“So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” — Exodus 3:10
As an educator and coach these past 25 years, I have heard numerous excuses from my students and players when they don’t like their assignment, are asked to do something out of their comfort zone, or when things get hard. I’ve learned that excuses only sound good to the ones who make them. As a colleague of mine would always share, “Excuses are like feet — most people have two and they usually stink.”
In Exodus 3:10, we learn that Moses gets an incredible and specific assignment as God miraculously speaks to Moses through a burning bush. Moses is told that he will be the one responsible to go back to Egypt to talk to Pharaoh about freeing the Israelites from their bondage and slavery.
Moses begins to realize the magnitude of his assignment. As we continue to read in Exodus 3 it becomes obvious that fear and doubt start overwhelming him. Usually when fear begins to creep into our lives, we end up making excuses (or at least I do). So Moses answers God in verse 11 by saying, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” God quickly responds: “I will be with you.” Moses’ second excuse: “Who should I say sent me?” And God quickly responds with, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14). God reveals to man that He is Yahweh, Jehovah. I am that I am.
But Moses comes up with three more excuses in Chapter 4: What if they don’t believe me? I am not eloquent and have a hard time speaking. And finally in verse 13, Moses asks God to please send someone else. It’s no surprise, though, that for each excuse Moses comes up with, God has a response: I will be with you. I will help you. I made man’s mouth. I will send Aaron to be by your side.
It’s so easy for us to read these verses and judge Moses. I find myself thinking, “Come on Moses, you can do this. God literally showed up in the desert and started talking to you from a bush. He’s God. He’s got this. He will be with you and will help you.” But I know the end of this story, and Moses did not. His human nature took over, his sinful nature, and there’s no doubt he was scared. He was nervous. He was afraid. He lacked faith.
If we are honest with ourselves, aren’t we the same way? God gives us an assignment — we know God wants us to teach that Sunday School class, volunteer with a specific ministry, get involved with that small group, share our testimony or witness to that neighbor — but then fear creeps in. We get nervous. We get afraid. We start to make excuses. God doesn’t want to hear our excuses, He wants us to obey. He wants us to trust in Him and have faith. Just like with Moses, He will be with us. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8).
Next time God gives us an assignment, let’s not make any excuses. Let’s obey Him immediately.
Prayer: “Dear God, please forgive me for the times that I have made excuses. I trust Your perfect plan for my life. Please give me the strength and courage to fulfill Your assignments in my life. I trust You and want to obey You.”
— Jim Good
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