Exodus 4:10-28



We do not have to look far into our hearts to see the weaknesses, fears, and lack of faith that we struggle with day by day in the trials of life.  And when we look at the world we see the millions of sheep that have gone astray and whose lives are held prisoner to their sinful impulses, fears, and lack of faith in God.  But before we become discouraged and disabled by our own fears and failures, and before we think that we might not be able to become what God wants us to be and to accomplish the will of God; we should first of all remember the grace that is found in Christ Jesus. And we should remember that, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.


Here in Exodus chapter 4 we have the story of Moses returning to Egypt to lead the children of Israel from their bonds of slavery. This story teaches some of the very basic but very important truths about how God accomplishes His work in this sinful world.  The Bible says in Exodus chapter 4:10-12, “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore nor since thou has spoken unto they servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”


God had chosen Moses to be His messenger to the children of Israel and to the people of Egypt.  Just previously Moses had met God at the burning bush and God had given Moses a message, which included details about the very near future.  God had also given Moses some physical signs to use to help Moses’ own faith, and the faith of the hearers. Despite all of the things that God had done to prepare Moses, Moses still struggled with a lack of faith.  When we consider the words of Moses in Exodus 4:10; it is more than likely that Moses was too focused on himself and his own insecurities, and not on God: a mistake that all of us easily make.  But the reply that God gave Moses teaches us a very important principle concerning the work of God.  It is just as in the beginning of this world when the earth was without form and void.  And darkness was upon the face of the deep.  And then suddenly the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and breaking through the eternal silence of nothing God said, “let there be light.


The building of the kingdom of God is very similar to the creation of this world.  The spirit of God moves to touch the lives of individuals. And the Word of God brings light to a soul once void and without form.


Not all of God’s children are called to be preachers. But all of God’s children are messengers of His truth.  And Jesus has commanded us all in Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.” But whether or not you are a preacher; the basic principles are still the same, if you want to spread the Gospel and build up the faith of other men. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. This is why the Bible says in Hebrews 4:12, “For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  II Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Revelation 22:7, “Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” Psalms 12:6, “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” Psalms 119:11, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalms 119:105, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  And Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”  Jesus said in John 7:18, “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true and no unrighteousness is in him.”  We should be careful when talking about ourselves, especially in public; because those that seek their own glory will speak of themselves, but faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.


You don’t have to be outgoing and you don’t have to be eloquent of speech: Moses was neither of these things.  All that it takes is faith in Christ and reliance upon His Word.  And then you can be a heavenly farmer that sows the seeds of God’s Word in the hearts of Men.  Don’t let your fears, insecurities, or weaknesses keep you from doing the work of God.  Just remember that the Bible says in Psalms 27:1 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” And Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”


The Bible goes on to say in Exodus 4:13-14, “And he said, O my Lord, send I pray thee, by the hand of him whom Thou wilt send. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.”  Why was God angry with Moses? Well in the previous verses God had just said to Moses, “Who hath made man’s mouth”? Or in other words, God was saying, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Yet Moses still had a lack of faith. But there are two important lessons that we can learn from God’s response to Moses.


The first lesson concerns our relationship with God. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: For he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” God was displeased with Moses because of Moses’ lack of faith. Those who understand this basic principle of salvation will be standing in the doorway of blissful fellowship with God.


The people of the world live their lives under the guilt and fear of condemnation for sin.  The ignorance and religious nature of man drives many lost people to commit sadistic religious acts thinking these things will please God.  But the Bible says concerning Jesus in Colossians 1:20, “And having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” There is peace in the blood of Jesus Christ. There is forgiveness for sins, there is a wellspring of joy, and there is an eternally intimate fellowship with God. It is grace through faith in Jesus that saves us from our sins. And it is grace through faith that is the basis for our relationship with God in this life.  All you have to do to please God is believe His promises.


There will always be new challenges in life, trials, and new fears to face as you press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Jesus Christ. The Bible says in Psalms 91:1, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” We are sinners, and we will fail from time to time; but there is a place where the sorrows and disappointments of life, the fires of persecution, and the floods of this world cannot touch or consume thee.  That place is deep in your heart and mind where the Word of God is a burning and a shinning light revealing to you the smiling face of God your Father. When you think about and believe the promises of God then you shall dwell under the shadow of the Almighty. And you will find peace and joy and strength to do the work that God asks of you to do.  And the presence of God, revealed through faith in His promises, will be a covering that shall shield you from the elements of the world.


Moses lived during the time of the beginning of the age of the law. Yet even though God was angry with Moses because of His lack of faith, God did not strike him down in righteous anger and judgment. But rather He provided Moses’ brother, Aaron, to help him do the work of God.  And this is the other lesson that we learn from God’s reaction to Moses in this situation. God is a God of grace. God is very kind, patient, and abundant in His mercy and grace toward us. Jesus said in John 3:17, “For God sent not His Son into the World to condemn the world; but that the world though Him might be saved.” And Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”


The world does not understand God. And is there anyone who can even glimpse the brightness of His glory? God is holy. Thank God for His holiness. The Holiness of God is the source of the Christian’s joy. But Holiness means much more then judgment. Very often when tragedies occur in someone’s life, people tend to think it is God judging that person for sin. But God didn’t punish Moses for his lack of faith and hesitancy to obey the will of God. The side of God’s holiness that demands judgment for sin; will only be seen by those who die without Christ, when they are cast into the lake of fire to burn forever. In this life there will be tragedies and sorrows that occur.  But it’s not the judgment of God; it’s just the way this temporary life has been ever since the fall of man.  For the Christian there will be the chastisement of God.  We reap what we sow. But God is very merciful. And it is the intent of God to plant the seed of faith in the heart of men: not to punish us for our failures, but to use our failures as learning experiences; and reminders that we are dependent on His grace, and to teach us how to walk with Him.  Remember Jesus said in John 3:17, “For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”


The Bible goes on to say in Exodus 4:15-18, “And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.  And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. And thous shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs. And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace.”


Even at this point in Moses’ life there was much more for Moses to learn about trusting and following God. When we consider the fears and insecurities that Moses had about himself, it seems apparent that at this point that: he still did not completely understand that the power lays in the Word of God, and not in his own abilities. But God said in Exodus 4:15 that He would be with Moses mouth and teach him what he should do. And what God said here to Moses is a principle that applies to us, if we are to be effective messengers for God.  We need the Spirit of God to empower us and to guide us in the things that we say, and in the things that we do.  God is trying to teach us His eternal wisdom so that we can better follow Him and accomplish His will.  After all the Bible says in James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him.”


Moses was 80 years old when God called Him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.  And there was still much more for Him to learn.  You are never too old to learn and you are never too old to accomplish a great work for God.  In fact the odds are you will do greater things for God in you’re old age rather than in you’re youth, because it takes years to grow in faith and learn to follow God closely. Think about Moses, the apostle Paul, or the apostle John; who under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, wrote the book of Revelation when he was about 100 years.


The Bible goes on to say in Exodus 4:19-28, “And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life. And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt:  and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.  And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.  And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even they firstborn. And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.  And the LORD said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him.  And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.”


Once again Moses made a big mistake.  His mistake was that he did not keep the Abrahamic covenant. Concerning this Old Testament covenant the Bible says in Genesis, 17:9-14, “And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.  This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of they seed.  He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.  And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.”


Before the age of grace there was defiantly a harshness and condemnation that people would often experience because the law can only condemn. Exodus 4:24 says that the Lord sought to slay Moses because He had not circumcised his son.  When we read the Old Testament we see many stories of people who lost their lives because they broke some commandment of God, perhaps a moral commandment or even a symbolic one.  This would never happen today, because we live in the age of grace. But there is a very important principle concerning salvation that can be learned from Moses’ mistake. Concerning circumcision Paul said in Romans chapter 2:28-29, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”


Circumcision was a sign and a covenant of salvation that was given to the Jews.  It was symbolic of the fact that Jesus would die for the sins of the world, and that through the power of His blood; the sins of men could be cut away and replaced with the righteousness of God.  Of course the complete spiritual truths behind the symbolism had not been revealed in Moses’ time.  But the keeping of the covenant was very important. The failure of Moses to keep this covenant is probably equivalent to a Christian today neglecting his salvation. And concerning such, the Bible says in Hebrews chapter 2:1-3, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.”


When we look closely at the Biblical record of the life of Moses, we see an ordinary man like you and me: a sinner who made many mistakes. But Moses had faith in God.  It was the grace of God that gave Moses faith and the grace of God that enabled Moses to accomplish great things for God, and become known as a man of Faith.


There is nothing complex about true religion. The Christian life is very simple in its God-given design. A Christian is merely a sinner who follows God; not because of how good he is, but: because of how good God is in forgiving him of his sins. The path to God is straight and narrow. But few there be that find it. The secret to consistently walking close with the Lord day by day is simply to keep your sins confessed and to remember the covenant that God has made through His Son Jesus Christ. After all the Bible says in I John 4:19, “We love Him because He first loved us.”


The question is do you know the Savior? Have you found the forgiveness of sins that Jesus can bring? Circumcision is not a part of our religious practices today. But many consider baptism and church membership to be important in today’s age. But baptism and going to church does not make you a Christian.  There are no works you can do that will save you from your sins and give you eternal life. And there is none righteous, no not one.


Does the guilt of sin burden your conscience? Has your soul been defiled by the wickedness of the world?  The Bible says in Psalms 34:6, “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” If you have never turned from your sins and turned to Jesus then today, right now, is your opportunity to become a child of God and experience the joy and peace of God that will last for all eternity.





Copyright; 2002 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved