Know Your Bible

VOL. 10                           August 21, 2011                           NO. 33


 Beating Around The Bush

(A Study of the Excuses of Moses in Exodus 3-4)

A study of Moses' life is fascinating and beneficial, not only by considering his faith, but also by noting his shortcomings. When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and commissioned him to go to Egypt and lead the Israelites to freedom, Moses began to offer up several excuses recorded in Exodus 3-4. These excuses, and God's response, teach valuable lessons for we today who would be tempted to justify ourselves like Moses tried to do. See if any of these sound familiar.

LET SOMEONE ELSE DO IT. When God instructs Moses of his duty, Moses responds first by asking, "Who am I?" (Exod. 3:11). In effect, Moses was telling God to let someone else take his place. To answer Moses' question, he was the individual to whom God was giving instruction! As we study God's word we need to view His instruction personally, understanding that I have a personal duty before God which cannot be passed off to someone else. Pure and undefiled religion involves my personal attention and faithfulness (James 1:27; 2:14; Gal. 6:10). Many in God's kingdom have been guilty of using this excuse. It didn't impress God when Moses used it. Neither will it when we use it today.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY. Moses second excuse to God was, "What shall I say unto them?" (Exod. 3:13-22). In this passage several points are made by God to answer his question. First, Moses was to speak a message of God's authority (vs. 14, 18). He was to speak to God's people, as well as to their enemies (Pharaoh) the commandments of God. All that we say and do today must be by the authority of Christ (Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17). Second, Moses was to speak a message of God's deliverance - salvation (vs. 16-17): "I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt; and I have said, I will bring you out of the affliction". Our message to sinful man is one of salvation. Today, God will bring man out of the affliction of sin, to which he is in bondage (Rom. 7:24; John 8:32; Mk. 16:16). Third, Moses was to speak a message of duty (vs. 18): "And they shall hearken to thy voice..." His message demanded a response; those who heard had a duty to obey. Christians have a duty to steadfastly labor in God's kingdom (John 9:4; 1 Cor. 15:58). The sinner has a duty to obey the gospel of Christ (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). Fourth, Moses was to speak a message of judgment (vs. 19-20): "And I will put forth my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof..." When Paul preached Christ to Felix and Drusilla, he reasoned with them concerning "...the judgment to come" (Acts 24:25). Today, we must warn of God's judgment and the eternal consequences to those unprepared (2 Cor. 5:10; Matt. 25:46). Fifth, Moses was to speak a message of victory (21-22): "And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians ... and ye shall despoil the Egyptians." Because Jesus was victorious over Satan by His resurrection from the dead, He has given us assurance of this same victory (Acts 17:31). Our message to the world is one of victory, as we "show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Pet. 2:9). The next time you want to use the excuse, "I don't know what to say," think of Moses.

IT WON'T DO ANY GOOD. Moses said, "they will not believe me, nor hearken to my voice" (4:1-9). Moses' problem in pre-judging how others would respond was in the fact that he left God out of the equation. God showed him that His great power would be with him in the miracles he would perform. Today, many are similarly guilty of pre-judging that people will not believe - they are either "too old" or "too young"; "too educated" or "not educated enough"; "too busy" or "too lazy"; etc. We must remember, though we cannot work miracles (1 Cor. 13:8), we have God's power unto salvation in the gospel we preach and teach (Rom. 1:16). To use this excuse is actually a reflection on God. It says that He cannot accomplish with His word what He has purposed. Remember, God's word does not return to Him void (Isa. 55:10-11).


I CAN'T. "I am not eloquent ... I am slow of speech..." (4:10-17). Moses was looking at this all wrong. Accomplishing God's purposes in his life didn't depend on his own strength and abilities, but on God working in him. The unbelief of the ten spies Moses would later send into Canaan illustrates this same problem (Num. 13:25-33). If they had remembered God was with them, like Joshua and Caleb did, it would not have mattered how big the giants were - God is bigger! Paul understood that whatever good accomplished by his service in God's kingdom was not of himself, but by God being with him: "I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase" (1 Cor. 3:6). God continues to work through those who trustingly surrender to serve God (Phil. 2:12-13; 1 Thess. 2:13). 

The fact that we have limitations, even handicaps, does not mean that God cannot use us. Though Moses had a problem speaking, God gave him his brother Aaron to speak for him. How many today use this excuse because they focus on their weaknesses instead of their strengths. Can't speak? Then give someone a Bible tract or a copy of last Sunday's sermon. Can't go? Then mail someone a tract, cd, Bible correspondence course, or give someone a word of encouragement on the telephone. There is work that we all can do.

In conclusion, remember how Jesus condemned the use of excuses to justify oneself in not doing God's will (Luke 14:15-23). They won't carry any weight on judgment day either (Matt. 7:21-23; 25:44-45). May we have ears to hear.

---Dan Richardson

Page 1


‘Do We Have To Go To Church?’

Most parents have either already heard this from their kids, or will hear it in the future. Seems most children go through a phase in which they question the need for faithful attendance at all of the assemblies.  When this happens, what’s a parent to do? Here are some suggestions:

1. Set a good example - Never let your children see you compromise your commitment to the Lord for any other thing. This means, in particular, never let them see you miss the assemblies for the activities of this world. Be careful not to allow recreational pursuits to come between you and God. If you do, you’ll be teaching your kids a lesson that you don’t want them to learn! Ballgames and golf, hunting and fishing, even vacations, can’t begin to compare in importance to serving God. Use caution, too, in regards to your work. Too often Christians let their jobs interfere with their spiritual service. And NEVER, NEVER, NEVER let them observe you staying home simply because you “don’t feel like” attending the services. In other words, be sure that you have your own priorities in order!

2. Teach them to love God - Really, there’s something wrong with the “do we have to” mentality. Anything we do for God should be done out of deep and sincere love for Him. “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Work hard to instill this attitude in your children. Any other motivation will ultimately fail. Again, be sure that you have this attitude firmly fixed in your own mind. They are watching you, and imitating what they see!

3. Bottom line: Be sure that they are present at all the assembiles - no matter what!  Kids are kids - they need to be taught. They do not naturally understand all the things that are in their own best interest. For that reason we MAKE them do some things that they don’t always want to do (i.e., take baths, go to school, etc.). Learning to love and serve God is the most important lesson of all. Therefore, any parent who really wants what’s best for his child will make sure he’s present even when that means forcing the situation a little. Keep working, of course, at developing the right attitudes in your kids - but get them here one way or the other!

Remember parents, it is your job to “...provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nuture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4).


---Greg Gwin

Page 2


Trends . . .


Five million unmarried couples cohabit in the United States today. That is roughly eight times the number in 1970.

---via Time Magazine, 5/25/09


1 Corinthians 6:18  "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body."

Page 3


Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

--- E.R. Hall, Jr.




Bible Classes ……….....….…............ 10:00 AM

Morning Worship ……..…….….…...... 11:00 AM

Evening Worship …………...……........ 6:00 PM


Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:30 PM



Radio Program

Monday - Friday

WDXC 102.3 FM .....................…........ 10:20 AM



Television Program


Comcast Cable - Heritage TV - Digital Channel 266 ............ 6:00 AM & 2:00 PM


Comcast Cable - Heritage TV - Digital Channel 266 ............ 2:00 PM



World Wide Web:


UNSUBSCRIBE: Reply to and put UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

SUBSCRIBE FRIENDS: Reply to and put SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. Place the list of names and e-mail addresses to be subscribed in the body of the e-mail.