Moses' 5 Excuses and Why He Wasn't a Good Listener

Moses said he wasn't a good speaker, but his actual problem was that he wasn't a good listener. This 1-minute devotion explains.

God told Moses to speak to Pharaoh (in Exodus 3 and 4).

Moses replied:
1. Who am I?
2. Who are You?
3. They won't believe me.
4. I'm not a good speaker.
5. I don't want to do it.

God didn't respond to Moses by building up Moses' ego or encouraging him to esteem himself. He didn't talk about Moses at all. He talked about Himself and His ability to do what Moses could not do on his own. Moses needed to esteem God, trust Him, and obey Him.

It didn't matter who Moses was. It mattered who God was.

God explained He wasn't a little "g" god like those of Egypt, but the Great I Am. He promised to prove Himself to the Egyptian leaders and give Moses words to speak. 

I imagine when Moses got to his fourth excuse and said, "I'm not a good speaker," God was thinking, “No, you're not a good listener. I've been trying to tell you that it's not about you—it's about Me.

Most of us can identify with Moses' attitudes. But it's clear that whenever God asks us to do something, all our excuses are irrelevant.

See 3 Reasons the Centurion's Faith Amazed Jesus for a contrast with Moses' excuses.

Moses' excuses in Exodus 3:11–4:16:

3:11: But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 

3:13: Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 

4:1: Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” 

4:10: Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” 

4:13: But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
Click image to find out more about Wisdom for Life, a hardcover devotional priced lower than most paperbacks.
Great Devotional!

Moses said he wasn't a good speaker, but his actual problem was that he wasn't a good listener. This 1-minute devotion explains.

Bible Love Notes


  1. Me to a t.
    Thank you for posting this

  2. God used these 5 excuses to speak to me 32 years ago. I had been resisting His call to missionary work. Peace always comes when we submit our will to His. All these years He has been faithfully upholding me and I'm still in the same missionary work, living by faith. Thanku for the encouragement.

    1. Thanks for sharing this, Joy. I love hearing how God works in people's lives!