Reading through the Bible together

Saturday, June 9, 2012

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After God had called Moses to deliver his people, Moses was returning to Egypt with Zipporah and their newborn son. But then this startling incident: “At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses and was about to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it. ‘Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,’ she said. So the Lord let him alone” (Ex. 4:24, 26).

 

What a change in tone. Wasn’t Moses God’s chosen vessel to lead the Israelites out of Egypt?  If Moses were dead, then how would God deliver His people?

 

There are two prayers that a believer might pray. The first is this: “Save me, Lord, in spite of me.”  This prayer is at the very heart of the gospel. No matter how bad or good we might be, we are all sinners, we all fall short, and we all have to be saved outside of ourselves. 

 

The other prayer that believers might pray is this: “Use me, Lord, in spite of me.” We will always depend on God to take our meager efforts and bless them. But sometimes when we pray this prayer we take the attitude that even though I haven’t put much effort into it, even though I haven’t obeyed, I want God to bless my efforts anyway.   This is like praying, “Help me to do well on my exam when I haven't spent any time studying.”

 

For us to be saved by God, we don't have to do anything but confess that we need a Savior. But to be used by God to bless others, including our own families, we have to be willing to work together with God.  We have to be willing to empty out the garbage and distractions in our lives—to be empty vessels.

 

God didn't need Moses to accomplish his plans. And He doesn't need us. While God invites everyone to execute His will, God depends on no one—not even the mighty Moses. We can only wonder how many Moses leaders have forfeited their calling along the way. 

 

Andy Nash

School of Journalism & Communication

Southern Adventist University