Wednesday Reflection – August 28, 2019

The Adequate God
Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” God said, “I will be with you.” Exodus 3:11-12

Isn’t it amazing what God has done and continues to do? On a personal note, when I reflect on my own life and consider all that God has done in, for and with me, it is truly amazing, sometimes even mind boggling. Honestly, it is hard to hold back the tears when I recall all that God has done; it is a deeply humbling experience. In the midst of our host of inadequacies and limitations, God demonstrates his adequacy and omnipotence.

As God summons Moses to head to Egypt to deliver God’s people from bondage, Moses lists a myriad of reasons why he is not suited for the job. “Who am I?” reflects Moses’ understanding of his limitations and the magnitude of the task God was calling him to. Yes, he was raised in the palace, but that was long ago. He killed an Egyptian and fled for his life. He has been living anonymously in a foreign land for many years. He has become a simple shepherd. How can a shepherd negotiate with Pharaoh?

Yet, Moses’ response indicates not just his feeling of inadequacy, but for him, God couldn’t have considered him. God got it terribly wrong this time. Moses’ history was still haunting him. He recalls his earlier attempt to help the Israelites, but that resulted in the death of an Egyptian. This ultimately led to Pharaoh seeking to kill him. So how could God be sending him to his enemy? It is clear that God recognizes the inadequacies of Moses, but was teaching him to not depend on himself. Moses is being taught to depend on God. Additionally, God is leading Moses to face his past and allow God to guide him.

Moses raises five objections why he should not accept God’s invitation to go to Egypt. His final plea will be simply, “O Lord, please send someone else” (4:13). God responds by declaring, “I will be with you”.  It doesn’t really matter who Moses is, because Yahweh will enable Moses to work by his power. Yahweh will be there with Moses, and will not let him fail. Additionally, God offers his divine name, “I AM WHO I AM” (3:14). Perhaps a better translation is “I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE.” I believe that this was meant not just for the people who would ask Moses who sent him. It was meant for Moses- the I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE God would be with him every step of the way. What more could Moses ask for?

The Bible is replete with persons who felt they were not able or adequate enough to fulfill God’s call on their lives. We could add many more names including Jermaine Gibson. The truth is we are never adequate by ourselves to do God’s work. Anytime we feel adequate, we have to check our level of arrogance and pomposity. It is God who makes us adequate, for he is our all in all. Paul pleaded with God to remove his thorn in the flesh, but God pointed out that it is to keep him humble. Yet, God assured him that, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Till next week, forget about self and rely completely on our Adequate God.  

Jermaine Gibson