#2 (THE "5 EXCUSES OF MOSES" SERIES)
“WHO SHOULD I SAY SENT ME?”
TEXT: Ex. 3:13-22
first excuse failed, “Who am I?” ... so now he tries a second excuse,
paraphrased it is, “Who are you?” His point is simple, “these Israelites hardly know you Lord ...
if I go to them they are surely going to want to know how you are different from
the gods of
Lots of people know about God, but this is not enough to get them to follow God as Savior and lord of their lives:
ILLUS: A FAMOUS
GERMAN ATHEIST WROTE ABOUT CHRIST, “TILL
THE END OF TIME ALL THE SENSIBLE WILL BOW LOW BEFORE THIS JESUS OF
While these men knew something about God, they did not know Him! Israel knew about the God of their fathers, the God of the past, but what they needed to know was the very character of God Himself!
How many people today know something about God, but it is always the God of the past ... stories of what God did thousands of years ago? This will never be enough for them to come to God today! They need to see the “I AM THAT I AM” God, the ever present God of power and might!
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that God is a God of the present – and future, not just the past! “He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” He who did great things before is ready to do them again and again, and again! Do you know the living God?
I. GOD’S PRESENCE -15
A. Scared & Reluctant!
Moses tries hard to find a second excuse to not go back to Egypt to lead
Israel out of slavery ... this time he hides his fear and reluctance behind an
excuse that sounds pretty good, “How are you different God from the other gods of
a. Moses says, “What happens when I go to them and tell them the God of their father’s sent me, a God who has done nothing in the last 4OO years!?”
b. Moses by this tactic is trying to hide his fear and reluctance, by sounding reasonable and turning his excuse from his own weakness (“who am I?”) to focusing on what appears to them as God’s weakness … “Who are you?”
c. To them God hasn’t been around much in the last 400 years, all they knew about Him is long ago stories about Joseph who had died a long time ago. God was the God of the past to them.
d. Moses’ excuse sounds strong, but it is hiding the real issue.
ILLUS: KIND OF LIKE THE MAN WHO WAS TALKING TO HIS FRIEND AND PRETENDING TO BE QUITE STRONG AND IN CHARGE. HE WAS ASKED BY HIS FRIEND FRED, “I HEAR YOU HAD AN ARGUMENT WITH YOUR WIFE? HOW DID IT TURN OUT? DID YOU PUT HER IN HER PLACE?” TED: “OH SURE, WHY SHE CAME CRAWLING TO ME ON HER HANDS AND KNEES!” FRED: “NO KIDDING! WHAT DID SHE SAY TO YOU?” TED: “SHE SAID, ‘COME ON OUT FROM UNDER THAT BED RIGHT NOW AND FIGHT LIKE A MAN!” — Source Unknown
e. Moses was attempting to sound brave and sure, but he was really trying to hide the fact that he just didn’t want to go!
The only way
a. This would not be enough for faith in the present much less the future!
b. 4OO years of slavery required something fresh and up to date!
c. Lots of people today know stories about their parents and grandparents’ faith, but they have little experience that is fresh about God in their own lives now!
B. Supreme Ruler! 3:14-15
There were many gods already available to
b. Heqt was the frog goddess of fertility. (Sexuality and procreation)
c. Seth was the earth god, which in one of the plagues was covered with lice! (Mother earth)
d. Uatchit was the fly god. (Pantheism – god in nature)
e. Apis & Mnevis were bull gods, Hathor was the cow goddess, and Khnum was the ram god, these were all livestock gods. (Pantheism – god in nature)
was the god of the locusts, he was supposed to protect
h. Ra was the sun god, the god of light. (Astrology)
i. and finally, the first born son of Pharaoh was considered a god too! (Humanism)
2. You will note that each of these Egyptian deities was struck down by God in the ten plagues that were sent, they were all impotent against the true God!
Moses’ excuse indicated that he might have feared
4. God’s answer was very simple and very powerful – He is very different!
a. “I am that I am” has sent you! Literally in Hebrew: “the self existent one.”
b. God was not just the God of their fathers; He is the God of the present generation too, and all future ones to come!
c. He is not just some Sunday school story of the past; He is the very present God of power!
5. This name does not just reveal a God of the present, it reveals the very character of God in a way that would be remembered in every generation: “I am that I am” demonstrates a supreme position, nothing is greater!
a. He is not like the gods of
b. But God is over everything, there are no other gods before Him!
c. No other name could sum God up better than “I am!” Jesus acclaimed Himself this when He came.
d. This was the fullest revelation of God possible by name! There will never be a generation that would find Him just a God of the past or just a God in the future!
II. GOD’S PROMISES! 3:16-17
A. Sacred Revelation
Moses is to start with
a. They needed to know that the God of the past was available still in the present, but that this is no new God, just a new look at Him, one that brings Him into their present circumstances!
b. It was no new God, just a new understanding of God!
c. Perhaps 400 years of slavery had made them wonder if God was only a God of the past; they had the stories of God’s working in their father’s lifetime, but only slavery to look at in the last 400 years!
2. This would be a necessary revelation if they were to believe that this same God had the power to do today what He had done before!
3. The point of all the stories of the past was to inspire their faith to trust God in the present; HE IS THE SAME TODAY!
THE STORY OF RUBY BRIDGES, THE 6 YEAR OLD BLACK CHILD WHO SERENELY FACED AN
ANGRY, VENGEFUL MOB DAY AFTER DAY TO INTEGRATE THE
4. Are we successful today in bringing the God of the past to people and then helping them also see that He is the God of the present and future as well?
a. Do your friends and neighbors know that God is the same today, that He still performs the miraculous like He did in times of old?
b. Do our actions and lives reflect this knowledge and faith in God, is He more than just stuffy doctrines handed down for generations?
c. Does your life reflect the revelation of God that He is the “I am that I am!”?
d. This is a sacred revelation!
B. Sure Reward!
1. If Israel would embrace this revelation of God — that He is ready today to work in their lives, then they would experience the very best of God’s blessings!
a. It would no longer be great stories of the past; they would experience a promised land too!
b. God had good things in store for them, but only if God came alive in their present experience!
2. First, they would find that their slavery would end if they embraced the God who is ready to move now!
3. God promises to bring them up out of slavery, something they could not do for themselves — neither would the gods of Egypt be able to stand against the true God!
4. God always finds a way to rescue His people who know Him as the God of the present!
GRANDFATHER WAS VISITING HIS DAUGHTER’S HOME FOR CHRISTMAS AND HEARD HIS
GRANDSON SCREAM FROM HIS PLAYPEN, “GET ME OUT GRANDPA!” JUST AS GRANDPA WAS ABOUT TO RESCUE THE
BOY FROM THE PLAY PEN HOWEVER, HIS DAUGHTER CAME IN AND SAID, “NO JOHNIE, YOU
CAN’T GET OUT … LEAVE HIM IN THERE DAD, HE IS BEING PUNISHED BY HAVING TO STAY
IN THE PLAY PEN!” THE BOY BEGAN
CRYING AND A SAD GRANDFATHER JUST LOOKED --- AS THE MOTHER LEFT THE ROOM
SUDDENLY SHE REALIZED THE BOY HAD STOPPED SCREAMING! CURIOUS AS TO WHY HE STOPPED SO QUICKLY
SHE RETURNED TO THE ROOM TO FIND GRANDPA IN THE PLAYPEN WITH THE CHILD HAVING A
GREAT TIME! HE EXPLAINED “YOU SAID
HE COULDN’T COME OUT, SO LOVE FOUND
5. God was going to save them from slavery, this is still His mission today!!! He saves us from the slavery of sin! This is not something He just did in Biblical times, He is still actively seeking us out today!
a. Have you embraced the ever present God yet?
b. Do you know this God of power and might today, have you been set free!?
III. GOD’S PROGRAM! 3:18-22
A. Striking Rebels 3:18-20
1. God’s program of deliverance begins in this verse, go tell Pharaoh “the God of the Hebrews has met with us.” (Emphasis mine)
a. Meeting with God is where we begin ... this is how the God of the present begins to move in our lives!
b. Unlike the gods of
2. The second part is significant too “let us go and worship Him!”
a. God is to be worshipped, not as something of the past, but in the present!
b. However, the god of this age — in this case Pharaoh, will not listen and let them go, it will take a mighty hand to move him!
3. God has a plan, since it will take more than mere human power to move the dictator of the age to let them go ... God Himself will move him with His own mighty hand!
a. The term here in Hebrew, “wonders” refers to miracles!
b. It would be the plagues that God
would send that would finally break Pharaoh’s control over
c. Just like today, all the human will power in this world will never destroy evil; it will take the power of God in Christ to change hearts!
4. Only after God’s own power is displayed will Pharaoh let them go, it won’t be the stories of the past that will move Pharaoh’s heart it will be the present activity of God that will move him!
a. We need to experience God’s power today in our lives!
b. The same God that moved through Paul, Peter, John, Moses, and others is available to move in our lives too!
c. He is the “I am that I am.”
5. As long as we stay in the middle of His will we are safe, no other place is safe!
ILLUS: THERE ARE
PECULIAR STORMS IN THE
The plagues would destroy all the gods of
a. This contest was both for
c. It all depended on which side of the true God you were on as to whether it was a WONDER or a PLAGUE!
8. God is anxious to demonstrate to His people and the world that He is very much still doing wonders!
a. In the end, God’s ways will be vindicated as the only wise way!
b. The ways of this world will be shown to be foolish one day!
9. God is still at work in the world today, what are “plagues” to the world is sometimes demonstrations of God’s power against sin.
a. Like the frog goddess Heqt that represented sexual prowess, sex is still worshipped in this world and look at what has happened to our society and sex today!
b. The gods of
B. Securing Remuneration -22
1. God is still in the business of delivering!
He was not only the God that brought Abraham out of Ur into a land of
promise, He was the same God today that was going to bring them out of
a. They would not have to go anywhere
to find God; He would meet them where they were at, in
b. The 400 years of slavery was not wasted time without God’s activity, He indeed had allowed this time to pass in order that they might multiply into a nation of 3,000,000 plus!
(1. Had they grown up in the promise land they certainly would not have grown this large, the land was full of violent groups of people who over this 400 year period had constantly warred against each other, thus keeping their own numbers fairly low.
(2. This is why these nations so feared
c. Those 400 years were part of God’s
plan to strengthen them and multiply them in
d. God had not neglected their service either, though they had been slaves for so long He had kept track of the pay they deserved – and in their leaving they would get their back wages!!!
3. They did not leave empty handed! The Egyptians gave them gold and silver, all kinds of food and clothing!
a. In the end all the accounts will be made proper!
b. This will be true someday for us too ... no matter how much you seem to suffer now, God is keeping track and we will get our rewards someday!
4. They would plunder the Egyptians, everything they needed was right there under their very noses, and God would use what was available all around them to bring them out!
a. They didn’t need an army from somewhere else...
b. They didn’t need a famous person from another land to come and lead them.
c. God had a Moses already prepared, one of their own to lead them out!
ILLUS: AN ANCIENT PERSIAN MAN NAMED AL HAFED OWNED A VERY LARGE FARM AND WAS QUITE CONTENTED AND WEALTHY. ONE EVENING A BUDDHIST PRIEST WHO WAS VISITING HIM TOLD HIM OF THE SPLENDOR OF DIAMONDS WHICH ARE FOUND IN CERTAIN PARTS OF THE WORLD, AND OF THE RICHES THAT CAME TO THE MEN WHO FOUND THESE JEWELS. AT ONCE AL HAFED BECAME DISCONTENTED WITH WHAT HE HAD AND HE IMMEDIATELY SOLD HIS FARM TO FIND HIS SHARE OF THE WORLD’S DIAMONDS. HIS SEARCH CARRIED HIM ALL AROUND THE WORLD, UNTIL FINALLY DISCOURAGED AND PENNILESS HE ONE DAY THREW HIMSELF INTO THE OCEAN AND WAS DROWNED. IN THE MEANTIME, THE MAN WHO HAD PURCHASED HIS FARM HAD NOTICED ONE DAY IN THE BROOK SOME SPARKLING ROCKS IN THE STREAMBED THAT TRAVERSED THE FARM. HE REACHED DOWN AND SCOOPED UP A DIAMOND, ONLY ONE OF MANY THAT WERE FOUND ALL OVER THE FARM IN THIS BROOK. THERE WERE LITERALLY ACRES AND ACRES OF DIAMONDS ALL OVER HIS FORMER FARM! IF ONLY HE HAD LOOKED RIGHT WHERE HE HAD BEEN, HE DIDN’T NEED TO TRAVEL ALL OVER THE WORLD TO FIND THE TREASURE, IT WAS RIGHT UNDER HIS FEET! HAVE YOU FOUND THE TREASURES OF SALVATION WHERE YOU ARE? -- Source Unknown
5. All this time that they had thought about the God of their fathers He was right there waiting to work in their lives too!
a. Moses would indeed have a name to bring them, one that would open their eyes to see the very present God!
b. God is very much interested in getting across His present reality!
c. He would do for them what He did for Abraham, and even more!
6. This is the same God we serve today, when the world asks us who this God is can we answer that He is the “I am that I am”... the God who is very much active now!
a. Does our life reflect this belief?
b. Does our actions show the God of power?
c. Is our worship fresh and real?
d. Does our values demonstrate that God is on the move today?
* Or are we afraid to go and tell the world, do we try and use an excuse not to go like Moses tried to used?
CONCLUSION: Many Christians today believe God did great things in Biblical times but they do not see the God of power today! They don’t go forth to do great things for God because they don’t think anything will happen as it did in the days of God’s power yesterday. God’s revelation of “I AM THAT I AM” however lets us know He is just as active now! He is always the “now” God! We can and must go forth in His name to challenge this world ... no excuses!