In three crises God called men to service: Moses, a shepherd, to deliver Israel from Egypt; Gideon, a farmer, to deliver Israel from Midian; and Saul, a tall farmer, to deliver Israel from Philistia. While God called them, none excitedly responded. Instead, they uniformly unleashed torrents of self-debasing excuses why they shouldn’t comply. Marked by what we call an inferiority complex, each in essence clamored, “I can’t; it’s too hard; it isn’t possible; get someone else.”
Sociologists might explain that Moses reacted from natural insecurity begotten by his slavery background. (Don’t blacks still excuse their dependence on welfare by the ghosts of slavery?) At least two problems contest that view. One, ex-slaves like George Carver, Booker Washington and Frederick Douglass disprove it. Two, after age three Moses lived in privilege as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, not in slavery as Jochabed’s son. That same sociologist would also excuse Gideon and Saul’s reaction as the little man’s fear facing the impossible challenge. Except that peasant Joseph, the Savior’s step-father, readily accepted a far greater call than Gideon or Saul ever faced.
Naturally, if the trio had found time, they would have created other excuses as their rationale. Like us, they expertly side-stepped responsibility instead of rising to leadership. God’s call to servants, and their reluctance to obey, resonates throughout scripture. From texts in Exodus 3, Judges 6 and I Samuel 9 we find two ways God develops our self-confidence. End Part 1
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