We like to look at Old Testament people like Daniel and Samuel and Abraham and talk about their willingness to serve God and speak forth on His behalf. These, and many others, boldly and readily followed God’s directives and spoke His Words. They are, unquestionably, shining examples for us to follow.
But all of the major Old Testament characters weren’t always quite so willing.
I am actually amazed at the number of O.T. prophets who were reluctant to speak for God. Of course, they eventually went on to do the requested task — prophesying in the name of the Lord — but they certainly had some early hesitation and even resistance.
Isaiah saw himself as unqualified, “a man of unclean lips.” (Isaiah 6:5)Jeremiah thought he was too young — “I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” (Jeremiah 1:6) Moses was very reluctant — “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:13) Jonah simply didn’t want the people of Nineveh to repent, and, therefore, ran in the opposite direction. On and on go the excuses of reluctant prophets.
I think that too often, I tend to lean more toward the reluctant biblical characters than the willing ones. “There’s gotta be somebody more qualified, Lord.” But my experience has shown me that God often picks what we consider to be the wrong person. Why did the Lord, after all, choose Moses — who was raised in a palace — to serve Him in the desert, and David — who was raised in the desert — to serve Him in a palace? That’s backward. Well, at least from our perspective.
Do you get the impression that perhaps God’s ways are higher than ours? Maybe we should be more inclined to submit to what He wants instead of our own ideas. You know: less reluctant, more willing.