As I read the portion for this week- Va'era-, I was drawn in by the transformation of Moses. His transformation was a direct result of the patience and long-suffering of Jehovah. Moses was lovingly nudged, even pushed, into the role we all know him for today. Yet, if the events played out without God's intentional involvement, it seems we would have, instead, the Books of Aaron.
But we do not.
Though Moses resisted, God in his infinite wisdom ushered Moses into his purpose. Let's take a look;
For context, let's begin farther back in Exodus 3 from the previous week's Torah portion- Shemot.
10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
12 So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”
14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’
Here we see Moses's response to God's calling; he questions his own credibility. God tells Moses that He will be with him, but Moses is not satisfied with this answer. Still God is not deterred.
4:1 Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’”
Moses provides a second excuse. In response God gives him three miraculous signs to perform. Unbelievably, after seeing the miraculous, Moses still resists God's call.
10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
God promptly reminds Moses that He is in fact God-
11 So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”
I know what you may be thinking- It makes no sense at this point that Moses could come up with another excuse, but somehow he does. He does not want this job.
13 But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”
The next reaction from Jehovah is, If I may say, long overdue.
14 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do. 16 So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God. 17 And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”
So God still sends Moses- with a crutch, yes- but he emphasizes " You shall take this rod ....you shall do the signs." God does not give up on Moses, because He has a plan in mind.
To be continued...