There is a scene in the 1998 animated feature “The Prince of Egypt” that I absolutely love. And I think it’s because its also a scene in scripture that I absolutely love. Moses stands before the burning bush i.e. the very presence of YHWH and starts to make excuses for going before pharaoh and the response of the Spirit of God dramatically comes out of the flame, “Who made man’s mouth? Who made the deaf, the mute, the seeing and the blind? Did not I?” Moses cowers under God’s declaration but is eventually comforted by his reassurance. (Seriously if you have never seen this movie you need to. Or at least check out this scene on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5BQWubuC8g). One of the most awesome parts about this movie is it’s Biblical accuracy. Here is the actual text taken from Exodus 4:11-12. “ The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” And Moses goes and according to the story never once struggles with what to say…except when it comes to hitting rocks.
But I am reminded that speech, our very ability to form words, comes from God. I even love that speech is what gives power to God’s actions throughout scripture. The following will be a paraphrase form the gospel according to Andrew…but hopefully you will get the gist. In the beginning God said light and there was light. God calls Samuel as a boy and the nation of Israel is forever changed. God’s still small voice comforts Elijah in the midst of his turmoil. God’s voice shakes the temple in Isaiah’s revelatory experience. Then the voice of God en-fleshed, Jesus himself, gives sight to the blind, chases out demons, stills storms, restores the broken and raises the dead. God’s voice, God’s speech, God’s very words are words of life giving action.
And so today I am reminded, “Who made man’s mouth?…Is it not I?” How am I honoring the creation of God in me? How am I honoring the Spirit that lives within me that is declared by the writer of John as “The Word”? May we honor God, the giver of speech, with what we say today and always as we walk the very earth he spoke into existence.