Perfect sales job: God enlists Moses

A basic premise in closing a sale is to overcome objections. To do this, the sales person listens, reflects back concerns, and provides a workable solution. Problem solved. Sale made.

In this ultimate sales presentation, God first has to convince Moses he’s the man for the job. God then reminds Moses he’s not alone and can use what he has on hand to do the work he’s been given. Exodus 3 and 4 report this persuasive conversation, but the following verses highlight the call and response between God and Moses:

From an attention-getting bush of flame, God calls by name: “Moses, Moses!”

Immediately, Moses responds: “Here I am.”

God states the problem and offers a solution: “I have heard the cry of My people, and I know their suffering, They must be delivered from bondage. Come! I will send you to bring My people into a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Humbled by this request, Moses objects: “Who am I that I should go?”

God reassures him, saying, “I will be with you.”

Since Moses had grown up in a land of many gods, he respectfully asks: “If I tell the children of Israel their God has sent me, they’ll want to know Your name! So what do I say?”

Like a mirror reflecting, countering, and reversing Moses’ earlier objection of “Who am I?” God says: “I AM Who I Am.”

God also identifies with The One the Israelites know, saying: “Tell My people the LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has sent me to you.”

But Moses objects, saying: “They won’t believe me!”

God doesn’t argue but sees what Moses has in hand and says: “Throw your staff onto the ground.” So Moses does, and his shepherd’s staff becomes a snake! Then God says, “Catch it by the tail,” and Moses does, and the snake becomes a walking stick again. Then God says, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses does, and his sun-browned hand turns snow white. God tells Moses to put his hand back inside his outer garment. So Moses does, and his hand turns back to normal.

Then God says: “If My people don’t believe the first sign, they might believe the second. And if they do not believe either sign I have shown you, then you’re to pour water from the Nile onto dry ground, and it will become like blood.”

These signs apparently convinced Moses for his objections take another turn: “Oh, LORD, I’m not articulate or persuasive. I’m slow of speech and tongue.”

Moses is just being honest with God as he has been with each objection and concern. God knows this. God also knows that Moses lived with his parents for only a short time and had to leave before he was old enough to develop skill in speaking and understanding the Hebrew language.

As the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter, however, Moses learned language skills, politics, and customs, which most likely gave him a world-view larger than he could have had at home. And, for the past forty years, he’s been living with other dialects – of Midianites and a flock of sheep!

Thanks to God’s providential care, Moses already has what’s needed to lead God’s people, but his very real concerns and objections also show he will have to rely heavily on God to succeed.

So God speaks to Moses’ lack of language skills, saying: “I made your mouth! And I will teach you to speak and give you the very words to say. Now go!”

But Moses doesn’t want to go! So he says, “Oh, please! Send someone else.”

By now, God has overcome all of Moses’ objections – except the one he doesn’t mention. Murder! Forty years ago, Moses had tried to protect a Hebrew slave but wound up killing the Egyptian who had been abusing the man. Perhaps Moses thought then of using his upbringing to help his own people, but they asked if he planned to kill them too! So Moses ran away.

For the next four decades, he most likely tried to forget home and family by making a new life and family for himself, but God’s call would change everything he’d worked hard to gain. Once again, Moses could lose the home and family he knew.

God understood this but also understood something Moses probably didn’t think through: Putting one’s family or one’s comfort above the Almighty God is not a good idea!

This time Moses is not quick to obey. This time his response aims to end the conversation! So this time God gets annoyed. And, oh, what parent wouldn’t be annoyed over a child’s disobedience! But God isn’t just any parent. God is God and gives free will.

God will not force Moses to obey. And, so, as Moses drags his feet over the sad thought of losing yet another family, God now overcomes that objection too!

God says, “Behold! I have called Aaron, your brother to come to you. How glad he will be to see you again! He can speak very well, but you will put My words into his mouth. And I will be with you, and I will be with him, and I will let you both know what to say and do.”

Dear LORD God and Father of all, we praise You for knowing our hearts better than we know them ourselves! Help us to hear You and receive Your word with no objections as You lovingly guide us into the work You’ve prepared us to do.

©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved.



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