The story of Exodus 3-4 is truly a descent from the sublime to the ridiculous. It begins with God Himself appearing to Moses in the burning bush and revealing His great plan for the deliverance of His people. Moses’ job is to be the pebble that starts the avalanche, to go to Pharaoh and bring the people out.
However, the pebble has other ideas. Moses throws up excuse after excuse, God patiently answers them all, until finally, in 4:13, Moses reveals his true motivation. He says, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”
The problem here isn’t inclination. Moses does want to see Israel delivered. In fact, that’s why he’s in exile in the first place! The problem is participation. Even though it’s a good work, Moses flat doesn’t want to get involved.
How many times to we suffer from send-someone-else-itis?
“Lord, this church needs more men to rise up and serve it as elders. Please send someone else.”
“Lord, we really could use more skilled song leaders in the rotation. Please send someone else.”
“Lord, the shut-ins aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Please send someone else.”
“Lord, I’m worried about our young people. Please send someone else.”
“Lord, I haven’t seen my brother at services recently. Please send someone else.”
“Lord, my neighbor is lost in sin. Please send someone else.”
Of course, because we don’t have God backing us into a rhetorical corner, we usually don’t put it so baldly. As Moses did, we try to conceal the truth with excuses. We know we should help, we really do want to help (really!), but, you see, there’s this thing. We don’t have time. We don’t have talent. We don’t have energy. We don’t know what to say. Besides, we’re afraid. All in all, we’re simply not the droids God is looking for.
As comprehensive as this analysis may seem (to us, at least), it overlooks one key fact. Moses wasn’t the most important element in his service to God. We ourselves aren’t the most important element in our service to God either. God is. Indeed, God always is.
Rarely does He work through the things that are. Rarely does He choose mighty warriors and wealthy magnates and silver-tongued orators to accomplish His work. Instead, He uses eunuchs and shepherd boys, fishermen, slaves, and tentmakers, because when such a motley crew ends up victorious, how can the glory go to anybody but God?
God can use us too. Indeed, the only obstacle that can prevent Him from working through us is our unwillingness. He will do more with us than we can imagine, if only we allow Him to.
2018 is upon us. What a waste it would be if we go through yet another year crying out, “Please send someone else!” Let’s be people who answer “Lord, send me!” instead.