Ex. 3:1-12 GOD’S
ANSWERS FOR MAN’S EXCUSES
Intro: Imagine for just a
moment that you are God. You are the Creator of the Universe and you possess
all power within yourself. All right, your people are being held as slaves and the
time has come to deliver them. Who would you choose to do this great work?
Perhaps you would send a great military leader? What about sending a skilled
politician? Maybe you would send some great orator; a man who could give
heart-stirring speeches that would grip the hearts of men. If you had the
population of the world at your disposal, would you have sent Moses? Probably
not! After all, he was 80 years old. He was a fugitive from justice, wanted for
murder in Egypt, the very place you wanted to send him! Yes, he was well
educated, but that was over 40 years ago. Yes, he had been well connected in
the political circles of the day, but that too had been a long time ago. Yet,
when it came time for God to send a deliverer to Israel, this is exactly the person
He chose for the job. To us humans, it doesn’t make much sense, but to God it
was all part of a great plan.
While you think about this
tonight, chew on this as well. We are living in the midst of a world that is
going to Hell. People who are perishing daily and need desperately to be
reached with the message of Jesus Christ surround us. If you were God, whom
would you send to reach them? Wouldn’t you raise up some kind of super saints?
Maybe you would ordain a few angels to get the job done right. But, surely you
wouldn’t send a bunch of old sinners saved by grace to tell other old sinners
about that grace. Why, if we were God, we would want the brightest minds and
the most skilled individuals we could get our hands on. Yet, when God chose to
reach this world for himself, He looked around and decided that saved sinners
made the best candidates for His work.
He hasn’t changed His mind!
He has saved every one of us to be workers for His glory, Eph. 2:10, James
2:18. But, when that realization dawns on us, we begin to drag out the excuses.
We try and find every reason under the sun why we can’t be the one He wants for
the job. This was Moses problem, and as we look into how the Lord handled
Moses’ excuses, we find that He pretty skillfully handled ours as well. In
these 2 chapters, there is a wealth of encouragement for the Christian who
wants to serve God but doesn’t feel capable. Let’s study these things together
tonight and notice God’s Answers For Man’s Excuses.
I. 3:1-12 THE
EXCUSE OF INABILITY
A. v. 11 Moses’ first concern is that he is a "nobody
and is therefore unqualified to go to Pharaoh and demand the release of the
Lord’s people. (Ill. Many in the church feel this same way! We feel that we
aren’t as qualified as someone else, or that we just don’t have the ability to
get the job done properly. Yet, in haste to give up before we ever start, we
forget one important truth – God chose us! To say we aren’t able to do the job
says that God doesn’t know what He is doing! After all, who knows best, you or
B. v. 12 God’s response to Moses, and to us, is to give a
pair of precious promises. First, He tells Moses, "I will go with
you." This is the promise of His presence. Secondly, He says, "After
you accomplish what I have sent you to do, I will meet you here." This is
the promise of a glorious reunion someday.
C. With these truths in mind, there is application that can
be made to our lives today.
1. If God has called us, He has done so with full knowledge
of our weaknesses and inabilities. (Ill. He knows you intimately – Psa.
2. If God has called us, He knows that we can
accomplish the task through His power, Phil 4:13. (Ill. He knows the end from
3. When He sends us out into His work, He never sends us
alone – Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5; John 14:16-18; John 16:13.
4. After the work has ended, He will gather us unto Himself
where we will experience His great presence for eternity – John 14:3; Rev.
D. If your excuse is one of inability, then just send that
thought back to the Hell it came from! In and of yourself, you are incapable of
anything godly and good, but through the power of God, you can do anything!
(Ill. Gideon and his little band – They were strong in their weakness – Judges
7, as was the Apostle Paul – 2 Cor. 12:9-10.
II. 3:13-22 THE
EXCUSE OF INADEQUACY
A. After telling God of his inabilities, Moses moves on to
talk of his inadequacies. In these verses, Moses is saying to the Lord, "I
just don’t know enough about who you are!"
(Ill. Many are in the same shape as Moses this evening. Not
only do we feel that we are incapable of serving the Lord as we should, we also
feel that we are just inadequate, that somehow, we just don’t know enough about
God, His Word, etc, to get the job done.)
B. God’s response to Moses is to remind him that He is the
"I AM!" While Moses may be inadequate, the God who calls him and
equips him certainly is not! God is in essence saying to Moses, "Just do
as I say, and I will show you who I AM as you need me to."
(Ill. This is how the Lord works in our lives. He leads us
out to follow Him by faith and we know very little about Him or His ways, but
as the needs arise, God proves Himself adequate and faithful to every
challenge. His great Name, I AM, becomes and open ended statement of fact. In
those 2 words, God tells us that He is what we need to Him to be at every
moment of our lives. There is not a situation you will ever find yourself in
that God doesn’t hold the solution to. He is able and He enables us as we go
C. Following the Lord by faith is often a scary affair. When
we look at the size of the task and compare our abilities to it, we often see
ourselves lacking what is needed for true success. However, in figuring these
things out, we always leave God out of the equation! When God is factored in, 2
+ 2 doesn’t necessarily equal 4!
D. Never allow a lack of an education, a lack of money, a
lack of skill or any other thing stop you from being everything God wants you
to be. Even if you can’t see within yourself the resources needed, just be
faithful to obey Him who has called you and placed you in His work. Above all,
when you are measuring yourself against the task always remember to measure him
who is above all others and obstacles, Eph. 3:20!
E. Noah probably didn’t feel adequate beside that Ark. David
must have felt pretty small next to Goliath. The Three Hebrews probably felt in
adequate against that furnace. Daniel must have looked pretty inadequate beside
that Lion’s Den. All through the Bible, God’s people have been placed alongside
obstacles against which they looked and felt inadequate, but with the power of
God working through them, they were able to overcome them all. If God willdo it
for them, He will do it for you too! He is no respecter of persons – Rom.2:11.
III. 4:1-9 THE EXCUSE
A. After the Lord handles all of Moses’ other excuses, Moses
decides that if he tells people that he has had a personal meeting with God
Himself, they will decide that Moses is lying. In other words, no one will
believe what he tells them.
(Ill. Many believers feel this exact way when it comes to
serving the Lord without fear. Many seem to have the impression that others
will think they are crazy when they begin to talk of a personal relationship
with the Lord Jesus Christ, or of they say they talk to God and that He talks
back. The truth is, we often feel that we are inferior to the world around us.
We have had this wonderful, life-changing event and we are sure that they will
never believe us, when we tell them about it.)
B. God’s response to Moses is to let him know that when the
Lord gets through working in and through him, there will be no doubt in the
minds of others as to the truth of Moses’ story! In fact, God makes it plain in
verse 9 that no matter what they skeptics say, He will keep working in Moses
until they are sure that his story is genuine!
(Ill. This is true in the lives of God’s children as well.
When the Lord comes in saving power, He also comes in life changing power. No
life can be touched by the salvation that is in Jesus Christ and remain like it
was! He will recreate the new believer in His image, 2 Cor. 5:17. That is not
to say that there won’t be lapses from time to time. However, the child of God
will be unmistakably changed.)
C. We are not inferior to anyone this evening! In fact, we
are the twice-bought children of the living God. That makes us people of
greatness. Therefore, let us allow the Lord the right of way in our lives. Let
us give Him the room to work in us so that this lost world may see that there
is power in the Blood, that Jesus still does save souls, and that there is hope
for their souls too.
IV. 4:10-17 THE
EXCUSE OF INFIRMITY
A. In a last ditch effort to escape the yoke God intends for
him, Moses appeals to some sort of a speech impediment. It may be that Moses
just thought and therefore responded slow, or it may be that he stuttered.
Whatever the infirmity, Moses tries to use it as an excuse for not doing the
will of God.
(Ill. Many of the Lord’s children are just like Moses. They
look at their lack of education, a physical handicap, their age, their income,
you name it, in an effort to stay out of the Lord’s field. In truth, these are
not legitimate excuses for not serving the Lord. There are none! Whatever your
hold up may be, God was well aware of it before He chose you for His work.
Therefore, our duty is to yield to His hand and allow Him His free reign in our
B. God’s response to Moses is that He made man’s mouth and
He made man’s mind, and He was able to give man what he needed when he needed
it! (Notice Moses’ attempt to put God off – v. 13, at this God gets angry and
promises Moses a helper. He will send Aaron his brother along as a spokesman.
But, it is worthy to note that Aaron was always leading the people into sin –
The Golden Calf and in speaking against Moses because of his wife.)
(Ill. You and I have no need to fear being used of the Lord.
He is still God, and He can still take those whom He has saved and fill their
minds and their mouths for His glory – Luke 12:11.)
(Ill. We too, have been given a helper in the Person of the
Holy Spirit! He is ever with us and will teach us what we need to know along
the way – John 16:15. However, unlike Aaron, He will never cause or lead us
into trouble. His plan is to help us along the way so that we might be the best
Christians we can be for the glory of the Lord.)
C. If your excuse is infirmity this evening, then put that
thought aside this evening. God used a jackass to speak to Balaam, He used a
rooster to speak to Peter, He used an old sheep hide to speak to Gideon and He
can use you. All He asks is that you be available and that you be usable.
Conc: It appears to me that
regardless of the excuses that man concocts for not doing the will of God, God
always has an answer. Here is the bottom line. If you have missed everything
else, then get this: God wants to use YOU. He has saved you by His grace and He
has made something out of your life. Now, He wants to show you off to a lost
and dying world. The best thing you and I can do is throw our excuses down and
realize that God is able where we are not. Our heart’s desire should be and
must be to serve Him at all costs, regardless of what He asks from our lives.
After all, He gave His all, and He asks no less from us. Are you willing to
come to Him tonight and throw in the towel? Are you willing to say, "God,
here I am send me", like Isaiah did? If so, the recruitment station is open
for business right now. All I am saying is what Moses would tell you if he were
here. He would say, "Church, you can argue with the Lord until you are
blue in the face, but He is going to get His way. You might as well go under
His blessing than under His whip."
Sermon By Alan Carr