The story of Moses is epic. Maybe no one lived quite the life he did. He was sent down the river in a basket as a baby. He grew to a prominence that most of us will never see in his early life as an Egyptian prince, adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. He oversaw the exodus of Israel from Egypt, wandered in the desert for decades, and was used by God for many miracles. He oversaw the new priestly law and presided over the creation of the tabernacle used to worship God in the wilderness.
An epic life, by all accounts.
But it didn’t start out so epic. In fact, Moses gave God five objections to God’s selection as him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 3:10). These objections are all debunked by God and are useful in examining our hearts today when we feel these objections to telling the gospel to others.
1. Who am I?
Immediately after God charges Moses with his role of leadership, he objects, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Isn’t this our objection too? We see others more equipped, more persuasive, more winsome. Why can’t God choose them to evangelize to my friends? God counters this objection by reminding us it isn’t about us, but it’s about Him. “But I will be with you.” The next time you are tempted to ask “who am I,” remember that God asks you the same. God says to us, “who am I? I am the God of the universe, and I’ll be with you every step of the way.”
2. Who are You?
God’s answer isn’t lost on Moses because that’s the very next objection he offers God. “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you’, and they ask me ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Exo. 3:13) In effect, Moses asks God, “just who are you, anyway?”
God tells Moses He is. You didn’t read that last sentence wrong. God is. God just… is. He is the Self-Existent One, the Eternal One, the Great I Am.
Over centuries of human progress and travail, one thing remains: God is. His name will be established and His promises never fail. We do well to remember who God is when we go out in evangelism.
3. What if they don’t believe me?
Next, Moses turns to God to reason with Him about the types of people he is dealing with. From Moses’s view, God just didn’t understand. “But behold they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” (Exo. 4:1)
Don’t we do the same thing? We’ll tell ourselves that God doesn’t understand the darkness of my particular friend’s heart, when in reality He is the only one who ever will. We’ll tell ourselves that my colleague will never respond to the gospel because he is ‘too far gone.’
Friends, let’s remember that God saves people who are running as fast as they can away from Him. That’s the only type of people that exist. That’s the very type of people that we were.
4. I can’t speak
Moses points out his weaknesses to God saying, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” In addition to Moses’s first objection that he isn’t anything special, he adds the fact that he is actually not a very good public speaker.
What did God say? He said, “I made you that way.” He takes credit for creating the mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind. God can work with weak vessels of His mercy precisely because it is by His strength that we prevail and because it is by the gospel’s power that sinners are saved.
If I were a betting man, I’d say the primary reason any of us would give against evangelism would be the lack of knowledge. If you can relate to that, the Bible has good news for you. In Ephesians, when Paul is describing the armor each believer possesses as strength from the Lord, the tool used for spreading the message of good news is shoes. (Eph. 6:15) How do we get those shoes? They are described as the “shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.”
If you know the gospel, you have the shoes to go.
5. I am afraid
This next objection really hits home. “is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? …. he will be glad in his heart.” This last desperate plea stems from fear, doesn’t it? Anyone else but me, please God. Pick someone who already has the boldness.
God is so kind in His answer, isn’t He? He ultimately allows Moses to work hand in hand with Aaron. God gives us similar grace within the church. We can walk with older, more mature believers to learn and watch how they evangelize their friends, families, and strangers. You don’t have to do this alone. God is kind to give us each other to sharpen one another.
How will they hear?
After hearing the objections of Moses, we must consider the objections that the Bible presents to us ignoring the important task of evangelism.
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?” (Rom. 10:14)
Let’s bring this saving gospel to everyone who has ears!