Summary: God gives Moses a second chance.
1. “Every vice has its excuse ready.”
2. “He that is good at making excuses is seldom good at anything else.”
3. “If you don’t want to do something, one excuse is as good as another.”
4. “We have 40 million reasons for failure, but not one excuse.”
Excuse\ik-skyiis: 1. The act of apology, 2. Attempt to remove blame, 3. To request release from consequences, 4. To justify, 5. To pass over without blame, censure, or punishment.
B. THE SETTING FOR MOSES’ EXCUSES
1. God is giving Moses a second chance.
2. God is demonstrating His power in a burning bush.
3. Moses has just yielded, “Here am I,” and he is on his face.
4. Like a first grader, Moses thinks he knows it all.
C. MOSES’ FOUR EXCUSES AND GOD’S ANSWER
1. UNFIT. “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” (Ex. 3:11).
a. Was Moses afraid of Pharaoh because a price was on his head? No.
b. Was Moses truly humble? No.
c. This excuse was probably motivated by unbelief.
d. Every day dawns differently, i.e., sunshine, rain, snow, cloudy, but the promise of God’s presence never changes. “Lo, I am with you always” (Matt. 28:20).
GOD’S ANSWER: God’s presence. “Certainly I will be with you” (Ex. 3:12).
2. UNTAUGHT. “When I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘the God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘what is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Ex. 3:13).
GOD’S ANSWER: Tell them who I am. “Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you” (Ex. 3:14).
a. Moses knew his mother’s name, Jochebed – Jehovah my glory.
b. Israel knew this name but not used it. “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name LORD (I AM, I AM), I was not known to them” (Ex. 6:3).
c. I AM, I AM means living in the eternal present tense, the Self-Existent One and Redeemer.
God’s Three Old Testament Names
God, Elohim – the powerful Creator
LORD, Yahweh – the self-existing, covenant keeper
Master, Adonai, the One who owns and directs me
d. Jesus means Jehovah saves.
e. Jesus identified Himself by the seven I AMs in John.
3. UNBELIEVING: “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, “The LORD has not appeared to you” (Ex. 4:1).
a. An ambassador who denies the king who sent him, has no power.
b. Moses was denying the sign of the burning bush.
GOD’S ANSWER: “What is in your hand?” (Ex. 4:2). God uses the weakest; used with an earthen pitcher, a shepherd’s sling, an ox goad, a ram’s horn, and here God uses a shepherd’s rod, the weakest of animals, but more powerful than a king’s scepter or a soldier’s sword.
(1) A rod becomes a serpent, part of Egypt’s worship. Pick it up by its tail and it became a rod (Ex. 4:3-4).
(2) Thrust hand in bosom to become leprous, again for healing (Ex. 4:6-7).
(3) Water poured on ground becomes blood (Ex. 4:9).
4. UNABLE: “O my LORD, I am not eloquent . . . but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Ex. 4:10).
a. Moses stuttered or had a lisp.
b. Moses thought this last excuse trumped God.
GOD’S ANSWER: “So the LORD said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?’” (Ex. 4:11).
c. The God who created us in the beginning, knows what we need in the end.
d. Moses denied his training. “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds” (Acts 7:22).
D. UNWILLING: MOSES’ FIFTH EXCUSE
1. Refused: “But Moses pleaded again, ‘LORD, please send someone else’” (4:13, LB).
2. I don’t want to do it, send someone else.
GOD’S ANSWER: Anger. “So the anger of the Lord was kindled (as in making a fire) against Moses” (4:14).
3. Perhaps God will use someone else. “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well” (4:14).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.