When God’s call barged into Moses’ staid life, he came up with excuses. We catch up with Moses’ excuses in Exodus 4.
1 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”
He begins with insecurity. Moses had not forgotten that 40 years earlier, his feeble attempts to save his people had ended up being ridiculed. Insecurity usually arises from past experience. The memory of failure prevents many a person from going forward in life. But the work of the Lord in a Christian’s life is a game-changer. After resurrection, Jesus reinstates Peter and ensures that Peter’s memory of failure in disowning Christ would be nullified as he is entrusted with the task of being the rock of the church. The Lord gives Moses first hand experience of the miraculous and assures him that this call is no ordinary one but one that is truly supernatural and from God.
10 Moses said to the LORD, “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.”
Moses goes on to inability. Moses likely stuttered and was not eloquent in speech- indeed a valid concern for one who has been asked to lead the Israelite nation out of captivity. But God operates on different levels, the physical realm being only one of them. God also sees different aspects of a problem whereas we see in a limited way. What might appear to us to be the major handicap might only be minor issue in the larger scheme of things. Remember, Moses was raised in Egypt and was likely more educated and knowledgeable than any other Israelite in his time. The Bible tells us that he was highly regarded among Pharaoh’s officials (Exodus 11:3). Unlike other Hebrews, he was unique in not having experienced slavery and so was able to think like a free man and not like a slave- how else could he be honest in calling his fellow men out into freedom? At a deeper spiritual level, the ensuing struggle was not just between men, rather between God and the forces that stood opposed to God. Intimacy with God would have been the prime requirement to stand in that battle and represent God. Yes, he stuttered, but there was no one more qualified to do that job than Moses. In Paul’s words,
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. (1Corinthians 1:25).
3 But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”
Finally Moses moves on to evasion. Moses might have had a speech deficiency, but it does not appear that the deficiency included the art of giving excuses. Now he comes up with the common response of shunning responsibility. “Let some else do it” is a common refrain among Christians when God demands an effort from them for his greater purposes. Of course, we don’t lack time or the initiative for our professions or friends or for the faceless social media. But when it comes to God’s work, there is that strange lethargy which paralyzes any movement.
In the next verse, we find God’s anger burning against Moses. We need to understand that when God calls us for his purposes- be it involvement in the church or a Christian organization, be it witnessing to a friend or helping others in need, it is a serious matter. We need to set aside the excuses and be faithful.
What are some of the excuses you have come across? Share your thoughts.
- THE CALL OF GOD
- TAKING HOLD