Lewis McClendon BCMN
Sometimes when we think about improving our preaching and teaching skills we can focus only on becoming a more eloquent speaker. We have all heard speakers who say everything right, can have the audience eating out of the palm of their hand, and don’t make any verbal mistakes. While we should think through how we will say something, no matter how hard we try, most of us are not perfect speakers, and will continue to make mistakes. Spurgeon addressed this issue. He said, “The power that is in the gospel does not lie in the eloquence of the preacher; otherwise men would be converters of souls. Nor does it lie in the preacher’s learning; otherwise it could consist of the wisdom of men. We might preach till our tongues rotted, till we should exhaust our lungs and die, but never a soul would be converted unless there were mysterious power going with it – the Holy Ghost changing the will of man.”
The real key to powerful preaching is clearing stating what God has said in His Word. A spiritually dry message, given with great eloquence, does not have the power of a message from a less eloquent speaker that clearly explains a passage of scripture. It may not the eloquence of a polished speaker, but it will have an impact in the lives of the people who hear it.
When God called Moses to go to Pharaoh and free God’s people, Moses said he could not do it because of his lack of eloquence.
And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
Moses knew he was not eloquent enough to speak before Pharaoh. Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s house, and had heard the ambassadors speak to Pharaoh. Those ambassadors were the best of the best when it came to speaking ability. An ancient document called, The “Tale of the Eloquent Peasant,” suggests that eloquence was important in the Egyptian culture. Moses stated that he was slow of speech and tongue, referring to his lack of eloquence or oratory ability. He is saying he was not a man of words and was unable to articulate his thoughts in fluent, flowing speech.
God acknowledged Moses’ lack of eloquence.
And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well.
God said He was bringing Arron to help him and stated the He knew Aaron could speak well. God did not brush off Moses statement that he was not eloquent. God knew He was not eloquent, but He was God’s man for the hour.
God also promised Moses that He would tell him exactly what to say.
1 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
Moses did stand before Pharaoh, and God did use Him to free Israel from their bondage in Egypt. The New Testament has this to say about Moses’ speeches:
And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.
We may not be as eloquent as some of the speakers we have heard, but we have what Moses had. We have exactly what God wants us to communicate. We communicate the truths of the Bible. As we learn to speak the Word of God with clarity, we will see God work in the lives of the people He brings to our services.