“Now, therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say” (Exodus 4:12).
I love the sass we hear coming from Moses.
Is that too strong a word? It probably is, since my dictionary defines sass as “disrespectful speech.”
Gentle backtalk. Assertiveness, maybe.
Toward the end of his exchange with the Lord who spoke to him from the burning bush, as God called him to confront Pharaoh and deliver Israel from Egypt, and after Moses has run up excuse after excuse, only to be shot down by the Lord, Moses adds one more. (I love that sentence! smiley-face here)
“O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant, but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
Something about that resonates with me.
“Lord,” Moses was saying, “Even though it’s mighty special being talked to by the living God and all that, meeting You like this has not suddenly made me a gifted, eloquent speaker. I’m still the tongue-tied stammerer I was an hour ago. I’m still me.”
That’s Joe’s paraphrase.
“And the Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now, therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”
What, I wonder, does it mean for the Lord to “be with my mouth”?
These are some thoughts that come to mind. You’ll think of others…
1) When the Lord is with your mouth, you will sometimes be amazed at what comes out.
Where did this wisdom come from, you wonder. And you remember Matthew 10:20 says: “It is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father is speaking through you.”
Every teacher and every preacher wants the Lord to be with his/her mouth before they open it to declare God’s truth.
2) When the Lord is with your mouth, you will sometimes stand in awe of what you did not say (and would have otherwise). Self-control. What James called “putting a bit into the horse’s mouth” in order to control it (James 3:3).
We are all so capable of misspeaking ourselves, as the politicians put it. That’s why we pray Psalm 141:3. “Set a guard upon my mouth, O Lord …”
3) When the Lord is with your mouth, your words bless people. Your words are helpful, healing, wholesome.