Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?” Exodus 4:1
Moses has questioned his own identity and God’s identity. Both excuses failed to relieve Moses of his awesome challenge to free Israel from slavery. God promised to be with Moses and identified Himself as Yahweh, the “I AM” God.
Now Moses presents a third excuse: “What if they do not believe me?” What if God’s powerful words are called in question? What if people are skeptical about my message?
Don’t we raise a similar excuse? We want to witness to our faith, but we fear that others will doubt our message. They may question the Bible or doubt God’s power in today’s world. How can we possibly accept the witnessing challenge?
God answers this excuse not with words but with actions. He asks Moses to throw his staff on the ground. Moses complies and the staff becomes a snake. Recoiling, Moses is asked to pick up the snake by the tail, and it becomes a staff again. Moses is then asked to put his hand inside his cloak. Withdrawing it, he sees that it is leprous, like snow. Repeating the procedure, Moses’ hand is restored. God also tells him about a third sign – taking water from the Nile and turning it to blood (See Exodus 4:1-9). These signs of God will confirm His powerful words as authentic.
God likewise shores up His powerful words for us with actions. God delivered His people from Egypt with signs and wonders, led them through the wilderness to the Promised Land, and at the right time sent His Son as the Word-Made-Flesh to live, die, and rise again for the world. He acts today in the fellowship of His people through Word and sacraments. He changes lives, heals family divisions, restores people to health, and works in wonderful ways among His people. God’s actions confirm His powerful words.
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for Your marvelous actions in Jesus Christ, which reinforce Your powerful words. Help me to speak Your words boldly. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)