Summary: Examining Moses’ excuses to God as to why he should not be the one to go and demand Israel’s release from Pharaoh.
So What’s Your Excuse?
By: Ken McKinley
For Sunday, Jan. 18 2009
(Read Text from Mark)
One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2009 was to share the gospel with at least one person per week. If I’m faithful in doing that it will mean that I share the gospel with 52 people this year (and no preaching on Sunday doesn’t count). I’m talking about personal evangelism. I don’t know about you all, but I think that’s a pretty good resolution, but I have a problem. Let me explain it if I may.
When I encounter someone I immediately begin to rationalize things. I say to myself, “What if this person doesn’t appreciate what I’m trying to tell them?” Or, “What if I come on to strong and turn them off towards the Gospel?” Or, “What if while I’m trying to break the ice, I have nothing in common with them and they have different interests, and they don’t like my personality?” Or what if this? Or what if that?
And maybe you’ve been in that same situation. Maybe you’ve got the same problem I have. Before you agree, let me tell you what that problem is. It’s not that I’m really worried about the things I just said, it’s that I’m worried about myself… my self image, my self esteem, my ego, and my comfort zone.
Turn with me to Exodus chapter 4:1-17 (Read).
Now it’s my prayer that we can find the answer to why we don’t work on fulfilling the Great Commission from Moses’ example.
Now prior to this passage we just read in Exodus chapter 4 God said to Moses in chapter 3 verse 8, “I have come down to deliver my people out of the hand of the Egyptians.” Chapter 2:24 tells us that God decided to do this because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And so God comes to Moses and says, “I will deliver them…” In-other-words, God is saying to Moses, “This is my battle, I will fight it, and I’m doing it because of the covenant I swore with your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I’m the One who is going to secure the victory, and it will be to my glory… but Moses you are getting the opportunity to be a part in this epic portion of history, but don’t worry about a thing Moses… I have come to deliver them!”
But look what Moses does. In chapter 3:11 he says, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” “God, don’t you know that Pharaoh is one of the most powerful men on the face of the earth, and I’m just a sheep herder?” That would be like God telling you or I to go to Washington D.C. on inauguration day and telling our new President, “End abortion now, or else God will smite you down!” Can you imagine that? And so Moses says, “Who am I that I should do this?” Many years later God would explain His reasoning in 1st Corinthians 1:27 where He moved Paul to write, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.” I can see God thinking: Moses, you’re exactly right, you are nothing and yes Pharaoh is a mighty king upon the earth, but don’t you remember “I have come down to deliver them, and I will be with you.”
So what happened here was that Moses got caught in false humility.
God took care of that though, Yes Moses you are weak, but I will be with you. I will help you. I have come to deliver my people.”
So with that argument shot look what Moses does next… “Ok, so when I go to Egypt who should I say sent me?” So Moses has changed his tune somewhat. Instead of asking “Who am I?” He’s asking, “Who are you God?”
And God said to Moses in verse 14, “I am who I am.” Now this is a whole lot more than Popeye saying, “I am what I am.” This is God saying, “There is nothing outside of me that determines my character; there is nothing making me what I am. I am not in the process of becoming something, I AM. I am without beginning, I am without end, I am unchanging, I am sovereign, I am omnipotent, I am omnipresent, I am omniscient.”
God goes on to tell Moses how it will go, He tells him that He will bring the Israelites out of Egypt, that He will make sure the Israelites listen to Moses, that Pharaoh will resist but will eventually give in, and that He will give the people of Israel favor with the Egyptians and that they will not go out of Egypt empty handed.