Matching bookends—today’s Scripture resource is held together with identical-twin statements. Moses’ words of self-description, “…I speak with faltering lips” are emotionally bracketing bookends within his soul (Exodus 6:12 & 30).
When we repeat our words and phrases, when we repeat ourselves in the same conversation, passion resides within. As readers of Scripture we do not have the luxury of audibly hearing Moses’ words; however, careful observation in Scripture-reading draws our attention to his mental and emotional condition when he says, “…I speak with faltering lips.” Good news, God’s masterful plan includes the faltering-one and disciples of Jesus who also suffer from a treacherous swamp-surrounded faith.
For Moses, God was unwilling to leave him behind even as specific leaders were set in place (Exodus 6:13-14). The fearful one, the faltering-one is becoming the publicly identified leader of all God’s people.
Reading today’s passage delivers us to a time when the pharaoh’s ruled Egypt. Disciples are aware there was more at work in those days than the pyramid and sphinx-building leaders of a humanly devised empire.
The heritage of Messiah comes through the generations of the families, certified and publicly named in the historical record of Exodus 6. These are the Hebrews, the Jews, the family of Abraham of whom God spoke (Genesis 12); and we ask, “They are to be led by Moses-the faltering-one?”
The Spirit of God clearly invites readers to pay attention to the kind of persons with whom God works. Moses seems to have temporarily landed on center stage and feels like he is in a solo presentation. The spotlight feels like fire. The gaze of pharaoh burns him.
The mind of Moses and his emotions fail him. As Scripture readers we know what is coming. Moses did not know. Mighty and terrible turmoil, plagues and blessings will happen as God establishes the people of the covenant in the covenant land. For us as readers of Scripture the faltering bookends of Moses form an enclosure proclaiming God’s boldness in dealing with a disciple’s weakness.
Do you have a strategy for times when your faith falters?