Summary: In this sermon, we explore Moses' excuses and how God responded to them.
A. It was Benjamin Franklin who said: “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else” and I guess I have to agree with him.
B. John Swigert, Jr. had an interesting excuse in 1970. Who is John Swigert, Jr.?
1. John L. Swigert, Jr. was one of the three astronauts aboard the ill-fated Apollo 13 moon mission in 1970.
2. Swigert was originally part of the backup crew for the mission, but was assigned to the mission just 3 days before launch, replacing astronaut Ken Mattingly, because Mattingly had been exposed to German Measles and he had not been immunized against it.
3. Swigert’s last minute substitution interfered with filing his federal income-tax return.
4. On the second day of Apollo 13, April 12, Swigert asked Mission Control to begin work to get him an extension on his filing, giving the excuse that he was a last minute substitution.
5. The IRS didn't have to make a special ruling to grant Swigert a two-month extension because of his “I'm-on-my-way-to-the-moon excuse.”
6. There was already a regulation that provided an automatic extension for anyone out of the country and being on the moon qualified as being out of the country.
C. So some excuses are better than others and boy do we have a lot of them!
1. We have excuses for why we missed school or work.
2. We have excuses for why we are late paying our bills.
3. We have excuses for why we got off our diet and exercise program.
4. We have excuses for why we haven’t been in touch with friends.
D. We also have excuses regarding spiritual things.
1. We have excuses for why we have been missing worship or Bible classes.
2. We have excuses for why we don’t give more money or time or effort to the Lord.
3. We have excuses for why we can’t take on a responsibility like teaching a Bible class or visiting a shut in.
E. Can we agree that most excuses aren’t very good ones?
1. Ultimately, God doesn’t want to hear excuses, rather He wants to hear confessions and resolutions.
2. God wants to see genuine repentance and faithfulness.
F. For a number weeks, we have been studying the life of Moses.
1. Let’s briefly review the story we have covered so far.
2. The people of God, the Israelites are in Egyptian bondage, and for the past 40 years Moses has been a fugitive living in the desert, tending the flocks of Jethro, his father-in-law.
3. While alone with the sheep near Horeb, the mountain of God, Moses saw a bush that was burning, but was not burning up.
4. When Moses approached the bush, God spoke to him saying, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” At this Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. (3:5-6)
5. Then the Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt…I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the land of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, and land flowing with milk and honey…So now, go, I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (3:7-10).
G. Today we want to pick up the story with Moses’ response to God’s plan and commission.
1. How do you think Moses should have responded to God’s call?
2. He probably should have responded, “Yes, Sir! Lord, your wish is my command!”
3. But that’s not how Moses responded, and if we are honest that’s probably not how you or I would have responded.
4. So let’s spend some time with the story and learn the lessons God would want to teach us.
I. The Story
A. So how did Moses respond to God’s plan and God’s call?
1. Ultimately, Moses didn’t like God’s plan and he didn’t want to be a part of it.
2. Although Moses was 80 years old, he didn’t feel ready or equipped for the job.
3. And so, like us, Moses offered excuses to God – 5 to be exact.
4. Let’s take a look at the excuses and how God responded to each of them.
B. Excuse #1: “Who Am I?”
1. In Exodus 3:10-11, the Bible says: 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
2. Moses basically said to God: “Lord, you had better double-check your records. I think you have the wrong guy. You don’t want to use me!”