Read - Exodus 4:13-17
Message - Alan Burke
Four times God had told Moses to go, (3:10,16,18 4:12) and after a series of excuses Moses here makes it clear he simply didn’t want to go. That’s what it came down to, God was saying go and Moses was saying no, he tells God, “Choose anyone but me”
This time the Lord does not graciously respond to Moses, instead we are told for the first time in the bible that God was angry, as the Lord’s anger burned against Moses.
The Lord’s anger was kindled against Moses, because God could not have made it any clearer that Moses was to go, that it wasn’t about who he was but whom he was in God. His objections might have sounded reasonable but God had addressed them all. God was going to use Moses but Moses didn’t want to.
There are times when ask the kinds of questions Moses had been asking: “Who am I, Lord?” “Are you really the God you say you are?” “Can I trust you to go with me and help me?” And God reminds us that it is not who we are but whose we are, he reminds us that he really is the God he says he is and he reminds us that we can trust him to go with us and help us.
And to Moses constant questioning and his refusal to go God is angry and says enough!
If we jump forward in the book of Exodus to chapter 34, there Moses is back at Mount Sinai after leading the people out of Egypt, going to receive the Law of God, the Lord God “passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love’ ” (Ex. 34:6).
The fact that God is “slow to anger” means that he is not easily angered, but it also means that he does get angry! He was angry with Moses at the burning bush he was filled with righteous indignation. God had a right to be angry! He had patiently answered all of Moses’ questions and had dealt with all his objections. But when Moses refused to obey him, and thus to glorify Him, it was right and good for God to be angry.
As we close I want to take you to the one who didn’t say no, he didn’t say send someone else, because although God was using Moses as part of his plan to redeem his people and bring salvation to the ends of the earth, it was through another that salvation was to come for the nations.
The Lord Jesus Christ who did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but took upon Himself the form of a servant, to be made in human flesh, and to become obedient to death, even the point of death on a cross (Phil 2:6). The Son did not say no.
Who in the mount of olives, withdrew himself, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Lk 22:42). It was a prayer for another way, nevertheless it was not my will but yours be done he prayed. This is the saviour who came for us, one who came willingly and did the will of him who sent him. This is how we can come before the Lord God this day, it is though the crucified, risen and ascended saviour that we can come, though Christ alone. For us it is only through Jesus Christ that God’s anger at our sin is dealt with, so that we can come before him, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love (Ex 34:6)
Q 91 How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?
The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not from any virtue in them, or in him that doth administer them; but only by the blessing of Christ, (1 Pet. 3:21, Matt. 3:11, 1 Cor. 3:6–7) and the working of his Spirit in them that by faith receive them. (1 Cor. 12:13)