Have you ever questioned your ministry ability? Moses, one of Israel’s greatest leaders, did. The Lord of all creation selected and sent Moses on a mission to go to God’s people and communicate his message. But the prophet was not a ready and willing messenger.

Scripture calls God’s servants “messengers” (Mal 2:7) because God sends them. Moses reasons that he cannot be God’s messenger, so he declines his assignment. His argument centers on his perceived inability, that he is unable to speak to his own satisfaction. Commentators speculate about the cause of Moses’ inability. One thing is certain; God responds as if Moses’ inability is a disability.

How do we know this? When Yahweh responds to Moses’ refusal, he chooses words that illustrate his role in disabilities. In Exodus 4:11 the words “deaf,” “mute,” “sighted,” and “blind” all occur in the piel, indicating physical disabilities. Because the four terms are uniquely inflected, this pattern plays a crucial role in interpreting this passage. It is particularly significant that the Hebrew word used here that our Bibles translate “mute” means “able to understand but not able to speak.” Because Moses comprehends the message, Yahweh challenges Moses to look beyond what he considers to be his speech limitations. Moses can understand; God will help him speak. Read more...

How to Use This Book


The new Devotions on the Hebrew Bible will help you find new treasures in the biblical text. Packed with 54 devotions from 38 top Hebrew scholars, these devotions offer new insights into familiar (and unfamiliar) Hebrew texts. Use these insights in your personal study or instruction. Also, don’t miss the companion book, Devotions on the Greek New Testament.