Stand Up


by: Rev. Greg Smith
New Light With God Community Church in Los Angeles, CA


But Moses said to the LORD, "O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." Then the LORD said to him, "Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak." But he said, "O my Lord, please send someone else."

Exodus 4:10-13


Moses knew he was called to free his people from the oppression of the Egyptian Pharaohs. But he did not welcome the task. Moses asked God to "send someone else." We know how he felt. We all shrink from confrontation. Even when we're right, we often allow ourselves to be treated badly rather than face an uncomfortable conflict.

In the scriptures, Moses learned to stand up for himself and his people against the full strength of the Egyptian empire. We can apply the same lesson to our own lives.

1. The text teaches us to be sure of our cause in standing up for ourselves. Before a confrontation, review the situation for a moment. Be confident that what you are fighting for is right. Moses was able to take on the Egyptian government because he knew their oppression of the Gods children was unjust. Moses knew his cause was righteous, and that gave him the strength he needed to succeed.

In the gay community we often times experience the unfair treatment via family, friends, co-workers or government legislation.

When we reflect on the action of Moses although some times we feel like we are inadequate we are actually the best one for the job. Why, because God placed it on our hearts.

2. The text teaches us to trust our inner resources. Moses complained that he could not speak eloquently enough to appear in the royal hallways. God knew Moses limitations, and he guaranteed that Moses and his brother would know what to say when the time came. We all have more resources at hand than we know.

We are programmed that government has more power than our God. Moses assumed that Pharoah was more powerful so he had to reconvince himself that the Spirit of God is more powerful than any Pharoah or Government.

3. Keeping it simple and being direct. Moses words to Pharoah are exquisite. We do not need a university diploma to understand them: "Let my people go." Remember when you speak out for yourself. The most effective communication is uncomplicated and plain. Say what you need and what you want. Your message will be heard if conviction lies behind your words.

We must do some homework and know the facts so we can be very clear as to what are issues are and what we want. Moses wanted Pharoah to let his people go.

4. The text teaches us that we must speak for ourselves. We cannot depend on others to fight our battles. God did not accept Moses request that he send someone else. Not because no one else was available, but because God knew that the confrontation was important for Moses as well as his people. The message is that in standing up for ourselves we can gain an inner strength that comes in no other way except through our experiences.

Moses had connections on the inside but it is more important that he connect with his God because when his own people questioned him. It is through the Spirit of God in which we seek wisdom and understanding to respond to any situation for strength and confidence to persevere.

Stand.

Copyright ©1999 by the author


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Books:

Gay Theology Without Apology

Gary David Comstock


Reclaiming the Sacred : The Bible in Gay and Lesbian Culture

Raymond-Jean Frontain



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Also In This Issue:

Second Coming: A Poem

Renewing Our Strength






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