In this chapter, Moore offers for our consideration some men and women in the Old and New Testaments who exhibited insecurity.
Of people in the Old Testament, Moore profiles Eve, Hagar & Sarai, Leah & Rachel, Moses, and Saul.
Of people in the New Testament, Moore briefly mentions the disciples, the woman at the well, and Paul.
With the exception of a few people, Moore twists the scripture to make her points. I’ll take each in turn:
Eve — Moore says, “The only real hint of insecurity I can find is her affinity for fig leaves…Insecurity often displays itself in a woman’s wardrobe, but who can blame Eve for grabbing the closest thing on a hangar?”
What does the Bible say about Eve and the fig leaves? After explaining how Adam and Eve came to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it says, “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself’” (Genesis 3:7-10).
The Bible makes it clear that Eve wanted to cover herself because she felt SHAME. Why was she ashamed? Because of her SIN. The magnitude of this event cannot go understated. Moore makes light of it by focusing on Eve’s wardrobe and making it about insecurity.
I may even go so far as to make the case that Eve didn’t feel a hint of insecurity. When she and Adam realized their nakedness, they set about sewing. That is an act of pride = I can fix this; I can do it myself.
Sarai & Hagar — After a brief discussion of Sarai & Hagar’s ordeal, Moore talks about how perceived threats feed insecurities. I thought this part was really interesting. I liked a lot of what Moore brought out here: how Sarai’s barrenness caused her to feel insecure, how she acted on her insecurity and it caused her much pain. I only wish Moore had connected Sarai’s actions to her lack of faith in God’s promise to produce an heir for Abram. Instead, she goes on a wild tangent about swinging. EW.
Leah & Rachel – They win Moore’s award for Most Insecure Women in the Word. Moore writes, “Nothing like thinking God doesn’t like you as well as He likes someone else to make you a smidge insecure.” In a previous chapter, Moore talked about feeling like God’s best friend one day and not the next. Does Beth Moore believe that God plays favorites? Scripture is clear, “God does not show partiality” (Romans 2:11). But Moore has implied it twice.
Moses — I think Moore was really reaching here and got a little sloppy. Yes, Moses didn’t want to speak. So, God gave him Aaron to speak for him. The arrangement was that God would speak to Moses, Moses would speak to Aaron, and Aaron would speak to everyone else. God led the Israelites out of Egypt with great signs and wonders. When they made it to Mt. Sinai, Moses went up on the mountain to talk with God and Aaron stayed on the ground with the people. While Moses was on the mountain receiving the commandments, Aaron fashioned a golden calf for the people to worship. Now, Moore says this:
“Heaven knows how many people never fulfill their destinies simply because of their own insecurities. God finally gave in to Moses’ request to have someone else talk for him, but lo and behold, Aaron was the very person who offered to fire up a golden calf from the wanderers’ jewelry (“I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”) so the Israelites would have something to worship while Moses was delayed. The kind of insecurity that makes us reluctant to believe and obey God not only leads us into sin, it also ends up dragging a few other people into it with us.”
Like I said, this is a sloppy paragraph. I think she is teaching that Moses’ insecurity made him “reluctant to believe and obey God” which “led [him] to sin” and also ended up “dragging a few other people [Aaron and the Israelites] into it with [him].” First of all, the scripture does not say that Moses sinned. Exodus 4:13-14 says, “But he [Moses] said, ‘Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.’ Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, ‘Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well…’” Moses’ saying, “send someone else,” was not a sin. Had Moses refused to obey God’s command to go to Egypt, then he would have been guilty of sin. However, when Moses’ understood that the Lord’s anger was kindled against him, he obeyed. By allowing Moses to understand His anger was kindled was the Lord’s way of telling Moses that (now that the command has gone out) he has a responsibility to obey God’s voice. And did Moses obey? Yes, he did. God was not angry about using Aaron to speak for Moses. Rather, God was being gracious to Moses by meeting his very real need for a mouthpiece. God was helping Moses fulfill the purpose for which he was called.
Consider this scenario between my children and me as an analogy: I tell my children to do something, they whine for a second, I remind them who I am (The Mom), and they hop to it. Let’s suppose I tell my daughter to clean her room. Well, she tells me that she doesn’t want to do it. But I understand the reason is because the task is overwhelming to her. I tell her she has to do it because, “I said so.” Instead of shrinking back in disobedience, she asks me for help to accomplish the task I have given her. And I am very happy to give her the help she needs because I want her to obey.
Secondly, Moses insecurity regarding his speech had absolutely nothing to do with Aaron’s crafting of a calf and leading the Israelites to worship it. I don’t see how Moore can make that leap.
The first sentence of the paragraph is an emotional ploy and/or fear tactic rooted in Moore’s man-centered theology. Moore writes, “Heaven knows how many people never fulfill their destinies simply because of their own insecurities.” Hundreds of thousands of women will read that and think, “OH NO! I’m going to miss my destiny, my whole purpose in life, if I don’t get over my insecurities!” I submit to you that that statement is not true. Not even our sin can thwart the plans and purposes of our Sovereign God. He knows the end from the beginning. Nothing surprises Him. No thing about our lives, from beginning to end, can mess up the plan. And He promises to complete the work He has begun in us. Furthermore, he has planned from before the foundations of the earth the good works that we will do in His name for His eternal glory. (Scriptures referenced here: Isaiah 44; Psalm 33; Ephesians 1; Philippians 1 and 2.)
So, Moses was insecure about his speech impediment. Did he fulfill his destiny? Absolutely! How did he do it? God provided what he needed to fulfill his calling. How amazing is that?!
Saul — I’m not going to spend much time here, because Saul was straight-up paranoid, insecure, jealous, subject to fits of rage, mentally unstable. Moore doesn’t say much about God in this section of Chapter 4 anyway.
The disciples – Moore says that the fact that they were talking about who would be the greatest in the kingdom means that they were insecure because “the need to be considered the greatest is always rooted in the gnawing fear that we’re not.” But the Bible doesn’t say anymore about it other than they were arguing about it. It doesn’t say why and it’s best if we don’t offer conjectures. The point that the scripture has in mentioning their dispute is for Jesus to have an opportunity to speak to what it means to be great in his kingdom; it means you serve, it means you’re like a child. The story also underscores the fact that the disciples did not understand that Jesus was not going to usher in an earthly kingdom at that time.
The woman at the well — Moore writes that the woman had “married five losers” and was living with her sixth and that means she was waving a “red flag with the letters I-N-S-E-C-U-R-I-T-Y.” The scriptures, however, do not say that she was insecure. It doesn’t mention anything about what motivated the woman to marry five times and live with a sixth man. She could have been an insecure woman, but we don’t know for certain because the scripture doesn’t say so. And, once again, that isn’t the point of the passage anyway.
Paul — Moore says that Paul suffered from insecurity because he
“felt the need to affirm his credentials to the people he served in Corinth by using this little twist: ‘I do not think I am in the least inferior to those ‘super-apostles.’ I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge’ (2 Cor. 11:5-6). Tell me that’s not insecurity. If you’re not convinced, take a look at what blurted from his pen only a chapter later: ‘I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the ‘super-apostles,’ even though I am nothing’ (2 Cor. 12:11). Do you think just maybe he protests too much? In all probability, he fought the awful feeling that he wasn’t as good as the others who hadn’t done nearly so much wrong. I totally grasp that. At the same time, Paul also battled a big, fat ego. He was a complex mound of clay just like the rest of us, belittling and boasting in himself in a dizzying psychological zigzag. The beauty of Paul wasn’t his superhumanity but his unwillingness to let his weaknesses, feelings, and fears override his faith. Like us, the fiercest enemy he had to fight in the fulfillment of his destiny was himself.”
All you have to do is open your Bible to 2 Corinthians 11 and 12. Read both chapters to get the context and you will see that Paul was not writing those words because he was insecure. Not in the least. As a matter of fact, the very opposite is true. The church at Corinth had a problem with false teachers who were tearing down Paul. The church at Corinth had put him in the position of having to defend his apostleship to them. He didn’t want to write those things, he thought it foolish to boast in such a way (like their false teachers were doing), but he did it anyway because of his great love for them. He didn’t want to see the believers be led astray by bold, charismatic teachers who were preaching a gospel different from the one he delivered to them. Moore flagrantly twists the scripture and accuses Paul of “boasting in himself in a dizzying psychological zigzag.” Be like a Berean: Read both chapters and see for yourself if what she writes is true.