Why did God chose Moses?

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By BibleAsk Team


The selection of Moses as the leader to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian bondage and to receive the Law at Mount Sinai is a pivotal narrative in the Bible. God’s choice of Moses is profound, not only because of the miraculous events that followed but also because of what it reveals about God’s character and His ways of choosing and preparing leaders.

Moses’ Early Life and Background

Moses’ early life is marked by significant events that hint at his future role as a leader and deliverer. Born to Hebrew parents during a time of severe oppression under Pharaoh, Moses’ survival itself was miraculous.

Exodus 2:1-10 (NKJV): “And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him. Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrews’ children.’ Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?’ And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Go.’ So the maiden went and called the child’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, ‘Because I drew him out of the water.'”

From these early verses, we see Moses’ miraculous preservation and subsequent adoption into Pharaoh’s household. This unique position afforded him a dual identity—Hebrew by birth and Egyptian by upbringing—which was crucial for his future mission.

Moses’ Character and Qualities

God’s choice of Moses is significantly tied to his character and the qualities that made him suitable for leadership. Although Moses had a strong sense of justice and compassion, he initially acted impulsively, as seen in the incident where he killed an Egyptian.

Exodus 2:11-12 (NKJV): “Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.”

This act, while reflecting his commitment to his people, led to Moses fleeing Egypt and spending many years in Midian. This period was crucial for Moses’ development, allowing him time to mature, reflect, and grow.

Exodus 3:1 (NKJV): “Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.”

Tending sheep in Midian humbled Moses and prepared him for the responsibility of leading a nation. It was in Midian that Moses encountered God in the burning bush, a turning point in his life.

God’s Call and Moses’ Reluctance

God’s call to Moses at the burning bush illustrates both God’s sovereign choice and Moses’ initial reluctance. God chose Moses not because of his confidence or eloquence, but despite his insecurities.

Exodus 3:2-10 (NKJV): “And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.’ So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.’ Moreover He said, ‘I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. And the Lord said: ‘I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.'”

Despite this clear call, Moses expressed doubt about his own abilities.

Exodus 3:11 (NKJV): “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?'”

God reassured Moses by promising His presence and power.

Exodus 3:12 (NKJV): “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.'”

Moses continued to express concerns about his speaking abilities, prompting God to appoint Aaron as his spokesman.

Exodus 4:10-16 (NKJV): “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.’ 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? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.’ But he said, ‘O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.’ 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. 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. 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.'”

God’s Sovereignty and Moses’ Preparedness

God’s choice of Moses was rooted in His sovereignty and foreknowledge. God prepared Moses through his unique upbringing, his time in the wilderness, and even through his weaknesses.

Acts 7:22-25 (NKJV): “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds. Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian. For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand.”

Stephen’s speech in Acts highlights Moses’ initial sense of calling, though premature, and his subsequent education in Egypt which equipped him with leadership skills.

The Role of Humility

One of the significant reasons God chose Moses was his humility. Despite his high status in Egypt, Moses was described as exceedingly humble.

Numbers 12:3 (NKJV): “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.”

Humility is a critical quality for leadership in God’s economy, as it ensures reliance on God’s strength rather than one’s own.

Moses’ Relationship with God

Moses’ relationship with God was unique and characterized by direct communication and deep intimacy.

Exodus 33:11 (NKJV): “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.”

This intimate relationship allowed Moses to lead with confidence and to intercede effectively for the people of Israel.

Exodus 32:11-14 (NKJV): “Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said: ‘Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, “He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth”? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, “I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.”‘ So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.”

Conclusion

God chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and to receive His holy Law due to a combination of factors. Moses’ unique background and upbringing, his character traits such as humility and a sense of justice, and his intimate relationship with God made him an ideal leader. Despite his initial reluctance and sense of inadequacy, God equipped and empowered Moses to fulfill his calling.

Moses’ life story, as detailed in the Bible, provides profound lessons on divine selection, preparation, and leadership. It illustrates that God’s choices are not based on human qualifications alone but on His sovereign plans and purposes. Moses’ journey from a reluctant shepherd to the leader of Israel underscores the transformative power of God’s call and the importance of obedience and humility in fulfilling God’s purposes.

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

Categories God

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