Leave of Absence

Exodus 4:18

Verse 18 features a glimpse into Moses’ humanity and God’s patience. “Then Moses departed and returned to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, ‘Please, let me go, that I may return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see if they are still alive.’ And Jethro said to Moses, ‘Go in peace.'”

Moses left just a few things out of that account, don’t you think? Moses says, “Dad, I want to go see if any of my buddies down in Egypt are still alive. I’ve been at this forty years now. Do you mind if I take a little time off? You know, check out the pyramids, take a ride on the Nile, that kind of stuff.”

And Jethro says, “Fine. Have a good time. Take off, son.”

Somehow, Moses couldn’t bring himself to say, “Uh, Jethro, there was this bush out in the desert, and there was this voice in the bush, and well, the upshot is I’m going to lead the whole nation of Israel in an Exodus out of slavery and deliver them to Canaan.” He just couldn’t say that. But God, in His grace, doesn’t slap Moses’ hand. He doesn’t say, “Knock it off, Moses! Tell him the whole story.” He lets Moses cover his departure with kind of a broad-brush, nebulous explanation.

Somehow, that touches my heart. God is full of grace. Moses was packing his bags for Egypt, and God let it go at that. All He asks of us is a willing heart. He doesn’t expect perfection. He doesn’t expect you to have all the answers, all the ability, or all the courage. He doesn’t even require you to spell out each detail of His call. He just asks you to be available and take that first step of faith in the direction He’s pointing.

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com

Posted in Bible Characters and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.