When God called Moses to lead the children of
Israel out of and into the Promised Land, he answered, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” To which the Lord replied, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Moses was not convinced and replied, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it” (Exo. 4:10-13). In other words, Moses’ response to the call of God was, “Here am I; send Aaron!” Egypt
Have you ever felt like Moses did, that you are not good with words? That you are not capable of the task He is asking of you? Or that you are too young or too old? I have. I was twenty-one when I began to work with teenagers. Not only was I young, I was a new believer. As opportunities began to open up, I found myself teaching adults also. Sometimes an older person would challenge me, not about what I was teaching, but about my age. Feeling insecure, I asked the Lord if I should back off. He said no.
If only God would do it on His own, we think. Why does He use people and not angels?
It seems really risky to me to trust a teenager with conveying the Word of God to the world or someone who doesn’t have a seminary degree, or “official” training. I have found myself pleading with God to speak as He spoke in the old days and shake my society into God-consciousness. Then I have clearly heard His voice from Scripture saying, “I have put my words in your mouth” (Jer. 1:9). I have had to learn all over again that God has a way of making His views and feelings known, and that is not by leaning out of heaven and hollering at us. His plan is to put His words in our mouths! His method is to tell us, so we can tell others.
There is an imaginative story that says that after Jesus went back to heaven, the angels gathered around to ask Him how He had left things on earth. “Things are in good shape,” He replied. “I have left my work in the hands of twelve men.”
“Only twelve?” the angels asked, considerably surprised.
“Yes,” Jesus answered.
“What happens if they fail?” inquired the angels.
“I have no other plans,” said Jesus.
That’s scary. His work is in our hands, and His Word is in our mouths. And the good news is that He asks us to pass it on even when we don’t necessarily have the gift of gab. He asks us to speak on His behalf, and the power of His Spirit working with us and through us will take care of our inadequacies.
Think of the shepherds in
. God sent His angels and told them about Jesus. They ran to Bethlehem to see if the angels’ message was true. When they found everything “just as they had been told,” they went everywhere spreading “the word concerning what had been told them about this child” (Lk. 2:20, 17). Do you think that these men were eloquent preachers? Do you think they were too young or too old? What training had they had? They were simply obedient, and God spoke His words through them. And God expects the same of us. God will give us the words we need to take to the people He has called us to! Bethlehem