Summary: I suspect there was one last "excuse" Moses had for why he didn't want to obey God. Do you know what that excuse might have been?
There was an advertising tycoon Albert Lasker who asked one of his top executives to move from California to the New York office. The man refused. He didn’t want to move. He liked it right where he was. A couple days later, Lasker changed tactics. He brought the executive into his office and announced: “I have just made my will and I have decided that you will succeed me as head of the business. This means that you will have to leave California when the time comes. Would you do that for me?” The executive paused and then said: “Yes.” “You would do this for me?” said Lasker. “Yes.” “You will do this for me when I am dead?” “Yes,” repeated the executive. “Then, why, won’t you do it for me while I’m alive?”
APPLY: That executive didn’t want to go to New York, but when the President of the company changed the terms… he changed his mind. In our text this morning we find that Moses doesn’t want to go where God wants to send him. “Send somebody else!” he says (Exodus 4:13).
For the past hour or so, God’s been dealing with excuse after excuse from Moses. God has answered his objections, given him miraculous signs, and has repeatedly assured Moses... that its going to be OK, I’M going take care of everything. But nothing seems to change Moses mind: “I don’t want to go!!” he says. But eventually Moses does go.
So, why does Moses end up going?
Well, 1st God gets mad. Moses says: “‘Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.’ Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses…” (Exodus 4:13-14) God was ticked off!!!
Just for the record: you don’t want to get God “ticked off.” In II Samuel, we’re told about a man who touched the Ark of the Covenant. “And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God.” (2 Samuel 6:7) Let me repeat… you don’t want to tick God off.
ILLUS: Have you ever gotten mad at your kids (or your grandkids)? I mean – you’ve told them to do something (pick up their toys or something) - and you’ve told them two or three times. But they don’t do it… because they don’t want to. Has that ever made you mad? Me too!
I’ve noticed that when get angry with my grandson, his attitude changes. Up until I get angry, he may play or joke or ignore me; but not once I get mad - maybe its something in my voice or my face - he knows (when that happens) I’m upset and he KNOWS he’s in trouble… and he changes his mind real quick.
I’m suspecting MOSES knows God is upset, and he realizes if he doesn’t change his mind he’s in trouble real quick.
God is a patient God… but there does come a time when He stops being patient. In 2 Peter 3:9 we’re told “The Lord … is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
And Psalms 103:8 “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy”
But Hebrews 3:7-8 warns us not to push that patience too far: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’"
God is patient. But He won’t be patient forever. And (I think) Moses suddenly realized God’s patience had worn thin and maybe he needed to change his mind… like NOW!!!!
Now, that said I think maybe, there’s one more excuse Moses hadn’t used yet. I think there was a fear inside of Moses that God knew about. And God – knowing that this excuse might hinder Moses’ obedience, God had made plans to deal with Moses’ fear.
So, what was this fear? What was Moses’ last excuse? I think Moses’ last excuse was the very real fear of facing Pharaoh… all by himself. Before Moses gave in to God’s request that he go to Egypt, we read this: “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him.” Exodus 4:14-16