We don’t often hear of the beginnings of a great leader. We don’t hear about their sin, their insecurities, and how they may have questioned their callings. If we did, it likely wouldn’t give us a lot of confidence in them.
We do, however, hear the beginning of Moses’s story.
God called Moses—a man orphaned and adopted; a man who took justice into his own hands, killed an Egyptian, and then hid the body; a man who acted like a hypocrite and then ran when he was called out; a man who stayed in hiding (Exodus 2:11–22). This sounds like the beginnings of a great leader, doesn’t it?
And yet, God called Moses. The Bible tells us God called out of a burning bush, “‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Then the LORD said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites” (Exodus 3:6–8). He continues, “Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10).
Moses came up with every excuse in the book. He asked what he was supposed to say and do. He told God the people wouldn’t believe him. He told God he wasn’t good at speaking. But when Moses questioned his calling, God gave him many promises and help, including, “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 3:12).
God told Moses he was sending him back to Egypt to free his people. God would be with him. Moses no longer got to hide. He was called to come out and to be concerned for the people as God is. This time, Moses would need to follow God’s ways of concern and justice.
God’s concern is greater than one man. God’s concern is for his people. His attentiveness to his people goes beyond one man’s sin.
Before God called Moses we read, “During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew” (Exodus 2:23–25).
Moses’s doubt and questioning would not stop God from fulfilling his promises to his people.