I’m sure you’ve never made any excuses to God about why you can’t do something that you know you’re supposed to be doing. For the last few days I’ve been thinking about Moses a lot. You know, one of the residents of the “Great Cloud of Witnesses” who brought the Israelites out of Egypt at God’s request? I have always identified with Moses. He made a lot of excuses to God about why he couldn’t do what He was asking him to do.
In Numbers 3:10 God said to Moses, “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharoah to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God in verse 11, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharoah and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Have you ever questioned God back this way when He asks you to do something? I know I have. Then in verse 12 God says, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” These questions are coming from Moses after God called to him from the burning bush?I don’t know about you but I think that is such a true picture of us and the way we are. He had this experience where God told him to take his sandals off and that he was standing on Holy Ground and he immediately says something like, “Who Am I?” He just had to hide his face to keep from looking at God and he’s questioning him? He goes on to question Him in Chapters 3 and 4 with other things like, “What if they don’t believe me?” Ever had an experience with God when you thought the same thing? I have. Then God gives him the miraculous signs that he will walk with to prove to the Egyptian Pharoah that he speaks for God such as his staff, his leprous hand, and the water that will turn to blood. Wow, God is arming him with some pretty cool things to get this job done but THEN after all this in Exodus 4: 10 he says, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant, I am slow of speech and tongue.” I can really identify with Moses on this part because I have always been a pretty quiet and shy person and it scares me to death to get up and speak but the times that I have done it for God it came out fine so I don’t know why I still find it hard. Well, back to Moses. After he makes this excuse to God about not being able to speak God gets a little angry and beginning in verse 14 the Word says, “Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and He said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help BOTH of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. ” Wow, if I’m not mistaken God really wanted to use Moses. Even after He got a little ticked off with the excuses of Moses He still came up with a way for Moses to be used with the help of another person. I hope this is not sacrilegious but every time I read this when Moses says he can’t speak too well and it says God’s anger burned I see that big face with fire coming out of it from the Wizard of Oz. Don’t get me wrong I know the difference between God and Oz but I guess it’s an imagery thing to me. I know God is love but I can see why He was getting irritated with Moses. Well anyway, we know that none of Moses’ excuses got him out of this job and we know how many times through this very long journey he felt like giving up but he was still used by God.
I’ve been making a lot of excuses myself lately to God about why I can’t do what I know He called me to do. No, I have not had a burning bush type experience but I have a good enough example of it from the Word of God to remind me of it all the time. Yes, I can so identify with Moses and all his questions to God and all the questioning of himself and his abilities but look at what he accomplished. Many times when I get down and discouraged all I have to say to myself is “A Great Cloud of Witnesses” and I’m reminded of how ordinary people were used by God, sometimes whining and kicking all the way, but God still used them. So I ask today, “What excuses are you making to God?” I’m sure they are not too different from the ones I am making but will we allow Him to use us anyway?
I don’t know where to start, Char. Months ago on Twitter I received a tweet from a close friend about being a good shepherd, I can’t remember the verses now. I looked down at the ground (like Moses) and the same friend sent me Psalms 3:2-3, then I saw it the Lord literally “lifted my head”. As I stared at the miraculously poignant tweet I returned this: “Where are these shepherds?” Her response felt like God Himself spoke directly to me: “YOU are the shepherd.”
It felt impossible at the time but not now. God has given me an online counseling ministry, nightly worship and a pair of Bible studies to lead.
Our God is gracious and generous, and shows His faithfulness regularly, yet I still struggle to believe.