Summary: Excuses - Ex. 3:7-4:17 (Excuse - An attempt to release from an obligation or duty by mitigating circumstances. An apology used to gain exemption for service. A reason put forward to justify an offence)
Excuses - Ex. 3:7-4:18
Illustration:Whoever wants to be judge of human nature should study people’s excuses.
Excuse - An attempt to release from an obligation or duty by mitigating circumstances. An apology used to gain exemption for service. A reason put forward to justify an offence.
Ten Most Used Excuses:
1. I forgot.
2. No one told me to go ahead.
3. I didn’t think it was that important.
4. Wait until the boss comes back and ask him.
5. I didn’t know you were in a hurry for it.
6. That’s the way we’ve always done it.
7. That’s not in my department.
8. How was I to know this was different?
9. I’m waiting for an O.K.
10. That’s his job--not mine.
Bits & Pieces, November, 1989, p. 18.
We all tend to use excuses for a variety of reasons but there comes a time when the Lord will grow tired of our attempts to excuse ourselves from obedience to His will. Moses made excuses because he felt inadequate for the task of liberating his enslaved countrymen from the Egyptians. Even though it is natural for us to feel insufficient for the jobs God calls us to do we need to remember, "The just shall live by faith." (Rom. 1:17) Abraham learned that lesson and did not stagger with unbelief, but grew strong in faith being fully persuaded that what God had promised, He had the power to bring to completion. (Rom. 4:20,21)
Let us examine some of the excuses that Moses offered to God to see how to avoid similar mistakes.
1. INADEQUACY - Moses felt inadequate because he looked at his own abilities rather than God’s mighty character. Paul learned how to overcome his own sense of inadequacy when he wrote, "Not that we are adequate to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God." (2 Cor. 3:5,6) Paul learned how the Spirit of God makes us competent to do everything God asks us to do with the help of Christ who gives us the strength, power and facility. Trust the Lord to help you overcome any inadequacy with the Spirit’s supernatural enabling, empowering and enlightening you with all spiritual adequacy.
Illustration: Johnny Unitas could have thought he was inadequate as he was cut from the Pittsburg Steelers and sent home with $10 bus fare money. They said he was too skinny, slow and did not have the arm strength needed for the NFL. Johnny never quit. His first game with the Baltimore colts, he threw an interception on his first play and fumbled on the next two series. But Johnny never quit. In one game, his nose was broke, he had a concussion and his teeth were knocked through his lower lip. He told the coach, I’ve got to get back in the game." The coach said, "Why?" Johnny said, "Look at the score board, we are behind." Unitas packed some mud on his lip to stop the bleeding and returned to the huddle and said, "Just block and we will win the game." Johnny won because his heart was in the game. They won the game because Johnny Unitas never quit with any excuses of inadequacy."
2. INSUFFICIENCY - Moses felt insufficient to speak to the people. Many of us do not feel we have had sufficient training or experience to do what God wants us to do. The number one phobia that Americans have is the fear of public speaking. Many are afraid of being seen to be inarticulate in any way since we do not like being laughed at or made to feel embarrassed. Moses said, "I have not been eloquent neither recently nor in times past." God replied, "Who made your mouth. And who makes some deaf, some blind and some to see. Now go and do as I have told you, I will help you speak well and I will tell you what you are to say." (Ex. 4:10,11) Some of us need to know that God will give us on the job training. The Lord looked at Moses’ problem very differently. Instead, the Lord reminded Moses who made him the way he was. Who better than the Lord could give Moses the ability to express the message of deliverance with articulative wisdom and passion.
Illustration:A poor workman always finds fault with his tools.
Bits & Pieces, May 1990, p. 10.
3. WEAKNESSES - Moses felt that he was too weak to lead two million Israelities out of Egypt. The Lord had to remind Moses that it would be by His mighty power that the victory would come. God said, "If they do not believe the first miraculous sign, they will believe the second. If they do not believe after these two signs, then take some water from the Nile River and pour it out on the dry ground. When you do it, it will turn into blood."(Ex. 4:8,9) God will perform miracles in and through and with our lives if we believe Him. Let us remember what God told Zerubbabel, "NOt by power or by might, but by my Spirit says the Lord, this mountain will be removed." (Zech 4:6,7) When we are weak then God can show Himself strong. Paul wrote, "Your grace is sufficient for my weakness. For when I am weak, then I am strong, the less I have the more I depend on you." (2 cor. 12:9,10)