But Moses said to the LORD, “Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?” — Exodus 6:30
NOTE TO READERS: Happy New Year! 2018 is an important year for Israel and the Jewish people as we celebrate the modern State of Israel’s 70th Birthday. As we mark this momentous milestone, we are offering 70 devotions between now and April 19th, Israel’s Independence Day, tied to our Keys to Israel – six fundamental principles underlying God’s covenantal relationship with His chosen people and His Holy Land built upon the acrostic I.S.R.A.E.L. These first ten devotions provide an overview to Israel and her people.
Have you ever wondered why when God needed a leader unlike any that the world had ever seen, He turned to the verbally challenged Moses? We might have thought that God would have called on someone like a Martin Luther King Jr., who could turn out a passionate speech like “I Have a Dream.” Or God could have picked a leader like a witty Winston Churchill or a charismatic John F. Kennedy. But God turned instead to the humble and meek Moses, who said, “Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?”
Basically, Moses was saying, “I am totally unfit for this job! I lack the talent and ability to fulfill the mission! Why God would you pick me?” And yet, as so often happens, that is exactly how God works.
Think about it. God chose David, a young shepherd boy who was too small to even wear King Saul’s armor, to slaughter the giant Goliath. God chose Joseph, the most hated of his brothers, a slave, and then a prison inmate, to become the Prime Minister of Egypt and provide for his entire family. God chose Jael, a young woman, to slaughter the mighty warrior Sisera when the entire army of Israel had failed to do so. He chose Esther, an orphaned Jewish girl in exile, to become the Queen of Persia and save her people, Israel.
God often chooses individuals who seem the most unlikely candidates to fill the most important roles. He does this because He wants us to know that it’s not our talents and abilities that determine the outcomes, but His will and His miracles that bring about salvation. As we read in Zechariah 4:6, “'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.”
In 1948, when the United Nations voted to reinstate the state of Israel, the fledgling country, made up at the time mostly of refugees and Holocaust survivors, was attacked by five organized Arab armies. Yet, Israel was victorious. Israel, the modern-day David, slew the modern-day Goliaths. Israel accomplished what no one expected. Everyone predicted a slaughter. In fact, they were already digging the graves of the new Israelis. But God’s will prevailed, Israel prevailed, and Israel will continue to prevail because of God’s will.
I want to encourage us all today, and particularly this year when we celebrate 70 years of the Jewish State, not to be intimidated by a task that seems too large. When God calls us to do something, don’t look at what you lack. Don’t be scared off by what you “can’t” do. Through God, we can do anything and be anything. God chooses the willing, not necessarily the able.
He has chosen and promoted many imperfect people in past – and He can choose us, too.
For more information on our Keys to I.S.R.A.E.L. resources visit www.ifcj.org/keystoisrael.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President