Summary of passage: Moses, still doubting God and asking what happens if the people don’t believe him, is given three signs by God to use to show the people that God indeed appeared to him. These signs are: Moses’ staff turning into a snake when he throws it on the ground, his hand becoming leprous and then healing in his cloak, and Nile River water turning into blood.
Moses still says he is not eloquent enough to lead. God says He will help him speak and teach. Moses asks God finally to choose someone else as a rescuer of his people. God got angry with Moses for his lack of faith and doubting him. God tells Moses his brother Aaron will come and help him and God will help both to speak and lead but Moses will be the one in charge.
7a) The people would not believe or listen to him when he told them God appeared to him and that he isn’t eloquent enough to lead and that he doesn’t want to do it.
b) God gave Moses miraculous signs to show the people (staff turning to a snake–verse 3, his hand turning leprous and then miraculously healing–verses6-7, Nile River water turning to blood–verse 9). When Moses said he wasn’t eloquent enough, God said He would help Moses speak and teach–verse 12. When Moses said he doesn’t want to go, God told him his brother, Aaron, would help Moses and God would help both of them to speak and teach–verses 14-16.
c) Personal Question. My answer: He closes the door when I veer off the path. Sometimes when I insist on doing it anyways, the door slams harder! God lets me do it, but then it closes anyways and I learn it wasn’t for me.
Conclusions: I can almost hear the Lord’s frustration at Moses. It’s ok to question God but I think when He answers you should believe and not keep doubting as Moses does. We finally learn Moses doesn’t really want to go and God punishes him for it. How many times have we said “not me” to God and we end up paying the price? Nice short lesson.
End Notes: Moses doubts God and “buts” Him. Severe lack of faith.
God uses what you have (a staff in your hand).
The tail of the snake is the most dangerous place to pick a snake up. Here, Moses has faith in what God is saying.
The first two signs (staff and leprosy) has to do with transformation from good to bad and back to good. The third sign is the sign of judgment–the water turns to blood and stays that way. Either you turn to God and are transformed or you are judged.
Still, Moses protests. He doesn’t believe in himself anymore that he can do the job.
Finally, Moses just says he doesn’t want to go. “Send someone else,” Moses says. He is unwilling to answer God’s call. The other reasons were merely excuses. Truly, Moses doesn’t want to go.
God brings Aaron as a punishment rather than help. He will cause trouble for Moses the entire trip to the Promised Land. This is God’s judgement for Moses’ unwillingness to go.