The skepticism and hesitation to be obedient expressed by Moses in Exodus 4-6 is telling of the human condition.
1. We always doubt God. Here is Moses talking to a bush that burns but is not consumed, and he STILL argues with God about doing what he is told. He uses the excuse that we all make when it comes to telling others about God and Jesus Christ. “They won’t listen to me anyway.”
2. We must witness a “sign” to believe. A burning bush was not enough. Moses also threw down his shepherd’s rod and watched it turn into a serpent. He grabbed it by its tail and watched it return to a rod in his hand. Still not good enough, God had to turn Moses’ flesh into a leprosy covered hand, then cure him of the disease.
3. We refuse to be uncomfortable. Even after all the signs, Moses STILL remains hesitant. He begins to make excuses about how poor of a speaker He is. God, speaking from a burning bush, who just turned a rod into a serpent, and gave and healed Moses a leprous hand, continues to argue with a reluctant Moses. As if the Almighty who could do all these things could not help Moses with his speech.
Is this not what we do when we are called to do something we don’t necessarily want to do? We make excuse after excuse, and no “sign” is ever good enough for us. We continue to hesitate and beat around the bush. This avoidance of duty is not limited to Moses, it pops up several times throughout God’s Word.
4. We still don’t do what we were told. Even after ALL THIS, Moses violated the Abrahamic covenant by not circumcising his son, and botched the message that God gave him for Pharaoh. Moses was supposed to say “Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.”
Moses and Aaron instead said “Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.” The result was the anger of Pharaoh that led to the increase of labor for the Hebrews in captivity. They were no longer given straw, but had to find their own and still keep up their pace of brick making.
Moses had the inspired Word of God given to him, but changed the words anyway. The result was a near catastrophe. Have we learned this lesson yet? Many of our translations change the Words of God. The result is a lack of Spiritual motivation in the Western world unseen since just before Christ’s resurrection. The growth rate of global Christianity has slowed to a crawl. The salvation rate in our churches has become minimal. In fact, there is a decline in Christian religiosity in the United States over the last three decades that is unrivaled in our nation’s history.
The result of the Church’s constant skepticism toward God, the incessant need for signs as “proof”, refusing to be uncomfortable and risking alienation of our friends and family when standing up for our principles, making excuses for why we cannot stand for what is right and true, and continuing to avoid doing what we are told to do is the demise of Western Christianity.
Nietzsche famously said, “God is dead, and we have killed him.” Christians get up in arms about the first half of that statement, but conveniently ignore the rest. The sentiment is that we, the Church; the Western world, have killed the very idea of God. If we are upset that the Holy Spirit is leaving America, we must acknowledge that Christians are the ones running Him off.
God is not dead, but He has removed His blessing, and it is ALL OUR FAULT!