“Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
– Exodus 3:10-12
God comes to Moses and asks him to go do something that is far beyond his ability and comfort level. For the last many years, Moses had been working for his father-in-law as a shepherd. The bulk of his day was spent with sheep. He was not a great public communicator by any means, much less one who could communicate well to the Pharaoh of Egypt. And besides all that, the last time he was in Egypt he was on the run because he killed a man (maybe God forgot about that??).
I imagine Moses thinking, “Surely God got the wrong guy here. Surely God was expecting someone else to be walking by this burning bush in which God would speak from. I mean, doesn’t he know who I am, or even yet, who I am not?”
And so Moses humbly objects to God, acknowledging his shortcomings and that this task was above him: “Who am I…” Moses says. Moses is saying, “I am not at all capable of doing this. I am not worthy of such a calling. I don’t have the necessary skills for this.”
And what’s great in God’s response is that He doesn’t object to Moses! He doesn’t turn back to Moses to try and convince Moses otherwise. Most often when we ask someone to do something and they say no because they do not see themselves as able or worthy, we tend to counter with something like, “Oh you’ll do a great job. Don’t put yourself down. You can absolutely do this.”
Not God. He doesn’t say anything like this at all. He doesn’t object to Moses’ observation that he is not qualified for the job set before him. In all honesty, Moses is not qualified.
But that’s not what matters most to God. What matters most when doing something for God is not if you are qualified, or have the skill set necessary to go out and get it done yourself. What matters most is what God says in response to Moses’ objection.
“Who am I… I can’t do this… I am unqualified,” Moses says. God’s response: “But I will be with you…”
It’s not about who Moses is and what he brings to the table, it’s about who God is and what He brings to the table.
The only thing that matters when we step out to follow God and do what He asks is that He is with us. God will ask us to go places we can’t see and navigate on our own. God will ask us to do things we can’t do on our own. God will ask us to speak in places that are beyond our public speaking comfort level. God will ask us to address men and women who are higher – much higher – on the social, political and economic ladder than us. And when He does, all we need to be equipped and prepared for such a calling as this is God’s response –
BUT I WILL BE WITH YOU.