Schneider Aviel

Sometimes God Has To Bang His Fist on the Table

Excuses are our biggest obstacles in life.

Illustration. Photo: Aharon Krohn/Flash90

How often do we look for excuses to shirk our duties? We tell ourselves stories while ignoring the voice of God. It may also be that we fail to recognize it as His voice and thus miss a sign from God. Our excuses are as numerous as the sand, as we say. At the same time, God is far more patient with us than we deserve, or expect of Him. Though even His reassurances are often not enough to stop our excuses. The following is but one small example from a great story in the Bible, which we find in Exodus chapters three and four.

Who am I to go to Pharaoh? That was Moses’ first reaction when God told him of his mission to bring Israel out of slavery. Surely most of us would react differently, bragging that God has called us to His ministry. But with Moses, God had to be patient and persuade him. But at a certain point God got angry. Moses threw repeated excuses until finally God lost His patience.

Moses: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

God: “I will be with you.”

Moses: “Behold, the children of Israel will ask me who the God is and what his name is. What can I tell them?”

God: “I am who I am!”

Moses: “But behold, they will not believe me and will not listen to me.”

God: “Take the staff in your hand so that you may do signs!”

Moses: “Oh God, I’m not a man who can talk. I have a clumsy mouth and a heavy tongue!”

God: “Who made man’s mouth? I will be with you!”

Moses: “Oh, my God! Send whoever you want to send!”

“And God became very angry with Moses.”

Moses gave God five excuses for not being able to take on this task.

  1. “Who am I.”
  2. “Who are you.”
  3. “They won’t listen to me.”
  4. “I can not talk.”
  5. And finally Moses said, “Find someone else. Send anyone but me”.

Moses did not respond to any of God’s direct reassurances:

  • “I will be with you.”
  • “I am who I am.”
  • “Your staff will do signs and wonders.”
  • “I will speak for you.”

Instead, Moses repeatedly had a new excuse ready as to why he was unable to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt. Moses successively ignored God’s promise to assist him in all scenarios. But when Moses finally said, “Choose someone else,” God got angry, and rightly so. Only after that was Moses willing to trust God and returned to his father-in-law Jethro and told him that he was going back to his brothers in Egypt. Jethro spoke to him: “Go in peace!”

Excuses are our biggest obstacles in life. If God hadn’t banged His fist on the table and gotten angry, Moses would probably have missed his fate as he wallowed in excuses. Is it really so different with us today?

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