Kill the Messenger
Recommended Reading: John 15:1–4; Acts 2:1–47; 1 Corinthians 15:10
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, three of the most dangerous occupations in the United States are those of a logger, an airline pilot and a fisherman.
Of course, a logger deals with the tremendous weight and unpredictable nature of falling trees. A pilot faces the danger of working tens of thousands of feet above the ground. And a commercial fisherman constantly runs the risk of drowning.
In the ancient world the job of messenger might have topped this list. Like most people, ancient rulers hated getting bad news. However, unlike most other people, they had the power to do something about it, and they did—by executing the person who delivered the news! When the Roman emperor Tiberius received an astrological prediction he didn’t like, he hurled the messenger off a cliff.
So who can blame Moses for being reluctant to deliver the news to Pharaoh that the Israelites, his slave laborers, were hitting the road? God gave Moses an assignment no one would envy. And like most unenthusiastic recruits, Moses tried to talk his way out of the job. He pointed out that Pharaoh probably wouldn’t listen to him. And Moses reminded God that public speaking wasn’t his forte.
Moses didn’t realize that the success of his mission didn’t depend on his skills; it depended on his faithfulness. God could have sent anyone to deliver the message to Pharaoh—even one of Moses’ sheep. But God picked Moses instead. And he gave Moses the strength and skills he needed to complete the assignment.
That’s important to remember when it comes to the things God calls us to do. Just as it was for Moses, it’s easy for us to reason and argue with God. “But God, I don’t have the skills to be a leader at church.” Or, “God, why don’t you send someone else? No one will listen to what I have to say.”
Yet what we see as our own weaknesses shouldn’t stop us from carrying out our God-given assignments, because with our marching orders come God’s strength and assistance. Remember, the success of our mission doesn’t depend on our skills. It depends on our faithfulness.
To Take Away
- What can you do to increase your trust in God’s strength?
- When have you stepped out in faith even though you didn’t feel prepared for an assignment from God?
- Do you feel God leading you to do something for which you feel you’re not qualified? Pray about it today and ask for God’s empowerment and courage in your life.