M is for Moses

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One of the most prominent and influential figures of the Israelite people is Moses. Bringer of the law, leader of the Exodus and first of the prophets, Moses is more than a big deal to the Jewish people. His work is defining to the people and he is even one who argued with God to save his people while they were wandering the wilderness. What is less apparent about Moses is that though he was an incredible orator and a powerful leader who is well known for his Heston depicted miracles, he was also a reluctant champion and may have had a speech disorder.

“Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’ 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.’ But Moses said, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.’ (Exodus 4:10-13 NIV)

The language Moses uses to describe his speech is often debated as to what exactly he means by slow of speech and tongue. Some have argued that the phrase was culturally associated with a speech impediment of some kind. It is interesting that one who becomes so well known for his oratory would have such a blatant weakness. Good characters have weaknesses. In the overcoming of the conflict in their own lives, we see growth and something greater than ourselves. The apostle Paul in the New Testament comments in how he boasts of his own weakness because in his weakness, God is made stronger in His ability to do what Paul cannot. Moses, with his lack of speaking ability, becomes the greatest figure and leader of the early Jewish people and through his oratory brings the law of God to the world. So think about what weakness define your characters, whether an NPC or a playable character. There is something within weakness that can highlight a unique attribute or give direction as to how you need to rise above in order to prevail. It’s a fascinating opportunity.

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