The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?’ (Exodus 4:11)
In high school there was a coach who would tell his athletes, “Excuses are like armpits—everyone has them and they all stink!”
As humans, we love to complain and we love to make excuses for why we don’t want to do something; “I didn’t do my homework because I didn’t have time;” “I missed hanging out because I lost track of time.” Some of those sound too familiar.
Those excuses are on a smaller scale. A friend missing a coffee date or a late assignment isn’t going to crumble the floor beneath your feet.
This time in the semester, we get a little busier, a bit more distracted and we make excuses to pull away from excellence in everything we do (2 Tim. 2:15). The hype of the New Year is slowly fading and resolutions become a thing of the past.
Did you pass by a gym the first week of January? Peak in the window this week and see the drastic difference from the first week to now. Resolutions disappear and excuses increase.
It’s easy to let life keep us busy and distracted. We make excuses to not do things and ignore the passion or commitment we made to them in the first place.
Greatness…but first reluctance
Although I don’t think God would use so many words to describe excuses as the coach mentioned above did, but in this dialogue between God and Moses, I can see where frustration happens when his people make excuses to commands.
The Bible is filled with many obedient servants; maybe the great leaders came to mind. Moses is one of those servants who was an impacting force very early on.
When we think of Moses, we think of the image of the nostalgic Prince of Egypt or even a rustic looking image of a man with a long white beard and his hair blowing in the wind. Moses is visually portrayed in a victorious and mighty way. Even though he was such a great leader and servant of God, people commonly forget that at first he gave God excuses.
The first couple of verses in chapter four frame the conversation between God and Moses; God shows Moses the various signs of his miracles to prove that the Lord is the one who sent him. God is proving his faithfulness to Moses and is asking Moses to reciprocate.
At first, Moses gives the run around of “what if’s….” to try to get out of doing what God is asking. Then, Moses understands God’s power, but gives excuses for why he is the wrong person for this job.
It’s funny how God works through people who reluctantly serve. Moses’ doubts are justified. Look to the passages prior to chapter four and it reveals what God was asking of Moses. He told Moses to go into Egypt and free his people. It makes sense why Moses had doubts and was pretty hesitant to this idea.
Too commonly when God asks us to do something, we make excuses. We are hesitant to what he wants us to do. We come up with ‘what if’s’ and excuses to tell God every reason why he is wrong. That’s a scary thought to come up against God, but he understands that none of humanity can accomplish what he wants for us.
That is where trust comes into the story in our lives and the story of Moses. God gives Moses the resources (his brother Aaron), protection and power that he needs to do as God commanded him. But it was by no means the power of Moses…it was the willingness, but not the power. Moses needed to be willing and able to serve God and from there God would take care of the rest.
When God asks us to do something in our life, we have an “are you sure?” attitude. But that is not only a lack of trust in ourselves, but a lack of trust in God’s spirit within us. When God brings you to something and asks you to serve, we need to be able to have enough faith in him that he will deliver.