by Bobby Bruno
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In Exodus 3-4, we find Moses, who has been called by God to go to Egypt to tell Pharaoh to free God’s people, making numerous excuses as to why he can’t be the one God wants to use to do this great feat. Let’s look at Moses complaints and God’s response to those complaints.
First, Moses says, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt (v. 11)?” In other words, Moses is saying, “Pharaoh is a great man as I am just a shepherd. Who am I to tell a great king what to do?” God’s reply is simple, “I Will be with you (v. 12).” God will prove it to Moses by bring the people to this very same mountain to worship God.
Next, Moses asks, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them (v. 13)?” God, once again simply, says, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you’ (v. 14).” God will prove this to the Israelites by His hand in their rescue.
In Exodus 4, the complaints continue. In verse one, Moses says, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?” God uses Moses’ staff as an example of His power to show Moses (and the Egyptians) that God is with him. God also uses Moses’ hand as an example to Moses himself of God’s great power, by giving him leprosy of his hand and then healing it moments later.
But Moses isn’t done yet. He’s tried everything else, but, in his mind, God just isn’t getting the message. In a last ditch effort to show God just how inadequate he is for the job, Moses says, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue (v. 10).” Now this excuse could be a lie. Moses had been a great man in the Egyptian empire before he fled Egypt after murdering an Egyptian, second only to Pharaoh. A man of this stature must have commanded a huge army of soldiers, as well as an army of slaves. He must have been able to speak with a commanding voice to get soldiers to follow him into battle. He must also have been able to speak eloquently, as surely he would have to speak to dignitaries from other countries from time to time. God knew all this about Moses and didn’t give in to Moses’ excuses for he is the man for the job. God tells Moses, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him (v. 14-16).”
But, even after all of this Moses makes his last excuse (every uttered by man when it comes to doing something hard) to God, knowing that, if he went as God wanted him to, he would be returning to the same people who want his head for murdering one of their own. Moses said, probably in a quiet, timid, begging voice, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it (v. 13).” It is not implied in the text, but God must have told Moses to simply go.
What all this says about God is that, no matter what He asks us to do, God will be there with us and will take care of every situation that comes up during our mission for him. God will make everything work out for His plan and His glory. Our puny excuses mean nothing to God when He wants us to fulfill His plan for the world, as well as His plans for our lives. Excuses are a human trait that God does not have. When He says that He will accomplish something in us and with us, He will do it without fail. As the slaves were freed by Moses’ actions utilizing the power of God, so, too will sinners be freed by our actions by the power of God in us.
All Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved."
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