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The Quitters' Club
Exodus 4:10-17 | Sermon Recap & Discussion Questions

 

In this passage, Moses doesn’t teach us to obey; God commands us to bring our disobedience to him so he can cure it!  We must take our disobedient hearts to God because ...

 

I. He Answers Ingratitude with Sovereignty (10-12)

Moses’ protest begins respectfully enough, “Pardon your servant, Lord.” However, it quickly turns accusatory, “I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue” (4:10). He was essentially saying, “you are to blame for my inadequacy because you made me. If you wanted me to do this job you should have made me with more gifts. We’ve been talking now for half an hour and you still haven’t made me eloquent! It is your fault I can’t answer your call!”

Notice how God answers. He reasons with Moses: “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? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” God gently reminds Moses of the “Creator-creature” distinction, that he is God and Moses is his dependent. He reminds him that he created the first man out of nothing and that he knitted together Moses’ mouth in his mother’s womb. That same mouth with which Moses expressed ingratitude and irreverence, God says he is able to rewire to speak boldly for the salvation of his people.

Furthermore, you can be assured that a Father who was willing to allow his only Son to die for your salvation, is one who allowed you to be the person you are because he has a great good to accomplish. 

 

II. He Answers Insolence with Anger (13-17)

God graciously informs Moses that he will accommodate his felt need for someone more eloquent to speak on his behalf. He will send his brother Aaron to be his spokesman. God’s lovingkindness overwhelms his anger and he accommodates Moses’ weak faith. God’s anger will motivate us to obedience, not because we fear judgment, but because we dread the thought of angering our beloved Father.

Remember, Moses is writing these words. Why would he give such a bad report on himself? Why would he detail his doubtful, irreverent, impertinent, impudent, and recalcitrant response to God’s call? Because he was not writing a memoir, he was crafting a prophecy. Not only did Moses want to make sure in all his books that God’s grace alone received adoration, he wanted to make clear that he was not the Christ. Later God told Moses that he would raise up from the line of Judah “a prophet” who would “tell them everything I command him” (Deut. 18:18). Moses would appear on the Mount of Transfiguration to point to Jesus as the one he merely anticipated (Matt. 17:5). On Pentecost, Peter proved Jesus was that perfectly obedient prophet (Acts 3:20-23). 

This is why Jesus said to his disciples (and us), “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). He is the one who is able to accomplish all that God commands so we must receive his strength rather than our own.

 

Discussion Questions

  1. Is there a responsibility or call in your life that you often feel inadequate to fulfill? If so, what is it?
  2. What particular shortcoming do you feel you have that makes you inadequate to fulfill this responsibility or call? Are you sometimes tempted to become angry or blame God for this shortcoming?
  3. What do Moses’ shortcomings teach us about God’s ability to use imperfect people?
  4. What does God’s love demonstrated through Jesus teach us about how our imperfections are a part of his good plan?
  5. How can you practically lean into God’s strength to fulfill this responsibility or call in your life rather than continuing in self-sufficiency?