Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited America last year, addressing a joint session of Congress on March 3. Concluding his remarks he pointed to an image of Moses directly in front of him on the chamber wall. Noting that Jews and Christians revere Moses, he pleaded for partnership between our nations.
It's interesting that three people have distinct honor in the U.S. House chamber. From the well where Netanyahu spoke, or our presidents during the State of the Union speeches, Gen. Washington's portrait is to the speaker's right. We honor our first commander-in-chief and our country's founder. To the speaker's left is the portrait of a Frenchman, Gen. Lafayette, who helped us win independence. And directly in front of the speaker is the image of Moses.
Moses is recognized as the emancipator of the Hebrews, but was an unlikely hero. He was an illegal alien in Egypt as a Hebrew raised in Pharaoh's court. Then he killed an Egyptian and became a wanted man. He lived in what the King James Bible calls the "back side" of the desert for 40 years.
I remember driving through the desolate Arizona desert several years ago and can only image how much more desolate the "back side "of the desert would be!
And then we read of Moses' dramatic call experience at the burning bush.
Moses was short on self-confidence. He told God he couldn’t speak and that the Lord should send someone else. He told God that Pharoah wouldn't believe him. Probably his real reason for not wanting to answer the call of the Lord was the fact that Egyptian post offices had wanted posters with his picture! He was a fugitive from Egyptian justice.
But when Moses got his priorities straight and obeyed the Lord, God fashioned him into the man we honor today as the Abraham Lincoln of the Hebrews.
Moses' story is the story of many of us who feel we have nothing to contribute to the work of God. We often compare ourselves to others who are gifted and feel we fall short. And deep in our hearts we wrestle with our hidden sins--those episodes no one knows about but us. It's no wonder that modern believers often reject the call of God to service with excuses like Moses made: "send somebody else."
But God knows what he's doing He's chosen to do his work through willing workers privileged to share in the joy of the work. Today we don't remember so much the failures of Moses, but his successes, when he got his heart right and said "yes" to the Lord. We can learn a valuable lesson from him. God overcomes our weakness with his strength.