“Now, therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say” (Exodus 4:12).
I love the sass we hear coming from Moses.
Is that too strong a word? It probably is, since my dictionary defines sass as “disrespectful speech.”
Gentle backtalk. Assertiveness, maybe.
Toward the end of his exchange with the Lord who spoke to him from the burning bush, as God called him to confront Pharaoh and deliver Israel from Egypt, and after Moses has run up excuse after excuse, only to be shot down by the Lord, Moses adds one more. (I love that sentence! smiley-face here)
“O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant, but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
Something about that resonates with me.
10. You want excuses? We got ’em!
Moses was the champion in many areas for the Lord’s people who would eventually follow him. In his call, we find him coming up with some doozies of excuses why this isn’t going to work, sending him into Pharaoh’s court is a terrible idea, and he is the wrong person for this job.
“Who am I, Lord?” (3:11)
“Who are you, Lord?” (3:13)
“What if they don’t believe me, Lord?” (4:1)
“I can’t really do this, Lord.” (4:10)
“Here am I, Lord; send Aaron.” (4:13)
Sift through the entire conversation and you quickly decide that God’s answer to all of Moses’ excuses is the same: “I’ll be with you.” (3:12 and 4:12, 15)
When our Lord walked the earth, He kept running into one ridiculous excuse after another. Finally, He addressed the matter in a teaching found in Luke 14:16-24. The excuses given in this passage are so absurd (“I’ve bought some land and need to go see it,” “I’ve bought some oxen and need to test them,” and “I’ve gotten married and can’t come”), the Lord hoped people would see how flimsy were their alibis for not responding to God’s message.
The wonderful Vance Havner used to say, “An excuse is the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.” Several times in early Romans, Paul says, “They are without excuse.” So are we all.
9. God is a God of infinite patience. (And aren’t we glad!)