International Sunday School Lesson
For Week Ending June 14, 2009
For Week Ending June 14, 2009
Purpose: To be Confident that our saying “yes” to God's call will always be accompanied by God's empowering presence.
Scripture Text: Exodus 4:10-16, 27-31 (NRSV)
Exodus 4:10-16,27-31 (10) But Moses said to the Lord, ‘O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’ (11)Then the Lord said to him, ‘Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? (12)Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.’ (13)But he said, ‘O my Lord, please send someone else.’ (14)Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, ‘What of your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he can speak fluently; even now he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you his heart will be glad. (15)You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. (16) He indeed shall speak for you to the people; he shall serve as a mouth for you, and you shall serve as God for him.
(27) The Lord said to Aaron, ‘Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.’ So he went; and he met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. (28)Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him, and all the signs with which he had charged him. (29)Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the Israelites. (30)Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and performed the signs in the sight of the people. (31)The people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had given heed to the Israelites and that he had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshipped.
My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
This week's lesson offers some unique insights into the characteristics of God, and we have Moses’ reluctance to thank. The conversation that goes on between Moses and God gives us a slight insight into some of the characteristics of God. The first, to me, is how important relationships are to God. God is interested in the relationship between himself and the Israelites, Moses and the Israelites, and Moses and his brother Aaron.
God does not appear as the overbearing force that some of us were raised with, but rather a conversationalist that is willing to listen and reassure, rather than threaten and impose his will. We see a God that is willing to reason with Moses, hear his doubts and answer his questions. Every reason Moses gives for not responding to God's call, God gives him the assurance that he indeed is qualified and able to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
A lot is made of Moses answering God's call, but I think, little is made of how important Aaron's attitude is in this whole scenario. Because relationships are important to God, he restores Moses and his brother Aaron after 40 years of separation. They are reunited for the purpose of achieving God's desire to reclaim His people out of the hand of the Egyptians. Aaron would not get the glory or the notoriety and he would only hear God's command second hand, God was going to communicate with Moses and Moses would relay God's word to Aaron, Aaron then in turn would relay that message to the Israelites. I think the same can be said of those today that are the ones doing the work, while others get the spotlight. The New Testament tells us we are all given unique gifts, our purpose is to use those gifts in a way that glorifies and magnifies God's power and presence. While it is important to have those that have received a special call from God, it is also important for the Aaron's of the world to accept their position in God's work.
Egypt had served it purpose in helping to maintain the Israelites as a special called people; without Egypt and Joseph's efforts those descendants of Jacob may have been lost. Unfortunately there was now a Pharaoh that did not remember Joseph and his contributions to the Egyptian nation. The new Pharaoh was only interested in these industrious people he used as slaves.
The Israelites responded to the message of God delivered by Aaron, as received from God and Moses. They exercised great faith, and were extremely grateful that God had seen their plight and heard their cries and responded in the same manner we should respond, when we realize God loves us, and has gone to great lengths to show us that love. They bowed down and worshipped. How can we respond any other way? If relationships are important to God, shouldn't we assume they should be important to us?