Summary: A message about the excuses we make to avoid God’s plan for our lives. A parallel is drawn to Moses accepting God’s calling on his life in Exodus 3-4.
If there’s any sermon topic we can relate to it’s this one! Everyone knows exactly what we’re dealing with here before I even say a word. We’re all experts on this one. We have all majored in this, we have Ph.D’s in the field of excuses! And I am as qualified as anyone to teach this course.
Excuse: an attempt to release from an obligation or duty by mitigating circumstances. (mitigating...to lesson the severity of the action) By definition an excuse sounds like something that belongs in a court of law! It’s an apology used to gain exemption for service...a reason put forward to justify an offense!
By definition an excuse is made in an attempt for us to be our own judge and jury...we close the case once we state the excuse, slam the gavel and move on to our next court case! The problem is that, just like in a court of law -- the excuse of the offender only holds weight in our own minds -- to those around us, the Jury -- to the judge -- God -- our excuses never seem to vindicate our actions quite like we hope.
When we’re young, our excuses are often cute (my kids) they are harmless enough. As we grow older, they often turn pathological even and excuses often turn into part of our DNA that we just accept.
Benjamin Franklin: He that is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
Excuses are as old as humanity itself. It’s what we do.
First sin Gen 3 -- In a beautiful wooded courtroom....The judge confronts Adam and Eve with their sin, Eve cries that the serpent made her eat the apple, Adam yells "she made me do it". The blame game is born!
Exodus chapter 3 -- The nation of Israel was in it’s darkest time, enslaved by Egypt when God came to Moses in the form of a bush that was on fire but wasn’t burning up. Moses was a smart one and realized something weird was going on!
God says I have heard the cries of Israel and I am here to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians! I bet Moses was pretty pumped up by this news...until God says ’Go to Pharaoh and tell him this slavery is ended...I’m using you’!!!! Record skip!
It’s at this point that mighty Moses starts to look an awful lot like you and me.
And the excuses pour like rain...
Excuse #1 - WHO, ME?? I’M NOBODY!!! WHO AM I??
This is a pitiful excuse, but it’s often (when God calls us) our first round excuse, loaded in the chamber, ready to fire at a moments notice. It’s bad enough, the excuses we use to be late for work, it’s another thing to use them on God!
Who am I? I can’t do this? Look at all my past mistakes! No doubt Moses was dwelling on his past. 40 years earlier Moses had killed an Egyptian that was oppressing an Israelite -- Moses had tried this ’deliverance’ thing a long time ago, with his own power. No one listened to him then, why would they now?
Have you used your past as an excuse? I have. Have you ever used an attempt and failure in the past as a reason to NEVER try something again??
What about something as simple as getting involved with your local church? Maybe you’ve been involved in a church before, maybe you got burned? Maybe you were serving in some capacity and something left a bad taste in your mouth?