January 23 | Daily Devotion

If you plan to read every verse of Scripture this year, use the Lectio Continua (continuous reading) passages. The Lectio Semi-continua (shorter reading) is an abbreviated selection of verses from the day’s passages. Lectio Divina (divine reading) is Pastor Lionel Young’s commentary on the daily readings. See the Resources page on the Lectio Divina website for additional study helps.

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina (meditation on the text)

“The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’” ~Exodus 4:11-12

God often works through people. In Exodus, He is going about the business of saving the Israelites so that they can worship Him (Ex. 3:12, 4:23, 4:31, 5:1, passim), but He chooses to accomplish the task by raising up a most reluctant leader. Moses responds to God’s call with excuses: “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant” (Ex. 4:10). God presses Moses. He promises to help. He reminds him that his Creator gave him his mouth. Still Moses puts up a fight. “O Lord, please send someone else” (Ex. 4:13). Finally, God gets mad and commits to providing a helper for Moses if only he’ll do the job. And Moses gives in.

Perhaps God is calling you to serve Him in some way, to do something that is a little out of your comfort zone. Don’t make excuses and put Him off. Don’t hide behind what you perceive as your inadequacy. Moses tried that, but when he finally obeyed, God used him greatly! If there is something God wants you to do, step forward and do it.

Remember that God most often accomplishes His work through willing people, including you (Rom. 10:14-15)! (This doesn’t necessarily mean going into vocational ministry; in fact, Moses was more of a political leader than a pastor.) Sure, obeying Him may require you to “take up your cross, “ which means to make a sacrifice, but that’s an act that brings real life (Matt. 16:24-28)!

A note about God’s anger. God’s anger flares twice against Moses in a single chapter. First when he will not obey the command to rescue God’s people and then when he carelessly neglects a very important religious ritual that visibly expressed a family’s devotion to God (Ex. 4:24-26). How should we interpret God’s anger? Well, think of a father who absolutely loves his children. His love doesn’t prevent him from becoming frustrated with them when the situation warrants it! It is possible for God to wholeheartedly love His children and still be angry with them. This is good theology. Fortunately, He doesn’t stay angry long, and He is quick to forgive (Ps. 30:5).

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.