Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”–Exodus 4:10-11
I have a confession to make.
In my heart I have committed one of the most destructive sins one human being can commit towards another person.
During the worship services at our congregation and others, I have negatively judged some of the messages presented by our leaders.
In my thoughts, I’ve said to myself “Man, what kind of crap sermon is that!” or “Boy did that suck! I think I’m leaving this congregation!”
I’ve also unfairly judged others for not being charismatic or eloquent speakers.
I’m living in Japan right now and have listened to quite a few sermons delivered by non-native English speakers.
And I’ll admit it.
I have sometimes become quite irritated and judgmental at how they’ve butchered my native tongue.
Now why are these thoughts so wicked?
Because I’m judging man from the position of fleshly pride and merit.
Who I am to judge a person God has for His own good reasons placed in a position to preach His Word?
We are told that Moses was “slow of speech and tongue”.
Well, that didn’t seem to bother God at all.
In fact, Moses’s lack of eloquence seemed to be the very qualification God was looking for.
One commentary I came across mentioned the following:
“Moses was to speak the truth, unvarnished and without compromise. Being slow of speech, he could do this better than had he been eloquent for the eloquent speaker easily reacts to the opinion of an audience and tends to incorporate their ideas so he can become better appreciated.”
That’s an interesting point.
The point this commentator is making is that one’s perceived strength, in this case “eloquence” can become a weakness that leads to approval-seeking and compromise instead of a firm commitment to preach God’s Word.
In fact, just yesterday, I heard a great sermon that contained a message I really needed to hear.
And to be honest with you, the delivery wasn’t exactly an Oscar-winning performance.
The speaker was flat, mono-tone and basically just read aloud off the script he had prepared.
But it didn’t matter.
His content was just mindblowingly awesome!
It contained the Words the Lord wanted me to hear and because of it I feel like I’m a changed man for the better in some way.
The point is a message that you may feel is boring or not challenging could contain the very Words the person sitting next to you needs to hear.
One final takeaway here.
Do you ever feel a lack of confidence about whether or not you have what it takes to accomplish a task you feel the Lord is calling you to fulfill?
During those times, remember the words of the Lord to Moses: “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”