The Calling of God – Exodus 3:1-10

God First Calls You, And THEN He Equips You For Your Calling

1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

Anointed Announcement

Many times when God calls someone in the Bible, He either makes a personal appearance, or sends an angel to announce the calling.  One notable exception is Esther.  Yet, even in her calling to be the Queen so that she could save her people from the evil schemes of Haman, God’s call upon her life was very evident. Other examples of people who were called by God include (but are not limited to) Gideon, Elizabeth, and Mary.

Sign of Selection

In the case of Moses, God used a sign to draw Moses closer so that he could learn the fuller message.  A burning bush that was not consumed by fire drew Moses closer to God.  Moses had been chosen long ago, as evidenced through his birth and upbringing among the Egyptians.  God will make His calling evident by three things:

  1. God will first call you
  2. God will then equip you
  3. God will then use you

Calling Confirmation

Most people are under the assumption that God will give them the capability to do what He wants for them to do, and THEN He will call them to do it.  However, God does the opposite.  He first calls us, THEN he equips us.

In the case of Moses, God had to get forty years of Egypt out of him so that Moses would be ready for the calling God had prepared for His life.  We must remember that everything is dependent upon God’s timing, and not ours.  Patience is the key to ensuring that we are not jumping ahead of God, but rather walking alongside God in His time and in His way.

Gideon was a prime example of this.  God found Gideon threshing grain in a wine-press to keep it from being seized by the Midianites.  God hails Gideon with, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”  How ironic!  God calls Gideon a mighty warrior, yet he is found cowering in a wine-press threshing his grain!  Gideon, greatly desiring to see the deliverance of his people, cautiously and humbly asked God to verify his calling with three signs.  He was willing to submit to the will of God, and wanted to make absolutely sure that it was God who was calling him.

The angel Gabriel appeared to both Elizabeth and Mary to announce the unlikely births of two of the most important people in the Bible – John the Baptist, and his cousin, The Lord Jesus Christ.  In both cases, biology would normally dictate that their pregnancies are unlikely.  Yet they believed God, and He honored them first through their calling, and then equipping them for the calling.  It is wise when approached with a calling from God to accept it.  Elizabeth’s husband, possibly discouraged by circumstances, did not accept Gabriel’s announcement and asked for sign.  Gabriel, in response to his uncharacteristic reproof of the announcement, struck Zechariah speechless until his child was born.

Powerful Provision

After God calls us, and we accept the call in faith, God THEN prepares us for the calling that He has chosen for us.  In the case of Moses, a murderer hiding from the Egyptian authorities, God then prepares him to shepherd His people.  Moses had a speech impediment.  But God told him that He would speak through Him.  Moses did not fully trust that God could use him in that way because of his circumstances, so God appointed his brother Aaron to be his spokesperson.  Imaging how much more effective Moses would have been he trusted the Lord God Almighty to speak through him!

Gideon was first given a simple act of obedience – tear down his father’s altar to Baal and the Asherah pole beside it.  In that simple act of faith, God was preparing him for the next big challenge – defeating the enemies of Israel.  God then equipped Gideon with three hundred men who would be used in the attack against their enemies.  To help Gideon have courage, God then gave Gideon the opportunity to go down and listen at the tents of his enemies, where he learned that they already knew his name, and were in great fear, for the dread of the Lord had come upon them.

In the case of Elizabeth and Mary, the barren woman well outside of the age of childbirth and the virgin both became pregnant.  As simple as this was, it was the supernatural provision of the Lord God Almighty to make possible the impossible.

Mighty Manifestation

Once Moses was equipped with Aaron as his spokesperson, a staff that could turn into a snake, and other signs, He was ready for his confrontation with the Pharaoh of Egypt.  God used Moses in a mighty way.  He delivered the Israelites from Egypt through the Red Sea, and led them for forty years in the desert.  Moses had the opportunity to get so close with God for so long, his face glowed.  And Moses, along with Elijah, appeared with Jesus Christ on the mount of transfiguration.

Gideon successfully led the attack on his enemies, giving his three hundred warriors torches that were simultaneously made visible using pottery, invoking God’s name and his own.  And God Himself routed the enemies of the Israelites.  God used Gideon mightily after preparing him.

With the birth of John the Baptist and The Lord Jesus Christ, the teaching, nurturing, education, and encouragement of these women helped these two men to achieve their God-given roles.  Of John the Baptist, it is said of those born by women, no greater man was born than him.  And Jesus Christ fulfilled His preordained life, fulfilling all scripture about Him and providing the way that men might be reconciled to the Father through His shed blood and resurrection.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  What has God called me to do?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You call each and every one of us according to Your plan and purpose.  Help me to accept Your calling, even if it seems impossible, for You will equip me to do all that You have called me to do.  Help me to yield myself to You so that You can properly prepare me for what is to come.  And I ask, Father, that You do as You please with me, that everything You desire to be done is accomplished in order that Your name would be glorified, magnified, and exalted for all eternity.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more? Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?


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