The Blessing of the Stumbling Tongue

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If it were anyone else but God, we’d suspect him of being self-absorbed.

As we begin Exodus 6, God speaks to Moses and makes a series of claims and promises that ought to have silenced the self-doubt of our not-so-intrepid leader of the fledgling nation of Israel.

If you read Exodus 6:1-8, God uses the “I” eighteen times (depending on the version you are reading).

I am the Lord” He says, and then goes on to tell Moses what He is going to do.

Now Moses has been in a funk because Pharaoh won’t listen to him, and the Israelites are angry with him because their work load has increased due to his “intervention” with the Pharaoh on their behalf.

But notice that Moses himself doesn’t listen too well—or should we say that he may be listening but he is not hearing. After all God claims and promises, what is Moses’ focus?

But Moses said to the Lord, ‘If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips'” (6:12). This little gem he repeats again after the Lord speaks to him again about getting on with his job (6:30) and reminds His reluctant leader, “I am the Lord.”

I’d like to be more critical of Moses, except that the finger I point at him refuses to go in that direction but turns and points right straight back at me!

How many times have I despaired and said to God, “I can’t do this!” (Sometimes better translated as “I don’t want to do this!”) How many times do I listen to God but not hear (deliberately or not) what He is saying.


This isn’t about you, Moses. This isn’t about you, Lynda. This isn’t about you, ____________. This is about God and what He has promised He will do. Either get OUT of the way and miss the blessing, or get IN the way so that God can do what He would like to do to bless you and to bless others through you. But never forget that it isn’t ABOUT you and it doesn’t depend ON you.

The “faltering lips” excuse was not a new one. Moses had used this on God at the foot of the burning bush (Exodus 4:10, 11). At that time, God had promised to help him speak and teach him what to say. That message continued with, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (Exodus 4:11, 12).

It never was about Moses’s natural abilities or his divinely assigned gifts. It was about God. We build on our natural abilities and we search eagerly for our spiritual gifts, often so that our lives have some kind of meaning and significance in a world that measures meaning and significance by personal achievement. And because we measure our significance by what we achieve in life we often miss the same point that Moses seems to be missing, that I often miss, that it isn’t about us at all. IT’S ABOUT WHAT GOD CAN DO.

The key is to do what God says regardless of the response of those to whom the message is delivered, and regardless of whatever human frailties or strengths the messenger had been given, because God....

Simple. Just be what God wants us to be and let Him DO.


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