STANDING UNSHOD, traumatised before the manifest presence of God, Moses gasped to hear the Divine assignment.
Under Bedouin skies at nightfall, contemplating the majesty of distant stars that swept across every inglenook of space in the cloudless desert firmament, he had learnt the secrets of Creation: of Adam’s world and of his fall from grace, and of succeeding generations – secrets shown to him alone by the Spirit of God that led him to chronicle the Word of the Almighty.
He had grown old in the fastness of the wilderness; the zeal to break the shackles of serfdom that bound his people to Egyptian tyranny, leading him, a prince of the realm, to an impetuous act of murder, forcing him to flee from Pharaoh’s justice, had long abated: nothing remained of the pride of his accomplishments in the heyday of his youth in the Egyptian court.
And what was the Lord saying to him from a bush suffused with holy fire; to him, Moses a companion of sheep and crude unlettered shepherds these forty years, his powers of oratory chilled by the night winds of the desert, his self-confidence like the sand sifting down an hourglass. To stand before the mightiest of Kings, the Pharaoh of Egypt, to tell him that the Lord of Hosts commands him to let His people go? How effete, how derisively the Pharaoh would laugh at the rantings of a man of rags and patches, barely able to speak for himself.
But little did Moses understand the ways of the Almighty, that in his own weakness the Lord’s strength would be made perfect, that in complete dependency on Him His will would be accomplished. Brooking no excuses the Lord commissioned Moses, sending him back to Egypt with his brother Aaron as his mouthpiece, armed only with a staff of miraculous power and His assurance that He would stand by him.
Conscious of his inadequacy, yet trusting wholeheartedly in the great I Am, Moses set forth on his journey of faith and restoration of God’s chosen people.
(Exodus 3, 4:1-17; 2 Corinthians 12:9)
Dr Oliver Seet is a member of Wesley Methodist Church and a Board Director of the Metropolitan YMCA.