Moses said to the Lord, “Look, the Israelites will not listen to me. Why would Pharaoh listen, since I speak with a stammering tongue?”
While the people of Israel moaned under the crushing weight of slavery in Egypt, God sent Moses on a mission. He was to tell the people a word from God: “I am the Lord and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.”
Moses told his fellow Israelites the good news. Yet, instead of exuberant shouts of joy, the Israelites ignored him. They were far too discouraged to believe in good news.
Great. You say exactly what the Lord wants, and no one listens. The next time, the Lord wants Moses to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. This time Moses is ready . . . with excuses. “Tried it already.” “Didn’t work.” And, just for good measure, Moses adds, “I’m a lousy public speaker.”
We can’t brag up Moses too much, (because he’s not walking away as the winner of this argument), but these are really good excuses. And, Moses was absolutely right. He did go to Pharaoh, and Pharaoh scoffed at him – just as Moses said he would.
Excuses are wonderful things because they absolve us from responsibility. They defend us against embarrassment and failure.
But, in the process we become “victimized” by life. Listen to these actual insurance claims and see if you notice a pattern:
“A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.”
“. . . as I reached an intersection, a hedge sprang up obscuring my vision.”
“As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared. . . “
“The telephone pole was approaching fast. I attempted to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end.”
Did you notice it? When those filing insurance claims try to avoid responsibility, their passivity becomes comical. They are poor, passive victims living in a hostile world where stop signs and telephone poles dart in front of their cars and attack them.
Moses had good excuses for not becoming God’s messenger. But God told Moses to speak; he didn’t tell him to make Pharaoh respond. That’s God’s department.
Moses did end up doing what God said (with Aaron’s help), and, in the end, everything turned out all right.
Do you have excuses for not doing what the Lord wants you to do? I hope they’re good ones (and don’t forget that “I already tried it; doesn’t work” is a solid performer). But, at the end of the day, are we trying to persuade God, or just ourselves?
God’s ways often don’t make sense – to us anyway. But once we know His will, it’s always best to trust him. No excuses.
(text copyright 2011 by Marty Kaarre)