EXODUS 3 – 4

EXCUSES

 

Excuses, Excuses you hear them every day

And the Devil, he’ll supply them

If from church you’ll stay away

When people come to know the Lord

The Devil always loses

So to keep them folks away from church

He offers them excuses

 

In the summer it’s too hot

and in the winter it’s too cold

In the spring time when the weathers just right

You find some place else to go

Well it’s up to the mountains or down to the beach

Or just to visit some old friends

Or just to stay home and kind of relax

And hope some of the kin folks will start dropping in.

 

Well the church benches are too hard

And that choir sings way too loud

Boy you know how nervous you get

When you’re sit’n in a great big crowd

The doctor told you “now you got to watch them crowds

They’ll set you back”

But you go to that old ballgame

Because you say it helps you to relax.

 

Well a headache Sunday morning

and a backache Sunday night

But by work time Monday morning

You’re feeling quite alright

Well one of the children has a cold

Pneumonia you suppose

Well the whole family had to stay home

Just to blow that poor kids nose!

 

Well the preacher he’s too young

and maybe he’s too old

The Sermons they’re not hard enough

and maybe they’re too bold

His voice is much too quiet like,

sometimes he’s too loud

He needs to have more dignity

or else he’s way too proud

  

Well the sermons they’re too long

and maybe they’re too short

He ought to preach the Word with dignity

Instead of stomp and snort

Well that preacher we’ve got must be

The world’s most stuck up man

Well one of the ladies told me the other day

(TENOR) Why he didn’t even shake my hand!

 

Excuses, Excuses you hear them every day

And the Devil, he’ll supply them

If from church you’ll stay away

When people come to know the Lord

The Devil always loses

So to keep them folks away from church

He offers them excuses.  Harold S. Leake ©1979

 

Harold S. Leake wrote these words for a song called “Excuses”.  An excuse is a reason we give for not doing what someone else expects us to do.  We not only make excuses for missing church, but for missing work, school, and meetings.  We also make excuses for bad behavior and for bad attitudes, and for not getting a job done on time or for not doing homework.

 

One of the worst times we make excuses is when we feel God impressing us or calling on us to do something.

We find all sorts of reasons for not doing what God wants us to do.  And there will be things that the Lord will call on you to do.  In fact he has probably called on you to do at least one of the following things at some point in your life:

 

·        To share your faith with someone who needs to know about Jesus.

·        To help out in an outreach program at church.

·        To perform special music in church or to lead a musical group in church.

·        To participate in a praise team or band.

·        To do something nice for someone.

·        To teach a Sunday School Class.

·        To lead a Bible Study.

·        To go to Bible College or Seminary.

·        To be a Christian School teacher.

·        To be a missionary.

·        To be a pastor.

·        To go on a short term missions trip.

·        To confront a fellow believer about a sin in his life.

·        To be a peacemaker between two believers.

·        To teach or lead a Bible study.

·        To give more to church or to missions or to a special project.

·        To help someone who is having a difficult time.

·        To be an officer in the church, a trustee, a deacon, or an elder.

·        To be an officer in the Sunday School.

In some cases you simply did what God called you to do.

In other cases you simply made excuses for not doing what God called you to do.

 

·     Making excuses is nothing new.  Some of God’s choicest servants in the Bible made excuses when God called on them to do something.  One of the people who made excuses when God called him was Moses. 

·        Moses was the little baby that was placed in the bulrushes by the river, when the Egyptian king, Pharaoh, had ordered all male Israeli babies be killed.

·    Moses was found by Pharaoh’s daughter and ended up growing up in Pharaoh’s court, receiving all the education of Egypt.

·    Moses tried to help his people who were in bondage in Egypt by killing an Egyptian who was beating an Israeli slave.  He also tried to make peace between two Israeli’s.

 

He discovered that what he had done to the Egyptian was known and he fled for his life.  Pharaoh was not happy in the least.

Exodus 2:15 - Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh…

Moses ended up a fugitive in the land of Midian where he became a shepherd taking care of the sheep of the man who became his father in-law, Jethro.   

 

Moses spent forty years in the wilderness, taking care of sheep.  Meanwhile the children of Israel were having a miserable time as slaves in Egypt.

Exodus 2:23-25 - And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. [24] And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. [25] And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

 

God decided that it was time for the children of Israel to be delivered from their bondage in Egypt.  God decided that the man who was going to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt was Moses.  As we read earlier, God appeared to Moses in a burning bush that would not burn up and called Moses to be God’s representative before Pharaoh and to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.

 

Exodus 3:9-10 - Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. [10] Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

 

It is at this point that Moses began to make excuses for not doing what God wanted him to do.

You and I use the same excuses today when God calls us to do something and we don’t think we should.

In this passage there are five excuses for not doing what God wants you to do.   

 

EXCUSE #1 – I AM UNWORTHY

 

Exodus 3:11 - And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

 

Moses was saying “Who am I?”

Of all Moses’ excuses, I think that this one was the most legitimate.

Moses came from a nation of slaves.

He had botched an attempted deliverance before and was at least guilty of manslaughter, if not murder.

   

You and I are all sinners.

 

We have failed God in the past.

Because of our sins we don’t deserve to be used of God.

But if you have placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,

He had changed you, and He had planned for you to serve Him.

 

Ephesians 2:8-10 - For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

God has plans for you, just as He did for Moses.

At the very least, you are called to a life’s pattern of good works to be done for God through your Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.   

 

Are we worthy of such a thing?  Of course not!  But that’s what God’s grace is all about.

The Apostle Paul never got over the fact that he, a persecutor of the Christians would be used of God to spread the Gospel of his Son.

 

1 Timothy 1:12-15 - And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; [13] Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. [14] And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. [15] This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

 

Getting back to Moses, I think that we need to see God’s response to Moses claiming to be unworthy.

 

Exodus 3:12 - And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

 

Moses might not be worthy to serve.

You might not be worthy to serve.

But when called Moses, God said, “I’ll be with you.”

When God calls us He says, “I’ll be with you.”

 

In fact God doesn’t want us to be free-lancing.

God wants us to be depending on Him to accomplish whatever He has called us to do.

 

Isaiah 41:10 - Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

 

Zechiah 4:6 - …Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

 

John 15:5 - I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

 

EXCUSE #1 – I AM UNWORTHY

EXCUSE #2 – I AM UNKNOWING

 

Exodus 3:13 - And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

 

Moses is pleading ignorance here.  He is pleading his own ignorance as well as the ignorance of the Israelites.

 

The Children of Israel probably knew more about the gods of Egypt than they did their own God. They needed education!

 

There are times when God will call you to say something, and you will claim ignorance.  You will use as an excuse the fact that you don’t know what to say.  God had an answer for Moses and He has an answer for you.

   

In Exodus 3:14-22, God tells Moses exactly what to say and encourages Moses that they will listen.  Exodus 3:14 is most significant.

Exodus 3:14 - And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

 

Moses is to tell Israel, “I Am” has sent me.

This is the Word, Jehovah.

And when people want to know who has sent us, it is still “I AM”, the self sufficient God who exists entirely on His own.

 

“I AM”   

·        God is real.

·        God is eternal.

·        God is personal.

·        God is alive.

·        God is everywhere.

·        God is constant. Vs. 15

·        God is involved. Vs. 16

·        God is powerful. Vss. 17-22

 

EXCUSE #2 – I AM UNKNOWING

EXCUSE #3 – I AM UNAUTHORIZED

   

Exodus 4:1 - And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.

 

Moses was authorized by God, but he was afraid that Israel would not listen to him.  He was afraid that they would not believe that he was God’s messenger.

That is one of our worries when God calls on us to preach, teach, or lead in some way.  We are afraid that people will not accept our leadership.   

    

4:2 – God asks Moses what is in His hand.

         Moses answer was quite simple, a rod.

         God went on to use that rod to show Moses’ authority.

 

4:3-4 – The rod became a snake.

 

4:6-7 – His hand would turn to leprosy and then back to normal again.

 

4:9 – Water from the Nile would turn to blood.

 

God asks you, “What is in your hand?”  What abilities do you have?  He will use those abilities to prove that you have authority from God.

If your ministry is from God, God will authenticate what you do.

 

Jeremiah 1:6-8 - Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. [7] But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. [8] Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.

 

Ezekiel 2:5 - And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

 

Matthew 28:18-19 - And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

 

EXCUSE #3 – I AM UNAUTHORIZED

EXCUSE #4 – I AM UNABLE

  

Exodus 4:10 - And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

 

Moses appeals to what he saw as his handicap, slow of speech.

Let me tell you something my friend. Every servant of God has some sort of handicap.

·        He or she may have some sort of physical handicap such as speech, eyes, mobility, or sickness.

·        He or she will never have all the spiritual gifts.

·        The gifted preacher is not always the gifted visitor.

·        The gifted visitor is not always the gifted administrator.

·        The gifted administrator is not always the gifted teacher.

·        God limits us, so that He will get the glory!

 

2 Corinthians 4:7 - But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

 

The answer God gave Moses is a good answer for you and I.

 

Vs. 11 – God says, “I made you this way.”

 

Vs. 12 – God says “I will empower you to do what I want you to do.”  

 

EXCUSE #4 – I AM UNABLE

EXCUSE #5 – I AM UNWILLING

 

Exodus 4:13 - And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.

 

Here was a man who had seen the glory of God in the burning bush.

Here was a man who had just talked intimately with God.

Here was a man who had God all his objections for going and doing what God wanted him to do.

Here was a man in verse 13 who basically told God that he was unwilling or unavailable!

 

Beware that you are not the same way.

Notice that God’s anger is finally kindled in verse 14.

Exodus 4:14 - And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.

 

Aaron would be sent to help, but later, Aaron would cause Moses problems.

Make sure that you do not kindle God’s wrath by refusing to go and do what he has called you to go and do. 

Remember, God chastens those He loves when they do not obey.

 

Vs. 18 – Moses finally got going.

 

What is it God wants you to do?

GET GOING!

 

Don’t make any of these excuses!

I AM UNWORTHY

I AM UNKNOWING

I AM UNAUTHORIZED

I AM UNABLE   

I AM UNWILLING