Moses' Examination
Dr. Joe Temple

God Works Through Men

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Exodus, chapter 3. We want to notice what God said to Moses out of the burning bush. This portion of the Word of God is often referred to as the commission of Moses, or Moses' call to the task for which God ordained him. Notice, please, verse 7:

Exodus 3

7And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
8And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
9Now therefore, behold the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
10Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

In verses 7-9 we have an illustration of divine intervention in the affairs of men as the heart of God was moved by the suffering of His people. Listen carefully to what I am going to say: The truth is emphasized in verse 10 that divine intervention as a rule includes human instruments. Will you remember that? Divine intervention as a rule includes human instruments. Feed on that thought and you will find that throughout the Word of God, it is not the normal thing for God to bypass man.

Here we have been reading that God said, “I have seen my people in their affliction; I know their sorrows, and I am going to deliver them.” Then He said to a man, “And you are the one who is going to do it.” God says in one breath, “I am going to do it:” and in the very next breath He addresses a human being and says, “You are going to do it.” So let us remember that though the human instrument is involved in a great many things, we must not ignore the fact that it is God. God chooses to work through human instruments.

Moses' Reasoning With God

We come to a familiar portion of the book of Exodus now, the portion that is usually referred to as describing the excuses of Moses in relation to His service for God. There are four so-called excuses, but I am not so sure that we ought to call them excuses. Remember that Moses had a view of God that struck fear to his heart. In every instance in the Word of God where there is any record of a person's vision of God, there is also a reference to the fact that that person was very conscious of his own unworthiness.

The more we talk of our unworthiness, the more we indicate to people that we have not been in very close contact with God. The closer in contact with Him we are, the more unworthy we feel. I do not look upon these things which Moses said so much as excuses as Moses' reasoning with God, trying to see it the way God wanted him to see it.

The reason I say that is that only one time in the midst of all these excuses did God rebuke Moses–only one time. If they had been mere excuses, Moses' trying to squirm out of some job that he did not want, I believe there would have been a rebuke. God says in the book of Isaiah, chapter 1: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord,” and I believe that He reasons with us. He reasoned with Moses. Notice what he said in verse 11:

Exodus 3

11And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

What was God's answer, in verse 12?

Exodus 3

12And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

No rebuke, you see. Moses simply said, “Who am I, of all people, to lead this people out?” God said, “The only thing you need to know is that I am going to be with you.” That is what He said: “Certainly I will be with you.” You see, He did not say, “Moses, you are big enough for this job.” He did not say, “Moses, quit running yourself down.” He did not say, “Moses, quit belittling yourself.” He said, “Moses, I will be with you. It does not matter about you. It does not matter whether you are big; it does not matter whether you are little. The important thing is that I will be with you; that is the important thing.” That is a tremendous lesson for us to learn: Bigness means absolutely nothing; littleness means absolutely nothing. The important thing is that God has placed His hand on us.

Faithfulness Required of God's Servants

In I Corinthians, chapter 4, the Apostle Paul said:

I Corinthians 4

1Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Let us stop there for a moment. The Apostle Paul was constantly under fire; he was constantly being criticized. So he said, “Let's get one thing settled once and for all. It is not a matter of how great Paul is or how insignificant Paul is. The only thing that is important is that Paul is a servant of Christ.” That is the meaning of the word “minister”; elsewhere it is translated “servant”–a servant of Christ and a steward of the mysteries of God. A steward is one to whom property of value has been committed. “Now,” Paul said, “let's get straight what I am. I am a servant of Christ, and I have had committed to me the mysteries of God. Let's get something else straight,” he said in verse 2. “It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.” The only thing that is required of a steward is faithfulness; that's all–not fame, not fortune, not the acclaim of people, not the accomplishment of a task. The only thing that is required is faithfulness; that is all God expects. Notice what Paul said in verse 3:

I Corinthians 4

3But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment…

Let these thoughts sink in, and perhaps God can use them for your encouragement. Paul said, “I know what I am; I am a servant of Christ. I am a steward of the mysteries of God. I know that all that God expects of me is that I be faithful, and I am faithful. It is therefore a very small thing that I should be judged of you. I do not care what you think about me; I do not care how you evaluate what I am; I do not care whether you think I am great or small; I do not care whether you think I am important or unimportant. It is immaterial to me that I be judged of you or of any man's judgment.”

Service Evaluated By Christ

He added, in the last part of verse 3, and this is important:

I Corinthians 4

3…Yea, I judge not mine own self.
4For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the LORD.

Do you see what He is saying? “I don't even judge my own work,” he says. For example, Paul would never have been guilty of saying, “I preached a good sermon today.” He would never have been guilty of that; nor would he have been guilty of saying, “I didn't do so well today.” All he would have said was, “I was faithful; I preached; I gave out the Word.” That is all he would have claimed, because he said, “You are not capable of judging, and I am not capable of judging myself. The only Person who is capable of judging me is the Lord. I don't know good things about myself and I don't know bad things about myself.” So he said, in verse 5, “Let me give you a piece of advice”:

I Corinthians 4

5Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the LORD come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

Do you see what He is saying? “You should not evaluate anything; you are not capable of it. Just let it alone until the Judgment Seat of Christ. Let it alone until that day when all men's works will be judged by Him who sits on the throne.” I suspect, as Paul indicates here, that we will all be in for a surprise. Notice what he said: “…in that day He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.”

Someone might say, “Oh, my, it will be a terrible thing if He brings to light the hidden things of darkness!” But you will notice that He said, “…and then shall every man have praise of God.” The purpose of bringing to light the hidden things of darkness is to reveal some of the things about an individual that you and I never thought about that make that individual worthy of praise, that cause that individual's work to be worthy of recognition.

Moses' Surrender to God

In Exodus, chapter 3, that is what God said to Moses. He said, “Moses, the important thing is that I will be with you; that is all that is important; that is all that matters.” Then He said, “To prove it to you, when thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, you will serve God upon this mountain. You think bringing the people out of Egypt is too big for you? Well, I'll tell you what else you are going to do right here on this mountain, Mount Sinai. You are going to serve me.” You see, God never makes a mistake in His choices, though sometimes we may think He does.

The Unchanging God

Notice verse 13:

Exodus 3

13And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

Notice how quickly Moses surrendered unto God. First he said, “God, you mean you want me to go?” God answered, “I am going with you.” That's important, so Moses did not have any more argument. The next thing he said was, “All right, when I go down there and say that you have sent me, how are they going to believe it? Suppose they say, 'What is His name?' What am I to say to them?” You see, there is no longer any argument about whether he should go. It's just, “All right, Lord; I'll go, but what should I say?” Notice verse 14:

Exodus 3

14And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

This is one of the loveliest names of God in all the Book: I AM THAT I AM; every tense of the verb “to be” is in that statement in the original Hebrew. “I was, I am, and I shall be”–or more accurately, “I shall always be the unchanging God, I AM.”

Christ's Claim of Authority

Of all the names of God in the Old Testament, this is the one that the Lord Jesus Christ chose to prove that He came from God. The Jews, you remember, were questioning Him, wanting signs of His Messiahship; and He made one simple statement that maddened them and caused them to want to kill Him for sure for blasphemy. It is recorded in the Gospel of John, “Before Abraham, I AM.” Well, if you were just looking at the grammatical construction of that verse, you would think that the Lord Jesus needed to learn His grammar all over again; but you see, what He was saying was, “The name that God gave to Moses, I claim for myself: Before Abraham, I AM.”

In the Gospel of John, the Lord Jesus Christ finished this sentence a number of times over. When He was questioned, when He gave His authority for claiming He was the Son of God, He always began with the words “I AM”; then He finished, “I AM the light of the world”; “I AM the bread of life”; “I AM the resurrection and the life.” Time will not permit us to go into all the claims that the Lord Jesus Christ made under the name “I AM.” Suffice it to say that every need of every human heart is met in that name. God could not have chosen a better name to give to Moses to claim for authority when he went down into the land of Egypt than this name.

Exodus 3

15And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

You can see why He would say that, because it is the name of the eternal God. it is the name of the unchanging God. If “I AM THAT I AM” means “I am, I was, and I ever shall be,” certainly He is the unchanging God.

Exodus 3

16Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt:
17And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.
18And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, the LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.
19And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.

Let us pause there for a moment. God was saying to Moses, “Go, do thus-and-so,” and he told Moses before he ever started about both success and failure. He said, “When you go to the elders of Israel and tell them your story, they will do exactly what you say; but when you and the elders go to Pharaoh and tell him your story, he will not do one thing you say.” Here is a concrete illustration of the truth of the Scriptures, “He knoweth the way that I take” (Job 23:10).

Trusting God's Leading

Aren't you glad that the Lord has every step of your life planned, every single step of it? You don't always know what the next step will be, but you don't ever need to become panic-stricken if that step turns out to be a little rougher than you expected. He knows the way you take. He is leading you the right way. He knows about the successes you will have, and He knows about the failures you will have; and if you will learn to believe that, then you can look up with the same surrender the Lord Jesus had and say with real thanksgiving in your heart, “Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight” (Matthew 11:26). There is real peace when you can learn to walk that way to God without any disappointment.

God Deals With Pharaoh

Notice, please, verse 20. True, the king might refuse to let the people go, but God said:

Exodus 3

20And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.

“He won't at first, but he will when I am through with him.” You know, if we will just commit to God people who stand in the way of the cause of God, in the same way that God dealt with Pharaoh, God will deal with them. When He is through with them, the opposition will cease.

Exodus 3

21And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty:
22But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.

Notice the phrase, “Ye shall spoil the Egyptians.” It is a battle phrase. After you have fought your enemy, you partake of the spoils. That is what He is saying here: “You will spoil the Egyptians.”

Pharaoh's Change of Attitude

Let us anticipate ourselves for a moment and turn to chapter 12 of the book of Exodus, verse 31:

Exodus 12

31And [Pharaoh] called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.

Do you remember what we read in verse 3? God said, “When I get through, he will let you go.” Well, quite a few chapters have intervened between chapters 3 and 12, and here in verse 31 we read that God was through with Pharaoh. God dealt with him and all Pharaoh could say was, “Rise up, and get you forth.”

Exodus 12

32Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me [ before you go ].

There was a real difference in his attitude, was there not?

Exodus 12

33And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.
34And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.
35And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:
36And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.

We have trouble with the higher critics, so-called; they love to point out things in the Bible that are immoral. They tell us the Bible is an immoral book. They say it is one of the immoral things that God would tell the Israelites to borrow things from their neighbors with the full intent of never returning them–borrow from their neighbors all these things of silver and gold with the idea of skipping the country before they returned the things. They say, “It is an immoral God that would suggest a thing like that; it is an immoral Book that would propagate a thing like that.” If they would only take the time to do a little investigating, they would not make so foolish a charge as that.

Justice for the Israelites

May I say that the majority of the so-called contradictions, difficulties and problems in the Bible are due to either misinformed or uninformed authorities. For example, in chapter 3, at which we were looking, when God said that the people should borrow of their neighbors all these things, and then in chapter 12 where they did exactly that–they borrowed of their neighbors–the word “borrow” in the Hebrew is a word that means “ask for payment.” That is what it means. These Israelites had been working for hundreds of years without any pay whatsoever. The Egyptians did not give them anything; they withheld what was rightfully theirs. Then God's hand rested upon the Egyptians in a real way until they got scared, and they said to themselves, “If these people stay around here any longer, we will be dead men.” So Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron in and said, “Go ahead and leave, quickly!”

The Egyptians called on their Israelitish neighbors and said, “Can we help you pack? When are you leaving?” The Israelitish neighbors said, “Well, we don't know when we'll go.” Oh, they had asked for permission to go in the beginning, you know, and it was not given. Now they just said, “We just don't think we'll go.” The Egyptians said, “Oh, you must go.” The Israelites said, “Well, before we go, we want what is ours. We want what you have cheated us out of all these years.” The Egyptians said, “You can have it.” They begged the Israelites–literally begged them–to take the earrings and other jewelry and wealth. They just begged them. “Just take it and go; we are glad to give it to you.” You see that there is nothing immoral about that. That is God's way of obtaining justice. That is why God says, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay” (Romans 12:19).

You don't need to go around straightening things out; you don't need to go around making folk do what you think they ought to do. Turn it over to God; He will take care of it. If you take God into consideration, the people who don't want you to have what is rightfully yours will be coming to ask you to take it–to beg you to take it, as a matter of fact.

Miracles Authenticate Moses' Authority

Let us look at chapter 4 and notice the third so-called excuse or reason which Moses gave to God.

Exodus 4

1And 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.

Do you see what he was saying? He was not talking about not going. He had made up his mind to go. He said, “All right, I'll go, but what will I say?” So God told him what to say; then Moses answered, “But even if I say that, they will say, 'God couldn't have sent a fellow like you. We don't believe God sent you. We don't believe the Lord has even appeared unto you'.” God said, “All right, we will take care of that problem, too.” In verse 2 He said, “What is that in thine hand?” Moses said, “A rod.” God said, “Cast it on the ground.” Moses cast it on the ground and it became a serpent and he fled from it. The Lord said to Moses, “Put forth thine hand and take it by the tail,” and Moses put forth his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand. This was the first of three miracles which God performed at the hand of Moses to lend authority and authenticity to his ministry.

The second miracle is described in verse 6. When Moses put his hand in his bosom and took it out, it was leprous, as white as snow. He put his hand back into his bosom at the command of God, and when he took it out, the leprosy was gone.

The third miracle is described in verse 9. God said, “Thou shalt take of the water of the river and pour it upon the ground, and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.” Of these three miracles God said, “When you perform them, there will be no question but that the people will believe that I have sent you.”

Significance of the Miracle

Much has been written about the significance of these miracles. Some of it is interesting; some of it is tremendously farfetched. I am not in a position to say why these three miracles were selected by God as the ones Moses should perform to prove that God had sent Him. You might meditate on that yourself and ask God to give you some light on it. As for any reason that I can back up with Scripture in regard to this, I have none.

There are a number of things suggested. For example, it has been suggested, and it is thought-provoking, that the first miracle was performed in the manner in which it was in order that Moses might forever remember that he had greater power than the Devil. He threw a rod down on the ground and watched it become a symbol of the Devil, and Moses ran before it. God said, “Pick it up by the tail.” When Moses picked it up, it became a rod again. The rod is a symbol of authority. That is the sort of thing that is suggested as the meaning of these miracles. I will not take the time to go over these with you because they are not backed up by the Scriptures. They are suggestions, and they are thought-provoking. It is possible that some of them could be true. This much I know: Miracles–I want you to notice carefully–are always performed in the Word of God where an individual's authority must be bolstered or backed up.

When the seventy went forth, they performed miracles. Why? So that people would believe that God had sent them. I don't want you to misunderstand what I am about to say. I believe in a miracle-working God. I don't believe we could live a day without seeing God working in His miraculous power. I have seen many miracles in my own life; God in His mercy does work miracles today–listen carefully–but never to prove that any one man is sent of God. It is never to prove that God has His hand on an individual in a special way.

This Bible is God's finished revelation, and the Bible says concerning faith, “Faith cometh by what–miracles?” “Faith cometh by answered prayer?” “Faith cometh by great blessing?” No, all of these are important, but the Bible says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Why am I saying that? Simply to say this: If men are not willing to believe God's Word, they won't believe it just because you perform a miracle. If men are not willing to believe God's Word, they won't believe it just because you are able to do something that is startling in their eyes. So don't sit around and say, “Oh, I wish I could do some great miracle that people would believe.” They won't. It is the Word of God that they must believe, and it is the Word of God that engenders faith.

Moses' Reluctance to Speak

Notice in verse 10 the fourth reason or excuse that Moses gave:

Exodus 4

10And 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.

This is just another way of Moses' saying, “Lord, you have answered every one of my questions, but there is still something that remains exactly the same.” He said, “Heretofore, and since thou hast spoken unto thy servant, and even now, the same problem exists: Lord, I am slow of speech, and am slow of tongue. I just don't know how to talk. I am not eloquent. I don't know why you would want to send me. I can't talk. I can't make speeches.” This is the only one of the so-called reasons or excuses which drew a rebuke:

Exodus 4

11And 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?
12Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

That is an astonishing passage of Scripture. Here is Moses saying, “Lord, I am slow of speech,” and God says to Moses, “Moses, do you dare question the way I made you?” You see, He did not say, “You can talk; all you need to do is to open your mouth.” He did not say that. He did not say, “Now, don't be afraid. Just go ahead and speak.” No, He said, “Who hath made man's mouth?”

God Permits Handicaps

Here is something with which you may not agree at the moment, but think about it before you reject it entirely. Who maketh the dumb or the deaf or the blind? Who does that? What am I saying? Am I saying that God permits people to be born into the world deaf? Am I saying that God permits people to be born into the world blind? Am I saying that God permits people to be born into the world dumb?

Well, does God permit people to be born into the world seeing? Does God permit people to be born into the world speaking? Why, surely; we have no trouble believing that; but the very same verse that says God permits people to be born seeing says that God permits people to be born into the world deaf, dumb, and blind.

Someone might say, “Don't talk about God that way. Don't blame that on God.” Well, that is what God says in verse 11: “Have not I, the Lord, done that?” “Don't malign God,” someone might say. “Don't talk about Him that way. Don't blame God for things like that.” Just a moment, please. When you and I use that kind of language, we are interpreting things from the standpoint of the finite instead of the infinite. I will not disagree with you when you say, “I cannot think of anything more pathetic than a blind baby. I cannot think of anything more pathetic than a baby that can't hear. I cannot think of anything more pathetic than a baby that cannot talk.” I agree with you, but that is just because I have a human mind, just as you have. If you would look at the matter from the infinite instead of the finite, you would recognize that when God does anything, He never makes a mistake. There is no need to give a great many illustrations; even if there were no illustrations it would be true because God's Word says so.

I will mention one illustration. If you have never read the life story of Helen Keller, read it. Deaf, dumb, and blind, for all practical purposes–born that way–and yet one of the most unusual characters that has ever walked across the face of the earth. We look at it from a human standpoint and all we can see is tragedy.

I say this reverently: God takes the blame for Helen Keller. He does so in this verse of Scripture right here. When you have time, read Psalm 139 and accept what you read there as literal. Don't try to make it stand for something else and you will understand why God said in verse 11, “Who hath made man's mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord?”

Moses' Resistance to God's Direction

Then He said to Moses, “Therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” Moses said:

Exodus 4

13…O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.

Literally, what he was saying was, “Lord, send anyone but me. I am backing out. Send anyone, Lord, but don't send me.”

Exodus 4

14And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses…

This was the first time God got angry with him. All the other times He reasoned with him; all the other times He explained things to him, but now He is angry with him. But notice this: He gave him his way.

Exodus 4

14…and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.
15And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.
16And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.

Do you see what God was saying to Moses? Notice the language carefully. “Moses, don't you have a brother by the name of Aaron?” “Yes, Lord, I do.” “Well, there is nothing wrong with his mouth. You think there is something wrong with yours, but there is nothing wrong with his. So I'll tell you what I am going to do, Moses; I am going to let him be a mouth for you. You don't think you have a mouth? All right, I'll give you your brother; let him be your mouth.”

Aaron to Speak for Moses

Notice two things about this. First of all, it was unnecessary for this to happen. Did you notice what God said to Moses? He said, “You will put the words in Aaron's mouth and I will be with both of you.” You see, Moses was saying, “I don't know what to say.” God said, “All right, I will let your brother go with you, but you will still be the one who will tell him what to say. It will be just a matter of sharing it with him. That is all. He has already started from Egypt on his way to meet you.”

That was a fantastic thing. Moses had been gone from Egypt forty years and had had absolutely no contact with his brother. Our God was able to start a man down in Egypt on a journey at the same time He started a man from this end, and the two were able to meet at God's appointed time. That is how God works.

You say, “That was really generous of Moses. That was a really wise decision for him to make.” Was it? We will find out that Aaron created more problems for Moses than Moses would have ever had, had Moses gone by himself.

The thing that caused Moses to say to the people of Israel, “I'm through; I'm never going to lead you again; I'm never going to have another thing to say to you,” was Aaron's making a golden calf at the foot of the mountain while Moses was up on the mountain talking with God. If Aaron had not been given a position of authority, it never would have happened.

Need to Follow God's Direction

May I suggest to you a very practical lesson? If God is speaking to your heart about some specific task and you feel that you are too weak to do that task for any number of reasons, you might better go ahead and do it. If you don't, it may fall into even weaker hands than yours–and that could be a tragedy. If Moses had gone ahead with God's first request, I believe there would not have been a golden calf.

You may say, “Why did God permit it?” Well, remember that in the very beginning of this discussion we learned that God works through human instruments. He does not force His will on anyone. He just brings about those circumstances that enable people to see that God's way is the best way. You may as well admit at the first of the year that God's way is the best way, because you will be only too glad to admit it by the end of the year. That is the way God works.

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