It was another ordinary day and in Exodus 3:1 we read that Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, leading the flock to the far side of the wilderness and he came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. God called out to Moses from within the bush and gave him a new assignment. Verse 10 reads:
“So now, go, I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
It was a sudden appearance from God with no heads up to Moses. He did not get a chance to think about his plan A and plan B, no time for a SWOT analysis on what will be his reputation, revenue stream, and the opportunity cost of giving up his current profession of tending flock to leading a mass exodus, nor a chance to take the best advice from close friends and family.
God just decided to show up at Moses’ workplace and gave him a mega project. In today’s corporate environment there are thousands of professionals who plan their careers so that they can be chosen to lead such mega assignments. It’s a matter of pride that will usually accompany fat pay packages and further promotions.
But Moses wasn’t prepared to receive this command or act upon it, nor was there any precedence that would have given him the courage to jump into the opportunity.
Moses has arguably valid questions . . .
Doubtful question one: “But who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Verse 11)
Doubtful question two: “Suppose I go and they ask me what is his name, what shall I tell them?” (Verse 13)
Doubtful question three: “WHAT IF they do not believe me or listen to me?” (Chapter 4 verse 1)
God has been patiently showing proofs to Moses on why He thinks this is not a bad plan after all. While Moses tries conveying why he is not fit for the job “Pardon your servant Lord, I have never been eloquent neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue” (4:10) and finally that someone else could do this better “Pardon your servant Lord. Please send someone else." (4:13)
Moses kept reasoning out to God as to why he was not the right person for the job. Though God had chosen him, Moses did not think he was good enough or skilled enough for the assignment.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable of the talents where the master who distributed different talents to his servants.
To one servant, the master gave five talents, to another two talents and to the third servant he gave one talent, before he went away on a long journey. When the master returned, interestingly, the servants with the five and two talents invested them in the market and doubled its worth. But the servant who was given one talent buried it and gave it back to the master just as he received it.
While this story normally focuses on the servant who did not act upon the talent given to him, what struck me this time was the servant who was given two talents. He was faithful in investing whatever was given to him, without complaining or comparing. He went about doing his business and multiplied what was entrusted to him. He trusted the master’s confidence in him. He did not doubt his self-worth nor did he feel jealous or intimidated by another who had more than him.
God chose Moses to lead the Israelites, knowing full well that Moses had a stammering tongue. Moses just had to rely on God’s calling, believing that it is the Lord who will help him speak and teach him what to say (4:12). He may not have been the best in the world’s eyes but God met him in the most unlikely of places and clearly chose him to do His work. That is all that ever matters.
Personally, I can relate to Moses a lot. There are many times in my life that I question if I am good enough. I battle with thoughts that constantly challenge my self-confidence, making it easy to feel intimidated by somebody else in the room who is more talented. I am comfortable disappearing into the shadows. There are times I know I should do something, but I assume someone else who is better than me is the right person, and hence I wriggle out of the task. When it comes to serving the Lord, while there is interest and intent, I feel I am not qualified enough, holy enough or talented enough to serve.
Despite all odds and despite his doubts, we read later that Moses led the people as an act of obedience to God. Through Moses, God performed many miracles in front of Pharaoh and his ministers, only because Moses finally decided to obey God’s calling. Being available and trusting the provider is the only thing we are called to do with the talents entrusted to us.
And while there may always be someone else who will be far more talented, capable and blessed than us, if here in this moment, God has picked us to do His job, let’s simply say yes without counting the talents because He who has called is faithful and He will equip and qualify us.