Acts 7:22 (or, “Moses Was What?”)

In today’s reading plan chapter (Acts 7), in the midst of Stephen’s speech, I came across a verse that led me down a bit of a rabbit trail. Verse 22:

“Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action…”(NIV)

Now, if you remember in Exodus 4, when the Lord called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, Moses didn’t think so highly of himself:

“Moses said to the Lord, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’” (verse 10, NIV)

Yet, all those years later, Stephen remembered him as an eloquent, skillful leader, and Christians and Jews for generations have revered Moses’ leadership. What gives?

This brought me to a two-fold observation that’s already kind of obvious. We’re our own worst critic. If anybody was going to be hard on Moses, it would be Moses himself. Yes, he was making excuses, but don’t we all struggle with self-doubt at times, even in areas where we excel? The other part of the observation is that we should never doubt what God can do through us. If we’re surrendered to Him and working within His will, it doesn’t matter what we think we can’t do.

Look at Moses. He responded to God’s call with, “but…but…,” yet he obeyed God, surrendered to Him, and was (and is) remembered for doing just what he didn’t think he could do.

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