Exodus 4:14 begins with the statement, “And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses.” So then, what had Moses done to stir up the Lord’s anger? Three times throughout Exodus 4:1-13, we find Moses questioning the Lord. Even so, we learn that the Lord’s anger was kindled against Moses because of Moses’ spirit of questioning and doubting.
Moses Questioned God’s Word
In Exodus 3:16-17 the Lord God instructed Moses to go unto and gather together the elders of Israel and to deliver the Lord’s message of deliverance unto them. Then in the opening line of Exodus 3:18, the Lord God declared, “And they shall hearken to thy voice.” Yet in Exodus 4:1 Moses questioned the Lord God on this matter – “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.” In Exodus 3:18 the Lord God had given His Word of prophecy and promise that the elders of Israel would indeed hearken unto Moses’ message from the Lord. Yet in Exodus 4:1 Moses directly questioned the truth of that statement. He questioned and doubted the truth of God’s Word. The Lord God said, “They will hearken.” Moses responded, “They will not hearken.” Moses simply could not understand how the Lord God’s Word on this matter could work in the particular circumstance that he faced. The situation seemed too difficult for this to be possible. Thus Moses did not believe the truth of the Lord’s Word. Yet how often do we also doubt and disbelieve the truth of the Lord’s Word in the difficult circumstances of our lives?
Moses Questioned God’s Work
In Exodus 4:2-9 the Lord God was gracious unto Moses, granting him a series of miraculous signs whereby he could validate the Lord’s message to the elders of Israel. Yet in Exodus 4:10 Moses questioned the Lord God again – “And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” Herein Moses questioned the Lord God’s ability to work through his life. The Lord God had sent Moses as His spokesman, to deliver His message unto the elders of Israel. Yet Moses questioned the Lord God’s ability to use him for this purpose, claiming that he was not eloquent enough for the task, but was “slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” However, when Moses had asked earlier in Exodus 3:11, “Who am I, that I should go,” the Lord God had given answer in verse 12, “Certainly, I will go with thee.” Thus the Lord God had already promised to work by His own almighty power through Moses. Yea, the Lord God had already promised to empower Moses for the task. Yet in Exodus 4:10 Moses directly questioned and doubted the power of God’s work. Thus in Exodus 4:11 the Lord God confronted Moses’ spirit of doubt with a series of questions concerning His power as the Almighty Creator – “And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the LORD?” Even so, in Exodus 4:12 the Lord God reiterated His instruction to Moses and His promise to work in and through Moses, saying, “Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” Oh, how often do we also doubt and disbelieve the power of our Lord’s work in and through our lives?
Moses Questioned God’s Wisdom
Indeed, in Exodus 4:12 the Lord God had given His assurance unto Moses – “And I will be with thy mouth.” Yet even this assurance was not enough for Moses. Thus in verse 13 Moses stated, “And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.” With this statement, Moses was still resisting the Lord God’s call upon his life and was still refraining to commit himself unto that call. With this statement, Moses was indicating that the Lord God should find the best man for the task (that is – some man other than himself) and should send him. The Lord God had already chosen and called Moses for the task and had already commanded Moses more than once to go. Yet with his statement, Moses implied that the Lord God’s choice of him was not really the best and wisest choice. He implied that the Lord God had made a mistake in His choice. Indeed, herein Moses directly questioned and doubted the reality of God’s wisdom. Three times Moses questioned and doubted God. Even so, the opening portion of Exodus 4:14 declares, “And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses.” Moses’ persistent questioning and doubting stirred up the Lord God’s fiery anger against him. Yet how often do we also stir up our Lord’s anger against us through our spirit of doubt and disbelief of His Word, His work, and His wisdom?