Summary: Excuses, God's Provision, People Who Support Us
OUT OF WEAKNESS…STRENGTH - Moses: “I Can’t Speak So Good”
Exodus 4:10-17 (p. 41) August 13, 2017
I had someone this past week ask me if I would do something I really didn’t want to do…it was to attend a luncheon and discuss social media and it’s effects on the Church…now don’t get me wrong…I want to use every possible means in the most effective way to promote the Gospel…but this is not my thing. I immediately started to formulate an excuse…“Sorry, I can’t attend, my worm farm needs attention on that day.” “I can’t be there because I’d rather eat dirt than spend four hours talking about this subject.”
And then I thought of the best way to get out of it…I told them, “I’d forward the request to Bobby Cairell, our Associate Minister who has great skills in this area.” I’m a genious!
Wayne Smith defined an excuse in his way: “It’s the skin of an alibi wrapped in a lie.”
I’ll bet a thousand dollars that almost every one of us made some excuse this last week to get out of something we didn’t want to do! Or maybe get out of a situation we didn’t want to be in.
[I heard about a police officer in a small town stopping a motorist for going 25 mph over the speed limit.
The guy said, “But officer, I can explain.”
The cop said, “Just be quiet…I don’t want to hear it! I'm going to let you cool your heels in jail until the chief gets back.”
“But officer I just wanted to say.”
“Keep quiet! You’re going to jail!”
Later the officer looked in on his prisoner and said, “Lucky for you that the chief will be in a good mood when he gets back…He’s at his daughter’s wedding.”
The guy responds…“Don’t bet on it…I’m the groom.”]
I suppose some excuses are better than others…but usually we have them because we’d just rather not do something.
In our text Moses found himself in just such a position…He’d been saved from slaughter as a baby by Pharaoh’s daughter. Raised in the palace until he kills a man for beating a Jewish slave, he ends up in the desert shepherding the flock of a man named Jethro. And he married his daughter…one day while on Mt. Horeb, God speaks to Moses from a burning bush… “I am who I am…the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people out of Egypt.”
But Moses argues with God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt.”
Moses has an excuse: “I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant I am slow of speech and tongue.”
Loose paraphrase… “God, I can’t speak so good!” It’s ironic that Moses is arguing with God using his speech and tongue. He’s formulating his excuses pretty eloquently.
And the lesson…there are times we should just keep our mouth shut…especially if someone in authority is speaking.
I read an article about America’s dumbest criminals…This one came from Lt. Ricky Ramie of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office narcotic task force. He said on June 13, 18 year old John Douglas Sheetz and 17 year old Misty Ann Holmes called police to report that their half pound stash of marijuana had been stolen from their apartment. They said they needed it back because they wanted to sell it. When deputies arrived, the couple allowed them to search their apartment. They found almost an ounce of marijuana, paraphernalia, scales and baggies. They were arrested on possession and intent to distribute.
The couple were being held in Bay Co. jail with bail set at $17,500.
Sometimes it’s better if you just keep quiet. But Moses didn’t. He tells God, “You’ve got the wrong guy”…I wonder how many of us have told God the same thing?
Maybe we should realize like Moses that:
I. GOD WILL PROVIDE THE POWER WE NEED TO SPEAK
The Lord says to Moses: “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I the Lord? Now go! I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (Exodus)
This is God saying, “I made you…I can direct you…I will provide the words you need…now go!”
How many times do we have the opportunity to be sent by God to rescue people and we’re afraid to speak…Just like Moses we don’t think we’re eloquent enough or we might say the wrong thing, or we believe someone else should do it? And God says, “My spirit does not make you timid, but gives power, love and self discipline…so do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord…” (2 Tim. 1:7-8)