointing out his weakness and arguing against himself, Moses begs God not to send him to Egypt.

And then. This…

Genesis 4:14 ‘Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses…’

Stop and consider that moment.

The Lord’s anger.

It makes me shiver.


Maybe the issue is not that Moses was unable, but that he was unwilling. That’s a different story. That’s a different theology.

Our failings and weakness’ are known quantities. They are not news to God.

Maybe that is what God wants – my deficiencies and limitations? Maybe they are the tools of grace that God will use? Maybe they are enough?

Nothing needs to be added to them, they are usable and delightful in the hands of an omniscient God.

I don’t know. This feels like a gentle wander through the forest, my mind chasing thoughts down different tracks. But I know that I am not perfect and I know that God does not expect me to be. He expects me to try, to show up and to be willing. He expects my A game. He expects me to be kinder than I feel.

I may feel unable, but I need to willing.



Exodus 4:10-17

10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, 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.”

11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”


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