Excuses… excuses – Exodus 3-4
We, women like to haggle or bargain especially when it comes to buying stuffs at flea markets. Biblical characters of old also bargained with God. Abraham tried to save his nephew Lot asking God how many righteous persons in the city of Sodom and Gomorrah should there be before He would be willing to spare these cities. Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord and would not let go till He blessed him. Moses also bargained with God. He tried to argue himself out of the assignment God gave him.
Assignment: To lead the Israelites out of slavery from Egypt
Moses gave God many reasons why he was not fit for the job or why he might not succeed in his assignment. For each question he asked, God had a ready answer and assurance.
Reasons and Assurances (Q = Moses’ questions; A = God’s answers)
Q1: Who am I? I’m nobody.
A1: “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
Q2: “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?”
A2: “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
“Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’
“This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation.
God even told Moses exactly what to say, what to do, how the people will respond (both the Israelites and Pharaoh), what He will do, how He will make this mission successful.
Q3: “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
A3: miracle 1: the staff turning to snake, miracle 2: Moses’ becoming leprous, miracle 3: turning water from the Nile River into blood.
God was really patient with Moses. He answered each of Moses questions and to this one He gave 3 proofs instead of 1.
To review – Moses’ questions…
Q1: Who am i?
Q2: Who are you?
Q3: What if they do not believe me or listen to me?
Q4: Sorry Lord, I’m not eloquent – slow in speech and tongue. not lawyer material to win an argument. After all the arguments, it’s back to who am I, I’m not qualified.
A4: “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? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
Last argument: Lord, please send someone else.
14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 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. 16 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. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”
Amazing isn’t it?! Up to the end, God still gave Moses an assuring response.
How often do I bargain with God about what I was given to do?
What excuses did I give? Not qualified? (issues of self-identity) Not from God (issues of God’s identity) Obstacles/Objections from the people (issues of people’s responses)
When God calls, He equips. God not only calls the able. He also enables whom He calls.
God keeps His promises. His Word always comes true. His purpose will never be thwarted. He will bring everything to pass.
Bottomline: It’s not about me – it’s about Him!