Monday, April 3, 2017

God's Calling....

God's Calling on Moses

In Exodus 3:1-7 we see God's formal calling of Moses to the ministry of delivering his people, read the passage here: Exodus 3:1-7

God's Calling was Irrevocable

While Moses had known earlier in his life that he was chosen to deliver God's people from Egypt, that had been years ago and Moses had failed.  He probably assumed he had disqualified himself, and that God would find someone else, after all, Acts 7:23 tells us that he was 40 years old when he killed the Egyptian and had to flee to Midian, and acts 7:30 tells us that 40 more years had passed while he lived in Midian.  Moses was 80 years and he had been living in the desert caring for sheep and living with his father-in-law for half of his life. After so many years, he probably had given up on ever delivering his people, and had resigned himself to life as a desert shepherd.  What he didn't know is that God doesn't give up on us. When God has a call and a plan for our lives the only one who can rescind that call is God himself, nothing we do can thwart God's will in the end.

God's Calling was Unexpected

Moses had probably had many days that started just like the one told about in Exodus 3.  He was doing his usual job, tending sheep in the desert. Taking them to the places where enough grew for them to forage, bringing them to water when they needed to drink, finding places shade for them in the heat of the day.  Perhaps that is why is why he headed towards Mount Horeb, maybe he thought that he would let them forage in the shade of the mountain.  Whatever his reason, you can safely assume he had brought them there many times before, with 40 years of experience as a shepherd Moses would have known the area and known the best places to bring his flock for whatever they needed.

So Moses what just doing his job, minding his own business, doing something he had done many times before, when suddenly, God showed up.

God's Calling was Unmistakable

When Moses first saw this bush burning, but not being consumed or burnt up by the fire, his curiosity got the better of him and went in for a closer look, not sure yet what it was all about.  However, once God spoke there was no mistaking Who it was.  Moses had no doubt it was God who was speaking to him.  He removed his sandals as God instructed and covered his face, not wanting to look upon the glory of the one who called him.

God's Calling was Purposed

God didn't call Moses just for Moses's benefit.  Although God did have a wonderful plan for Moses and wanted to bless him, even though God knew that one day Moses would be one of the best known men of all time, even though God cared deeply for Moses and the two were to share a very special and unique connection from this point on, those weren't the only reasons God called Moses.  God's calling on Moses was for the purpose of bringing freedom to an entire nation, and then eventually using that nation to bring the chance of freedom and salvation to the entire world.

God had heard the groaning and cries of the people of Israel, He hadn't forgotten them, and His plan hadn't changed, He was going to set His people free and He was going to use Moses to do it.

God's Calling was Perfectly Timed

Those 40 years of caring for sheep were not because God's plans of deliverance had slipped His mind.  God didn't suddenly say, "Oh yeah, I almost forgot to do that!  Good thing it popped into my mind."

No, the 40 years that Moses spent in the desert were being used to prepare Moses and the children of Israel for what God was about to do. 

Moses, who had grown up privileged and living in a palace, got used to a tough life as a poor shepherd in the wilderness.  He learned the meaning of hard manual labor.  He learned to be responsible for other living things, to put their well being ahead of his own.  He also spent large amounts of time in isolation, caring for sheep, away from other people.  No doubt this gave him much time for reflection and prayer. 

Meanwhile the children of Israel had 40 more years of tough bondage, 40 years to get so tired of it that they were turning to God and crying out earnestly for His deliverance.

Of course, something else happened in this time too.  The Pharaoh who wanted Moses dead had passed on, and enough time had passed that Moses could now return to Egypt and not be killed on sight.

God had waited for the perfect time, for His time.

God's Calling was Unsought 

Moses was not longer striving to be used to deliver God's people.  He had been humbled and was living a humble life.  He didn't seek the position of deliver, in fact when God called him, his response was to doubt himself and question God.  Of course God didn't let him off the hook so easily.  We'll see more about that next time, when we examine the conversation between Moses and God.



  1. This is a really interesting discussion of Moses' life in the desert. Forty years is a long time!

  2. Thanks for the perspective. Great reminder about God's purpose.