What comes to mind when you think of excuses? Has the dog ever eaten your homework? Have you ever been too old or too young? Instead of admitting our mistakes, why is it so much easier to blame other people and circumstances? Instead of being open to exploring new experiences, why is it easier to limit ourselves with excuses?
In Exodus 3-4, God appeared to Moses through a burning bush, asking him to go before Pharaoh who could free the Israelites from their slavery. Instead of immediately saying “Yes, Lord, I’ll go”, Moses made excuses as to why he shouldn’t do what God had called him to do. Here are Moses’ five excuses and God’s response to Moses and to Christians today.
Excuse Number 1:
Moses’ Question: Who am I?
God’s Answer: I will be with you.
Moses may have been humbled that the Lord would select him to stand before Pharaoh and to lead his people out of Israel, but he also questioned his identity and significance. God’s promise that He would go with him allowed Moses to see that this task did not depend on his own strength, but on that of the Almighty God’s. Moses didn’t need to have confidence in his self or in his abilities; He simply needed to trust in God. The same applies for us today. We don’t have to be perfect or experienced to be used by God. We just need to follow God’s lead and trust that He is able.
Excuse Number 2:
Moses’ Question: “Who has sent me?”
God’s Answer: “I AM WHO I AM- Yahweh the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has sent me to you.”
Moses wondered how He could tell Pharaoh, who believed in pagan Egyptian gods, that the God of his ancestors had sent him. Today, we still face many people who don’t believe in God or question in authority. By saying “I AM WHO I AM” God was referring to His revered name, Yahweh. This name was sacred and revered. We can be sure that our God is above all and we can confidently follow His lead since His endorsement stands.
Excuse Number 3:
Moses’ Question: “What if they won’t believe or listen to me?”
God’s Answer: A sign- Moses’ staff turned into a snake, then back into a staff.
In order to prove the validity of Moses’ claims, God gave him a sign. The people could see that Moses did not come based on his own power, but on God’s power. We serve that same powerful God. God doesn’t give us a purpose without giving His credibility. We can be sure that God has proven Himself time and time again, so we don’t have to worry about unbelief.
Excuse Number 4:
Moses’ Question: “I’m not very good with words, what if I get tongue-tied?”
God’s Answer: “Who makes a person’s mouth and controls everything they can and can’t do?”
Moses had a speech impediment and didn’t feel comfortable speaking in front of Pharaoh. God reminded Moses that He created mouths and everything else that humans have. It can be easy to use our weaknesses as an excuse, but God isn’t limited by our weaknesses. In fact, God’s glory is shown best through our weakness. God didn’t mind that Moses struggled with his speech. Likewise God is able to use us despite our struggles.
Excuse Number 5:
Moses’ Plea: “Send someone else.”
God’s Response: “Aaron will go with you and I will give him the words to say”
This last excuse was a flat-out refusal since Moses simply didn’t want to go. Sometimes God may call us into a situation where we feel that someone else could do a better job. But God calls us for a reason and even if all odds are against us, God is greater than those odds. He sent Moses’ brother Aaron to accompany him and promised that He would give Aaron the words to say. God sometimes sends someone to help us accomplish our God-given task and always provides us with the words we need.
No matter what excuses Moses gave, God always proved that He was greater than Moses’ weaknesses. When God calls us to do something it can be easy to make excuses. Sometimes we’re afraid of stepping out in faith. Sometimes we feel comfortable right where we are and don’t want to reach for more. Our past is too dark or maybe the future too blinding. Yet, when Moses chose to quit letting excuses get in the way, God used him to save the entire Israelite nation from slavery in Egypt. Who knows what amazing plans God has for us if we would quit making excuses and start following Him in faith!
[ts_fab authorid=”123″ tabs=”bio,twitter,latest_posts”]
(Photo by la farfalla)