The Excuses of Moses - Exodus 4

The Excuses of Moses

Exodus 4:1-31

Today some Christians have trouble understanding what God wants them to do.  Should they become pastors or missionaries or businesspeople or doctors or something else?  Moses didn't have that problem.  The Lord clearly revealed His will for Moses, when He spoke from a burning bush.  God called Moses to return to Egypt to bring His people out.  But Moses was hesitant to go back, and offered some excuses to stay.

First, he had doubts about his acceptance by the people.  He said, "But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, 'The Lord has not appeared to you.'"  Today some Christians are reluctant to share the gospel with some people because they believe that the people won't believe them anyway.  But God had an answer for Moses in the form of a rod that became a snake, and a hand that could become leprous and also healed of leprosy.

Second, he said, "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."  Now the Lord was really upset with Moses.  God answered, "Who has made man's mouth?"  He continued, "Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say."  Moses suggested that the Lord should get someone else.  "So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses."  However, God responded by providing Moses' brother, Aaron, as his interpreter.

Third, "Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, 'Please let me go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.'"  Moses sought permission from Jethro to leave Midian and go back to Egypt.  Moses was eighty-years-old.  He didn't need his father-in-law's permission to obey God.  It's possible that he wanted Jethro to turn him down, but he didn't.  Instead he said, "Go in peace."

It's interesting that Moses didn't ask permission from his wife, Zipporah.  At least the Scriptures are silent about what he said to her.

When Moses exhausted his excuses, the Lord had one final word.  "Now the Lord said to Moses in Midian, 'Go, return to Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead.'"  Moses was reluctant to go back, because he had killed an Egyptian and Pharaoh wanted to kill him.  No wonder he didn't want to return.

"Then Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt.  And Moses took the rod of God in his hand."


Lord, thank You for Your provision in our service for You.  Give us willing hearts to do Your will.  Keep us from offering lame excuses.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!


Lord, Why? - Exodus 5


All About God

Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
Copyright ©
1979, 1980, 1982
by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by Permission.
All rights reserved.

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