The Messenger is the Message
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.” Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “What of your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he can speak fluently; even now he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you his heart will be glad. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. He indeed shall speak for you to the people; he shall serve as a mouth for you, and you shall serve as God for him. Take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.”
Moses Returns to Egypt
Moses went back to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, “Please let me go back to my kindred in Egypt and see whether they are still living.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” The Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt; for all those who were seeking your life are dead.” So Moses took his wife and his sons, put them on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt; and Moses carried the staff of God in his hand.
And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: Israel is my firstborn son. I said to you, “Let my son go that he may worship me.” But you refused to let him go; now I will kill your firstborn son.’ ”
On the way, at a place where they spent the night, the Lord met him and tried to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’ feet with it, and said, “Truly you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” So he let him alone. It was then she said, “A bridegroom of blood by circumcision.”
The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went; and he met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him, and all the signs with which he had charged him. Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the Israelites. Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and performed the signs in the sight of the people. The people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had given heed to the Israelites and that he had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.
The Message to Sardis
And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars:
“I know your works; you have a name of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. Remember then what you received and heard; obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. Yet you have still a few persons in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; they will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. If you conquer, you will be clothed like them in white robes, and I will not blot your name out of the book of life; I will confess your name before my Father and before his angels. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”
Marshall McLuhan a genius in the field of media and communicatiotn introduced the phrase “The Medium is the Message” in the 1960’s. Half a century ago, he was already considering the fact that we gather far more info from the context of verbal and written messages than from the messages themselves. This means, by today’s standard we will watch the movie before we read the book, and in some cases we may even judge the book based on the movie.
Another current example is the popularity of audiobooks (for those of us who like to read/listen on the go – see audiobook services here and some sources of free audiobooks here The most popular audiobooks are not necessarily the best written ones. They are the ones who have the best reader by performance and/or fame. Given the choice between Sir Patrick Stewart reading “One Fish, Two Fish” and the Holy Bible read by me, Dr. Seuss would likely win.
God knows we have always been this way… it is not just a new phenomenon. We can trace the gimmicks of persuasion back to Aristotle around 350 B.C., and God has known it. That is why God has always sent his message through other people who knew Him, instead of just writing out his messages in the clouds. It is also why God took such interest in the lives of those messengers. God was not going to let Moses go off to represent the Hebrew people if he and his family were not living according to those standards themselves. It was no different for the first Christians, as John wrote (passing the message along from Jesus) to the Christians in Sardis. It’s hard to share the message of being born again and enjoying new life if you are actually dead inside.
What kind of message are you sending? Is your character clouding your message?
Or maybe you need to ask yourself first:
What is the message that God made you the messenger of?