Sunday, February 22, 2015

Stubbornness Series - Part#2 FEAR

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo IMG_0037-Copy_zps7e0ec97f.jpg

Stubbornness Series - Part#2 FEAR

I come from a long line of stubborn descendants - stubbornness runs on both my French Canadian & German side.  I was thinking about my ancestors and then started to wonder about stubbornness in the Bible.  Maybe being stubborn can sometimes be a good thing?  Is it always negative?  Once a month on this blog we will study the people of the Old & New Testament in relation to stubbornness.  I'm not sure how long this series last be but it will certainly be a fun topic to study.

Today we will be looking at "stubbornness due to fear".  We will be studying Moses & Aaron in Exodus and about Moses' fear of speaking in public.

"Moses answered, 'What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, "The Lord did not appear to you?" '  
Then the Lord said to him, 'What is that in your hand?'
'A staff,' he replied
The Lord said, 'Throw it on the ground.'
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.  Then the Lord said to him, 'Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.'  So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.
'This', said the Lord, 'is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob - has appeared to you.'
Then the Lord said, 'Put your hand inside your cloak.'  So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was leprous, like snow.  
'Now put it back into your cloak,' he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
Then the Lord said, 'If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second.  But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground.  The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.'
Moses said to the Lord, 'O 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 man his mouth?  Who makes him deaf or dumb?  Who gives him sight or makes him blind?  Is it not I, the Lord?  Now go;  I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.'
But Moses said, 'O Lord please send someone else to do it.'
Then the Lord's anger burned against Moses and he said, 'What about your brother, Aaron the Levite?  I know he can speak well.  He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you.  You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth;  I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.  He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.  But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it.' "  Exodus 4:1-17

When you think about it - the way Moses kept going on and on is really quite comical.  

God performed 3 miracles through Moses in our featured scripture:
1.  God instructed Moses and turned the staff into a snake and then had Moses pick it up with his hands (firstly Moses ran away from the snake - which is what I would have also done, except I would also have been screaming all the way.  But then he came back & picked it up - this is an example of Moses actually facing his fear & then picking up the snake).
2.  God instructed Moses to put his hand in his pocket which gave him leprosy on that hand and then instructed him to put his hand into his pocket a second time and when removed it was healthy again.
3.  God instructed Moses to pour some water from the Nile river onto the ground and it turned into blood.
Three major miracles that Moses saw with his own eyes & performed with his own hands according to God's instruction and still he was afraid to speak in front of people!
What does Moses say after seeing and experiencing these amazing signs?: 'O 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.'  
Then, God encourages him and says "I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."  There should NOT have been a second of hesitation on Moses' part after seeing those signs.  He saw what God can do and he experienced that God's Word is always true but Moses' allowed his fear to ruin and control his judgment, his mind and his actions.  
This is the most unbelievable part - Moses continues to whine & complain by saying: 'O Lord please send someone else to do it.'
WOW!!!!  That is stubbornness due to fear or maybe it's fear turned into stubbornness.  This stubborn fear prevented Moses from doing what God wanted him to do and prevented him from being the best possible servant of God.  Instead of facing his fear with God's help he caved in.  Now, God is God and sent Moses' brother Aaron to do the public speaking for Moses but I wonder what would have happened in Moses' life if he had totally followed every instruction that our Lord gave to him?   

What stubborn fear in your life is causing you to do your own "safe" thing instead of living out God's will for your life? 
Don't be fearfully stubborn - with our Lord's help - face that fear & change to His will!


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