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Playing Dumb

Playing Dumb

Exodus 4:10-12

But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”

Moses is just getting desperate at this point, and, frankly, it’s embarrassing to watch. What exactly is he expecting God to do here? Is he hoping God will give him a speech aptitude test so that he can purposefully fail it? Is he hoping God will pull out a notecard, ask him to read five simple lines, and then he can slur the lines on purpose, causing God to move on to someone else? That reminds me of a funny story my father-in-law, Chuck, told me the other day. Chuck is an Irish-Italian who grew up in Syracuse, New York, and before coming to Christ in his early twenties, he was a bouncer for a downtown club, a hockey player, and just a notoriously tough dude. But when his number got called for the draft, and when he was forced to sit in a room with a bunch of other guys to take an aptitude test, he decided to do his best to fail it, thinking that would get him out of the cue. The questions were first-grade level stuff, with one particular question showing a picture of an apple next to the caption “what would you use to cut this?” Instead of writing ‘knife’, Chuck wrote ‘scissors’! Genius, right? Well, he hoped the commanding officer would think him a complete dunce and disqualify him for battle, but the opposite happened. The commanding officer saw through the rouse, chewed him out in front of his peers, and effectively put him at the front of the cue from there.  

Friend, as Moses sat down to pen Exodus 4 as an older man, recalling just how sheepish he’d been in this failed rouse, I bet he rolled his eyes at himself, laughed out loud, and thanked God for not letting him get away with it.