ODJ: Can, Can’t

December 9, 2018 

READ: Exodus 3:19-4:5 

It was by faith that Moses . . . chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:24-25).

I can’t do this maths,” the bright little boy declared.

“Yes, I think you can,” his teacher gently countered.

“No, I can’t!” he said, biting hard on the last syllable.

The teacher thought for a moment. She wanted to use an example of something too difficult for him—something that could teach him how to approach a task step-by-step. So she asked, “Liam, do you think you can climb Mount Everest?”

The eight year old looked thoughtfully up to the ceiling, then said with confidence, “Yeah, probably.”

With just a little instruction, that eight year old boy is fully capable of doing fractions. But at this point in his life he can’t even climb Mount Fuji (12,388 feet), let alone Everest! (29,029 feet).

Scaling Mount Sinai is among Moses’ most amazing feats. Sinai’s elevation isn’t remarkable, but its history is unparalleled. That’s where Moses met face-to-face with God and received the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 19:1-20:26).

But consider the backstory. Before the exodus, Moses had coincidentally been watching sheep at Sinai. God showed up in a burning bush and told Moses to lead God’s people out of Egypt (3:1-6). Five times Moses protested against God’s direct command (3:11,13, 4:1,10,13). And five times God basically said, “You’re the one I’ve chosen!”

Now consider the backstory to that. Much earlier, Moses had tried to defend his people. But he did it his way—he murdered an Egyptian and was forced to flee (2:11-15). Eventually Moses—backed by Aaron but led by God—did challenge Pharaoh. And God used Moses to change the world.

Left to our own strength, we’ll make a mess of things. But when God calls us, He’ll provide what’s needed to complete the mission. Moses is proof of that.

—Tim Gustafson

365-day plan: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12

Read more of the story of Moses’ call in Exodus 2:11-3:18. 
What do you do when you encounter something difficult? How does it encourage you to know that God will supply what’s needed to do the task He’s laid before you?