Thursday, April 6, 2017

What Can Change the Plan of God?

What Can Change the Plan of God?

Perhaps the title of this post might seem a little misleading, since I ask what can change God's plan, when I know nothing really can, well nothing except for God Himself that is, and since He is unchanging, His plan isn't likely to change any time soon.   Moses' life, especially the first part, before the plagues of Egypt, before the parting of the Red Sea, and before the Ten Commandments, is a perfect example of this.  Here are some things about Moses' early life that couldn't change the plan of God for him.

Ruthless men can't change God's plan

Looking back into Exodus 1-2, we see that Egypt was ruled by several ruthless and cruel Pharaohs, who turned against the descendants of Joseph and of Jacob (also called Israel), and forced them into slavery, in spite of the fact that Joseph had saved Egypt from ruin, and that the rest of Joseph's family, including his father Jacob (Israel), had all come to Egypt by invitation of an earlier Pharaoh, also despite the fact the descendants of Israel had never taken any action against Egypt in all their time living in the land. Still, there a arose a king over Egypt who did not know Joseph and Israel, and who acted in fear and put their descendants into slavery, not happy with that, he made the decision to start murdering all of the baby boys born to the Israeli mothers.  God protected Moses though, because He had a plan for Moses and nothing was going to change that.

Our past sin can't change God's plan.

Also in Exodus 2, we read about how Moses, knowing that God had chosen him to deliver the Israelites, acted on his own instead of waiting on God, and rose up and murdered a man in cold blood, and then had to run for his own life, a fugitive.  

This didn't change God's plan for Moses though, God just sent Moses to the desert for the next 40 years to do some manual labor and some soul searching, and in that time God was preparing Moses for the task ahead of him.

Our age can't change God's plan.

As I mentioned in my last post, by the time Moses was officially called by God from that burning bush, Moses was 80 years old.  His first 40 years had been spent protected and in luxury, the next 40 years had been spent as a fugitive, and as a lowly shepherd in the the desert, living a life of hard work and harsh conditions, kind of like a 40 year long boot camp to get Moses ready for the job God had for him.  At 80 years old, most people consider their life's work pretty much done, very few expect to be starting new ventures at that time, but Moses' age didn't matter to God, God called him to do the task, and God would sustain him through that task.

Our doubts can't change God's plan.

(This rest of this  post looks at Exodus 3:7-4:17, you can read the passage in its entirety by clicking HERE.)

Moses, the great pillar of faith, was actually pretty full of doubt when God called him.  In Exodus 3:11 Moses responds to God's call by asking, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 

God responds to Moses with reassurance that He will be with Him every step of the way, but Moses still doubts, and starts to argue with God, bringing up all kinds of questions and doubts. God is patient and answers each one, telling Moses what to say if questioned, and performing several miracles for Moses and promising Moses that these same signs will be repeated in Egypt to convince everyone that God actually sent him.
Moses still doubts, and in fact one of those miraculous signs scares Moses away, when God turns Moses' rod into a snake, rather than being amazed at the work and miraculous hand of God, Moses responds by fleeing from the snake, and only returns to take it up again at God's command.

God continues to show Moses more and more signs, and Moses, the great man of faith, is still arguing with God.  Finally bringing up my next point for this blog post.

Our weaknesses, handicaps, or shortcomings can't change God's plan.

Moses in  Exodus 4:10 points out to God that he, Moses is not eloquent, but is slow of speech and tongue.  Many scholars say that the way this is worded in the original languages seems to imply that when Moses says he is slow of tongue and of speech that he doesn't just mean he isn't a great public speaker, but rather that he suffered some speech impediment, perhaps like stuttering.  

At any rate whether it is just the shortcoming of not being a great orator, or whether Moses is talking about an actual handicap of speech, neither of things matter to God when it comes to His call on Moses' life.

God says to Moses in Exodus 4:11-12, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say."  What God is saying here is that it doesn't matter if Moses has a problem speaking, it wouldn't even matter if Moses was mute or deaf or blind, if God calls him to do something, God will equip him to get it done.

Not even our reluctance can change God's plan.

In Exodus 4:13, Moses stops pointing out problems and instead resorts to pleading with God to just choose someone else, saying,  “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”  But God wasn't looking for "whomever else", God had called Moses to this task.  

At this point, God became angry, but still showed Moses incredible mercy and compassion, in verses 14-17 God tells Moses that he is still going to fulfill God's purpose for him, but since he is so full of doubt and excuses, God is going to send a human helper for him, his brother Aaron can be his "translator" when Moses's slow tongue gets tied up.

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