“But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” – Exodus 3:11
It was George Washington that said, “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” We have become pretty good at making excuses. We make excuses not to hurt other people’s feelings or to avoid responsibility for our actions. We make excuses for things we did wrong, times we failed, things we don’t want to do, situations we don’t want to be in. The subject of this week’s Hall of Faith message, Moses, made his fair share of excuses.
Moses’ first excuse was that he was not qualified for what God was calling him to do. God gave instructions to Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses response to his calling was to say, “Who am I?” He questions his qualifications to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. The next excuse was he lacked the power to fulfill the task that God had given him to do. Moses did not believe he could persuade the Israelites that God had actually appeared to him. Exodus 4:1 says, “Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” In Exodus 4:10 Moses gives his next excuse that his speaking and leadership abilities were lacking: “But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”
Another excuse is found in Exodus 4:13 which says: “But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” Moses basically asked God if someone else could fulfill the calling that God had given to him. Moses gives God some pretty weak excuses. Yet God in His wisdom, and not willing to take “no” for an answer from those whom He calls, comes back with an irrefutable response every time. It is not in the Bible, but I can’t help but wondering if it finally dawned on Moses that you can’t argue with God and the final conversation went something like this:
Moses: “I’m here, Lord,” looking at the ground.
God: “Anything else, Moses?”
Moses: “No, Lord. I guess not.” Sigh.
Before we judge Moses, we each need to look inward and ask ourselves how many excuses we have given God the last few days, weeks, months, or years. Are we making some of the same choices that Moses made? Are we making excuses so we don’t have to do what you know God wants us to do? Are you making excuses for why we will not trust Him?
Here’s the bottom line: If we want to be greatly used of God, you must be willing to follow wherever He leads us. And that means that we need to stop hiding behind the excuses, stop resisting and start following. Because even if we can’t do something, He can.
- Which times in your life do you find yourself making excuses?
- Have you ever sensed God calling you to a task and found an excuse not to respond?
- Which one of Moses’ four excuses can you relate to most? (1) “I’m not qualified” (or I’ve disqualified myself) (2) “I don’t have all the answers, or the power…” (3) “I’m not gifted in speech or tongue…” or (4) “I really don’t want to…”
- Is there something God has called you to do that you are intentionally not doing?
- Does the thought of obeying God frighten you or cause you discomfort?
- Pray and ask God to help you put away any excuses and trust Him.