April 18, 2016

False Humility

Exodus 3:11-15

Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

—  Exodus 3:11

One of the lessons God had been teaching Moses for a long time is the lesson of humility. It came in an especially clear way when Moses tried to rescue Israel on his own and got himself chased out of Egypt (see Exodus 2:11-15). It also came through forty years of tending sheep in Midian—a life far different from the one Moses probably envisioned for himself when he was living in the house of Pharaoh!

Had Moses learned the lesson of humility too well? Maybe. At the burning bush he asked God a question that revealed his doubt that he could lead Israel out of Egypt. Only a humble person would speak of himself that way, right?

Actually, Moses hadn’t learned the lesson of humility well enough.  His question revealed a mistaken assumption that leading Israel was going to be up to him. See the two “I”s in the question?

It’s not quite pride. It’s better described as a stubborn reluctance to trust in God. It’s false humility because Moses’ low image of himself doesn’t result in reliance on God. It results instead in resistance to God.

Check your own ego today. Is it sufficiently tamed that you are able to obey God’s call even when you feel inadequate to the task? Even when you might look foolish because of your obedience? Are you willing to rely on God to strengthen you and give you courage?

Lord, give me a soul that reaches for you, that stretches to the tasks you assign, and that rejoices in your gracious equipping. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — David Den Haan

Pastor Dave Den Haan has served at Fairway Christian Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan, since 1999. Previously he served a church in Minnesota. Dave and his wife, Connie, have three children.

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