Editor’s Note: This story about Moses, his excuses and God’s replies continues in the Sept. 21 edition.
The story I’m about to share with you is from the Bible — with some humor tossed in. It’s divided into three parts.
Moses was born when the Egyptians enslaved the Hebrew people and killed off their first-born males. To protect him, Moses’ mother placed him in a waterproof basket and sent him up the river.
The basket was found by the Pharaoh’s daughter, who took Moses and raised him as her own. Moses’ own mother wound up being his nursemaid.
His real mother was there to raise him, nurture him, and teach him the Hebrew people’s ways. As Moses grew, he was told to keep his heritage a secret.
As a young adult, Moses developed quite a temper. One day, he witnessed an Egyptian guard beating a Hebrew slave and killed the batterer. He didn’t think anyone had seen him so he dragged the body out of view and buried it.
A couple of days later, Moses saw two Hebrews arguing with each other. He went over to them and told them to stop. And one of them turned to him and said, “Why, are you going to kill us just like you did the Egyptian?”
He knew if the Hebrews had seen him kill the Egyptian guard, someone else might have, too. He ran into the wilderness. There, he met a beautiful young woman whom he married. Moses tended his father-in-law’s sheep, his wife bore several children, the years passed, and they lived a comfortable life.
It seemed that all that had happened back in Egypt was forgotten.
One day, one of the sheep went missing and Moses searched for it. As he searched, he saw what looked like flames coming from the center of a bush, but the bush remained intact. Moses got closer and then something weirder happened: The bush started talking.
But what really freaked out Moses was that the talking bush knew his name.
“Moses!” the bush said. “Don’t get too close. And by the way, take off your sandals because you are standing on holy ground.”
He did as he was told.
Then, the voice in the bush identified itself as being God. And God said, “I have heard the cry of my people down in Egypt and they are being treated poorly. I want you to be my voice in Egypt. Go there and tell Pharaoh to let my people go.”
Well, Moses had all kinds of excuses. He said, “Now look. You know and I know that no one is going to listen to me because I don’t have any authority. You heard how those Hebrews treated me when they saw I killed somebody. How can I convince them to come with me so I can be their leader?”
God said, “Don’t worry about that. I will give you all the authority you will need.”
Moses said, “Yeah, right. How are they going to believe that I was sent by you? What’s your name?”
God said “I AM.”
Moses said, “Is that supposed to get people to follow me? By saying ‘I AM sent me?’”
God said, “I am who I am, and on that alone I give you the authority you need to do what must be done.”
How about you?
When you sense that God wants you to do something, do you make excuses?
You are not alone.
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview’s pastor.