If we had seen a burning bush, on fire but the fire is not consuming it and then God spoke to us from this bush with an audible voice and told us to go rescue his people, that would inspire most of us to go. That’s why I wrote a few days ago that so often the bible characters which we build into superheroes were actually just normal people like me and you, because Moses even after that supernatural encounter with a burning bush, Moses then turns around and offers God four excuses why he can not do it.
In the Bible we find time and time people making excuse why they don’t obey God or follow his calling. In Luke 14, Jesus told a wonderful parable about excuse-making. He says that someone gave a great dinner and invited many guests, but they all began to make excuses. “The first said to him, ‘ I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ Another said, ‘I have just been married and therefore I cannot come.'” Then the master said to the slave, Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled.” When there’s a job to be done, God takes “no excuses.”
Jonah was another Hebrew Prophet who is a model of reluctance. When God called him to preach in the Assyrian capital, Ninevah, Jonah took a fast boat in the opposite direction. A man of few words, he didn’t even bother to argue with God. He just sailed off into the horizon.
Jeremiah who makes his excuse for avoiding God’s call. In Jeremiah 1:6, he says, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.”
We could keep listing examples but even more unfortunate is that we are too often like Moses and the others. When God speaks to us we offer him excuses why we cannot do it, why we are not good enough or why someone else would be better. Over the next few days we shall consider the excuses which Moses used (which are so similar to our own) and see how God answers them.