“Moses said, ‘Please, Lord, send someone else.’ Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses, and he said, ‘Isn’t Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, he is on his way now to meet you. He will rejoice when he sees you.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)
I played basketball for a few years growing up. Well, I played basketball for a team for a few years. I played a lot of driveway basketball until high school. Then we moved to a house that didn’t have a goal in the driveway and I was too busy with other activities anyway (also, I was terrible). But in my few years of playing, one of the stories my dad told me to encourage me was of Larry Bird’s practice regimen. Bird was, of course, one of the greatest of all time. And while there was certainly an element of tremendous natural talent at play, he became such a superlatively great shooter because he would shoot the ball hundreds of times a day. There was a time, though, when he wasn’t so great. There was a time when Moses wasn’t so great either. This was it. Let’s talk about it.
The same thing here is true of the Golden State Warriors’ phenom, Steph Curry, who is indisputably this generation’s Larry Bird. In fact, he’s probably even a little better. I read an article recently about his practice routine that has led him to become the NBA’s all-time leading three-point shooter. Suffice to say: it is insanely rigorous. He intentionally wears out his arms and legs and then forces himself to make a certain amount of points in a certain amount of time using a certain combination of shots. If he fails, he runs the whole thing again and again until he gets it right. I have always been a Curry fan because of his work ethic, his generally outspoken Christian faith, and the fact that my Kansas Jayhawks beat his Davidson team on the way to our 2008 National Championship, meaning that no matter how good he gets, my team was always just a little bit better when it mattered. (I know that doesn’t make any sense, but it’s fan logic so leave me alone in my happy delusions.)
The same thing that was true of Larry Bird and Steph Curry, though, is also true of Moses. There was a time when they weren’t what they are known to be today. Now, for people with such raw, natural talent like Bird and Curry, that time may be awfully early on in their journey, but for Moses, he was closing in on 80 and he was still a mess. Just think back through the little journey we have been on together over the past couple of weeks. God revealed Himself to Moses in an undeniable way and called him to an incredible task. He made a powerful case for why Moses should jump on board that included the clear assurance of His abiding help throughout the process that He told him in advance was going to be successful. Moses’ response was to object, whine, complain, and now finally just beg for God to pick somebody else to send.
This was the same Moses who would go on to face down the most powerful man in the world. He would lead a nation through all manner of trials and tribulations (most of which were brought on by their own faithlessness). He would earn the title of the most humble man on earth. He would be given a special glimpse of God’s glory in a way no other living soul has ever received since save perhaps Peter, James, and John on the mount of transfiguration with Jesus. He was put on par with the Messiah Himself for hundreds of years by the people of Israel. He gave them the law that defined their entire existence for dozens of generations.
But here, he was a whiny, faithless coward.
He was so maddeningly pathetic in his efforts to get out of being the man God wanted to see Him become that God finally had to use His stern voice. I can imagine the burning bush suddenly growing extra bright as God’s anger burned against Moses. Even still, He was gentle and patient with him. Through what would have surely been gritted teeth if He had them, God told Moses that He would sent his brother Aaron to join him. The way Aaron is introduced in the story here suggests either that he was someone of sufficient renown that Moses had heard of him previously (whether or not he knew he was his brother before this time is another matter), or else Moses was adding in a bit of an editorial note for later readers to know which Aaron God was talking about.
Whichever is right, God was sending Moses help so that he wasn’t by himself. More importantly, Aaron was an eloquent speaker so Moses wouldn’t have to do any of the talking. God was systematically cutting the legs out from under all of his excuses. We should also take note of the fact that God tells Moses here that Aaron is already on his way to meet him. That means he had started on his journey to meet Moses before his encounter with God. Now, perhaps he was making the journey anyway and God was simply putting him in place to be able to use him to help Moses just in case he responded like he did. I find it more likely, though, that God knew Moses was going to react this way all along and was prepared for it from beginning. He knew Moses was going to react this way ahead of time and called him anyway. At long last, then, and as we will start to unpack next week, Lord willing, Moses finally, begrudgingly agrees to be the guy God wants him to be.
I think the reminder here for us is the same it has been throughout this section. When God calls you to something, your best bet is to go and do it. If He is calling you to it, He will more than equip you for it. He can answer all of your objections and excuses. He will put up with your faults and failings. He will tolerate your weaknesses and waverings. He just wants you to be willing and obedient. He can take care of everything else. You are not now where you will be. He’s not finished working on you. He knows you are going to be a tough case before He calls you. He calls you anyway because He knows what He is capable of.
We know Moses as one of the true greats of the Scriptures. He didn’t start that way. You won’t either. You literally can’t imagine what God plans to make you when He’s finished working on you, perfecting you in His image. That means that all your fears and worries about your ability to do what He’s telling you are meaningless. If you are following Him faithfully, you can’t fail. Moses started here, but ended up where we know him. The difference between the two was his willingness (even begrudgingly) to trust God and do what He said. That’s all it will take for you to get from where you are to where He wants you to be. I hope you will.