Lost in Translation
So the LORD said to Moses, “Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the people of Israel go out of his land.” But Moses said to the LORD, “Behold, the people of Israel have not listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?”
We’ve heard Moses make this sort of rebuttal many time before, but this occasion has a different ring to it. This time I think Moses is serious in the way he uses God’s prescribed symbol of circumcision as a soft accusation, as if to say, “Lord, You circumcised my body to set me apart for the work, but You failed to circumcise my stammering tongue, which I need more.” See, I think Moses is coming to terms with the existential crisis that every parent and teacher and pastor has faced in some form or another, of the way God’s unstoppable message can fall flat on the tongue of the messenger. I don’t think for a second that Moses doubts God’s word here. I think he just recognizes that no matter how faithful and powerful and true that word is, the fact of the matter is that the people haven’t accepted it from hismouth.
Haven’t you struggled with that same realization on numerous occasions in your own life of faith, friend? Haven’t you prayed out loud from time-to-time things like, “What’s the point of bringing Jesus up to my dad again when I know he’ll just slam the door and tell me to shut up?” “What’s the point of standing outside that abortion clinic and trying to prevent women from a lifelong regret when they’ll just spit and cuss and throw me off the property?” “What’s the point of talking with my teenage son about the dangers of sexual promiscuity when he’ll just roll his eyes and change the subject?” “What’s the point of telling my suffering neighbor that I’m praying for her surgery, when she’ll just retort back, ‘God? Where He been these last ten years?’”
Friend, keep sowing those seeds of righteousness even if they don’t seem to bear any fruit. And remember: all harvests begin underground before they ever bud up before our eyes.