Moshe was frustrated. Having been coerced by G-d to redeem the Jewish people things were not going his way. In fact the conditions of the Jewish people worsened leading Moshe to cry out, "O Lord, why do you mistreat Your people? Why did you send me? As soon as I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he made things worse for these people and You have not saved your people" (6:27).
Moshe Rabbeinu's innate sense of justice could not allow him to tolerate the mistreatment of others. On three occasions, the Torah describes his interference in disputes in which he had no part, coming to right the wrongs he was witnessing. If that meant killing an Egyptian who was attacking a fellow Jew so be it. Yet despite his position as a member of the royal family he was forced to flee for his life. Seeing the suffering of his people, the iinjustices of this world all around him he would live out his years quietly, tending to the flock of his esteemed father in law in the vicinity of "G-d's mountain in the Horeb area" (3:1). He begrudgingly had to accept the fact that he would be unable to bring justice to an unjust world. As a man of 80 he was in the words of the Mesech Chochmah ( Dvinsk , 1843-1926) "an old man with the fear of death facing him and the passion of his spirit was already lost" (see his commentary on 6:14). No wonder he resisted G-d's entreaties to lead his people through the wilderness to the land of Israel . This would be a job for younger leaders with longer futures ahead of them.
Yet with G-d refuting every excuse Moshe could find and with His guarantee of ultimate success Moshe changes his mind and is no doubt excited as he "gathers the elders of Israel" (4:29). The people believed (4:31) and redemption was on its way. A reinvigorated Moshe along with his official spokesman Aharon (what good politician doesn't have a savvy spokesperson) bravely go to Pharaoh declaring G-d's demand to Let My people leave so they can sacrifice to me in the desert (5:1). Pharaoh unimpressed by the demands of an unknown deity decides to teach the Jews a lesson increasing the burden on the Jewish people. Moshe clearly has no stomach for the ups and downs of leadership, especially one he never really wanted and vents his frustration at G-d.
G-d was unimpressed'. G-d spoke to Moshe and said to him, I am Hashem. I revealed myself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as G-d, but by My name the lord, Iwas not known to them (6:2). The Midrash understands G-d to be lamenting the complaining of Moshe as compared to the purity of faith of the patriarchs. They too faced many an obstacle and yet did not question G-d's ways. Yet G-d instead of getting angry at Moshe, understanding that his frustration was an expression of pain for the suffering of the Jewish people, reassures him with the four expressions of redemption culminating in the promise that I will bring you (Israel) to the land regarding which I raised My hand swearing the I would give it to Abraham , Isaac and Jacob (6:8).
Yet astoundingly after all this Moshe is apparently still not convinced. Then Moshe spoke before G-d saying: Even the children of Israel will not listen to me, how can I expect Pharoah to listen to me (6:12)? Moshe did not become Moshe Rabbeinu overnight. It took many, many years of hard and dedicated work for Moshe, channelling his burning passion, his impatient temperament to become the Ish HaElokim , the man of G-d that is his epitaph.
To underline the humanity of Moshe, that he "in his perfectly ordinary human nature, subject to all failings and weaknesses, to all the limits and requirements of human beings" (Rav Shimson Raphael Hirsch 6:14) the Torah gives a detailed lineage of Moshe tracing not only his parents and grandparents but his aunts uncles and cousins. Mohse was one of us. Unlike us however he dedicated every fibre in his body, to serve his Creator and his people. He, unlike us spoke to G-d face to face an experience that enabled him to put the mission of man into its proper perspective. Nonetheless we can and must follow the model of Moshe Rabbeinu, Moshe our teacher in constantly growing and reaching new heights. We often cannot comprehend the ways of G-d, the injustice of this world, the suffering of the Jewish people. We, like Moshe can challenge, question and even argue with G-d. But ultimately, regardless of age or status we must accept our mission to bring justice and righteousness into the world. We too can become ish HaElokim . Shabbat Shalom!