No Excuses

Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not an eloquent man, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant, for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave a mouth to man, or who makes a person mute or deaf or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? So now go, and I will be with your mouth and will teach you what you must say.” But Moses said, “O my Lord, please send anyone else whom you wish to send!” Then the Lord became angry with Moses, and he said, “What about your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he can speak very well. Moreover, he is coming to meet you, and when he sees you he will be glad in his heart. “So you are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And as for me, I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you both what you must do.
-Exodus 4:10-15

You know, God is an exasperating conversation partner in this story. It’s clear to everyone involved that Moses has no desire to go to Egypt and be God’s messenger to Pharaoh. No matter what excuse he has to offer, though, God has an answer prepared.

You don’t know what to say? No problem. I’ll be telling you.

You don’t want to go it alone? Fine. I’ll send a buddy with you.

Afraid you’ll screw it all up? You won’t. I’ll be with you every step of the way.

Shortly after this passage, Moses tries to find another way out, seeking permission from his father-in-law before he leaves. Surely Jethro, who is both a priest and a man concerned for his daughter’s well-being, will not allow Moses to go on this dangerous fool’s errand for some foreign god. But Jethro gives his permission, and so Moses heads to Egypt. You probably know the rest of the story – there’s plagues and miracles and bread from the sky and before you know it, he’s led his people to freedom in a new land.

And it all starts with a God who will take no excuses when it comes to doing the right thing, no matter how valid or practical it was.

I wonder how often I’ve excused myself from taking action because I had a valid reason not to. When Moses answered God’s call, it brought freedom to people in bondage.

Have I, through my perfectly reasonable inaction, refused freedom to others?

Have you?