Skip to content

Prepared, Called, and Equipped

At the age of forty years Moses was ready to solve Israel’s problems his way. He saw an Egyptian taskmaster beating an Israelite and killed the Egyptian (Exodus 2:11ff)…and then had to flee for his life!

At the age of eighty a humbled Moses was a shepherd working for his father-in-law when a day came that would once again change the course of his life.

God caught Moses’ attention with a bush that was burning but did not burn up. God called from the bush, “Moses! … I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob… I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt… I have come down to deliver them… Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt” (3:4ff).

Forty years earlier Moses had thought it was time to do something. Now was the time that God had chosen. Forty years earlier Moses had appointed himself. Now God was calling Moses to lead. Now Moses didn’t want to go.

In an effort to make his case that he just wasn’t the right man for the job, Moses presented God with a series of objections; but God’s truth and promises dispelled every objection.

Objection 1:

“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh…” — God, I’m just a simple shepherd “nobody.” How could I possibly be the one to do this?

God’s Answer:

“I will certainly be with you.” — Without being asked, God gave Moses a sign that He would bring Moses and the people safely out of Egypt: “When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

Objection #2:

“When the Children of Israel ask me who is sending me, what do I tell them?”

God’s Answer:

“I AM WHO I AM. Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” — This was the definitive answer. The only God who exists, the one eternal God, sent Moses.

God’s Additional Promise:

“They will heed your voice.” — This simple yet powerful statement of God should have set aside any remaining hesitancy on Moses’ part. The great I AM promised categorically that the people of Israel would listen to Moses and follow him.

Though God promised that the people would listen to Moses and they would all leave Egypt safely, there would be days when things wouldn’t look so promising.

Lest Moses would become discouraged, God provided a step-by-step road map to assure Moses that all was going according to God’s plan: “…the king of Egypt will not let you go… so I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt… you shall not go empty-handed… you shall plunder the Egyptians.”

Objection #3:

Despite God’s promise that the people would listen to him, Moses objected: “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’”

God’s Answer:

He provided Moses with three miracles as a powerful and visible testimony to the authority he had from God—his rod turning into a serpent, his hand becoming covered with leprosy (and then cleansed), and the changing of Egypt’s waters into blood.

Objection #4:

“O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”

God’s Answer:

To Moses’ indirect criticism of his Maker, God replies, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?” But in view of Moses’ insecurity regarding his speaking ability, God adds the promise: “Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

Objection #5:

Running out of ideas and objections, Moses finally came out and said what was at the heart of each of his objections in the first place—he just didn’t want to be the person to do it! “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”

God’s Answer:

The Lord’s anger was kindled against Moses and his unwillingness to serve; but again God answered Moses’ concern and equipped him by providing Aaron as a spokesman for him.

God’s additional Promise:

God assured Moses that the Egyptians who had been seeking his life forty years earlier were all dead.

Finally, Moses submitted to God’s will, sought a peaceful release from the work of his father-in-law, and began the journey to Egypt with his family. Once he arrived in Egypt, all that God had promised came to pass.

The Lord Is Guiding!

God assured Moses that the Egyptians who had been seeking his life forty years earlier were all dead.

The hand of God that brought Moses through eighty years of preparation and equipped him for the task at hand is the same hand guiding and preparing you and me. The truth stands: When the Lord calls, He also equips and enables those whom He calls.

There may be times when God will call us to a certain task or role and like Moses we won’t be particularly interested in going that direction. In such times, let us examine ourselves, not being deceived by excuses; let’s be honest, get to that last excuse first, and then repent for unwillingness while we gain confidence from God’s assurances and promises.

Remember, God won’t call you or me to do or face anything for which He will not equip us.

This is encouragement for called-servants who like Moses may wonder whether they are up for the task.

This is encouragement for the flocks whom the called servants serve—yes, your spiritual leaders are but earthen vessels (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:7), but God called them. He will equip them.

This is encouragement in whatever vocation the Lord calls you. There will be down days, doubts will come, but if the Lord has called you to that vocation, He will equip you and bless your labors.

This is encouragement when God calls upon us to suffer for His sake, when in His wisdom and sufficient grace He determines to allow thorns in our flesh, struggles small or great, many or few.

The path of life which God calls us to walk may prompt every excuse and complaint from our flesh, but let’s remember—if God called us to this, He has prepared us and is equipping us to serve Him in every condition.

Like Moses, you too have a role to play in God’s work. He has and will continue to call you to those opportunities which He has in store for you. On the way to those callings be assured He will prepare you and will equip you as He continues to accomplish His Story for you and through you.