Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"Weakness and Strength"

    "And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since Thou hast spoken unto Thy 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.  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. 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" (Exodus 4:10-15).

    Moses forfeited the opportunity to fully experience God's enabling of the ability to speak.  The challenge seemed too great, his weakness too pronounced, and the possibilities of failure too ominous for the faith that would have seen the Lord act on His servant's behalf.  Aaron thus frequently served as the surrogate for God's communication to Israel, particularly when confronting Pharaoh, the king of Egypt (Exodus 7;1-2).

    God's callings transcend human abilities.  His standards are too high, His missions too challenging, and His purposes too eternally consequential for our capacities.  Moses was correct in the estimation of his slow speech and slow tongue.  He was wrong, however, in his failure to realize that every step of the journey to which God called him required abilities and capacities far beyond his own.  "I can't" may be true - if our Lord is not present, involved, and active on our behalf.  "Without Me, ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).  If, however, God does in fact dwell within us to motivate, lead, and enabling us, "I can't" dissolves in the light and energy of "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).  Of course, Moses was not privy to most of the dynamic realities of God and Truth revealed to us in the living Word, the Lord Jesus, and the written Word, the Bible.  But we are, even as the Apostle John wrote, "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).

    Fixating on our human abilities and talents leads to pride and/or despair.  Indeed, had God called Moses to go and fight Pharaoh, Moses might have jumped at the opportunity.  He had killed one of Pharaoh's servants long ago, and as a shepherd, he possessed much confidence in his capacity for physical aggression (Exodus 2:11-12; 17; 3:1).  But to speak?  Confidence evaporated at the thought, again, because the man of God did not realize or believe that the power of God would provide more than enough strength of the task.  "Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" wrote the Apostle Paul to the believers of his day (Ephesians 6:10).  The truth flows down through the ages to our day, wherein the Holy Spirit beckons us to launch forth in the realization of weakness - ours - and strength - His.  "My strength is made perfect in weakness" (II Corinthians 12:9).  Indeed, we glance at the fact of our "cannot," but we gaze upon our Lord's "can."   This is the Christian life, namely, the life of Christ revealed in us for the purpose of stilling proud fighting hands, but activating timid slow tongues.  I cannot!  I can!  Through Christ!

"For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you."
(II Corinthians 13:4)

Weekly Memory Verse
    The name of the Lord is a strong tower.  The righteous runneth into it and is safe.
(Proverbs 18:10)

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