7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
As I read through verses 7-10 again this morning, I was struck by the abrupt change from the repeated “I” in verses 7-9 (and also the reference to “me’ in verse 9), where God is speaking about Himself and His work, to the “you” in verse 10. It is so stark it seems to slap you across the face.
Earlier, Moses had been full of self- confidence. He could do this thing, and he was going to. But it didn’t work out (Acts 7:25).
Here he is, years later, with his self-sufficiency broken. Notice God does not answer Moses ‘question directly (11). He doesn’t say, ‘Well now Moses, you have benefitted from an outstanding education. You have a great wealth of experience to draw upon. You are gifted and talented.’ He just says, “I will be with you.” (12). That is always enough for anyone. Our sufficiency is of God (2 Corinthians 3:5).
‘In Egypt, forty years before, Moses had acted like the impetuous horse and rushed ahead of God, but now he is acting like the stubborn mule and resisting God (Ps.32:9).’ Warren W. Wiersbe: OT Commentary, p.150.
‘Formerly Moses thought himself able to deliver Israel, and set himself to the work too hastily. Now, when the fittest person on earth for it, he knows his own weakness. This was the effect of more knowledge of God and of himself. Formerly, self-confidence mingled with strong faith and great zeal, now sinful distrust of God crept in under the garb of humility; so defective are the strongest graces and the best duties of the most eminent saints. But all objections are answered in, Certainly I will be with thee. That is enough.’ Matthew Henry.
The “sign” is also fascinating. It would only come in the future (12). It is often as we look back on our lives that we see for sure that the steps of faith we took were the right ones, and God did confirm His call. ‘We are reluctant to step out in faith without some clear sign from God. And yet God may give us a sign only after we have stepped out; the sign will let us know that what we have set out to do is indeed of God and that He is with us. But in the beginning God may only say to us: “Trust me; trust that what I am sending you to do will be accomplished.” ‘ Tom Hale” ‘Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.211.
“We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor.5:7).