Called Or Chosen?
What is the difference between being called and being chosen? Shown in the lives of Moses and Joshua:
Moses was called to enter the promise land. However, mentioned in Exodus 4, Moses deemed himself as unworthy and he did not have full faith that God was going to be with Him:
But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”
Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”
But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.”
Exodus 4:10-13 (NLT)
Next, stated in Numbers 20, Moses disobeyed God:
Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them. The LORD said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”
So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”
Numbers 20:6-12 (NIV)
These in turn led Moses into being just called to enter the promise land. However, for Joshua, he was chosen by God to enter the promise land. Notice that in Joshua 1, when God told him that it was time that he will lead the people to cross the Jordan, Joshua did not behave like Moses, constantly thinking that he was not the right person for God to use him. All Joshua did was to walk in absolute faith and obedience in accordance to what God commanded him to do:
“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua then commanded the officers of Israel, “Go through the camp and tell the people to get their provisions ready. In three days you will cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you.”
Joshua 1:6-11 (NLT)
Moses was initially chosen by God to lead the Israelites to enter the promise land. But he wasn’t like Joshua. Since he deemed himself as unholy and unworthy to step into the land, no matter how much assurance God gave to Him, he still requested for God to only let him see the land. Joshua, however, did what God asked him to do. Therefore, this led to Moses becoming called by God and Joshua chosen by God as a leader for the Israelites.
Today, in your own life, God may have called you to do something, but are there any stumbling blocks that are stopping you from being chosen? Are you like Moses, constantly giving God excuse that you cannot be used by Him, or you are like Joshua, walking in obedience?
For many will be called by God, but only those who say: “Yes Lord, I will go wherever you want me to go. I'll do whatever you want me to do.” - these are the people who will be chosen by God because they do not let anything go against the will of God.