The Five Excuses Moses Used to Deny His Calling

Bible Summary. As many us do, Moses had many excuses before God on why he could not fulfill his calling. First, Moses’ response to his calling was to say, “Who am I”. Second, Moses pleaded lack of knowledge in that he did not even know God’s name and what to tell the Israelites. Moses’ third excuse to God was that he did not believe he had the power to fulfill the calling that God had told him to do. Moses’ fourth excuse to God was that his speaking and leadership abilities were lacking. Moses’ final excuse to God was that he did not desire to fulfill his calling and lead the Israelites out of Egypt. See below for Biblical commentary and scriptures concerning Moses’ five excuses for denying his calling.

Moses’ Excuses Before
the Burning Bush

Moses Before the Burning Bush
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Moses’ Excuse #1: I Am Not Qualified to Fulfill My Calling.

God gave instructions to Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses response to his calling was to say, “Who am I”. Exodus 3:11 tells us how Moses questioned his qualifications to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Exodus 3:11, “And Moses, said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

Moses’ Excuse #2: I Lack Knowledge to Fulfill My Calling.

God had commanded Moses to talk to the children of Israel and tell them what God had told Moses in regard to their deliverance out of Egypt. Moses pleaded lack of knowledge in that he did not even know God’s name and what to tell the Israelites. Exodus 3:13 tells us how Moses questioned God about his lack of knowledge to fulfill his calling.

Exodus 3:13, “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?”

Moses’ Excuse #3: I Do Not Believe I Can Fulfill My Calling.

Moses’ third excuse to God was that he did not believe he had the power to fulfill the calling that God had told him to do. Moses did not believe he could persuade the Israelites that God had actually appeared to him. Exodus 4:1 tells us of Moses’ doubt in fulfilling his calling.

Exodus 4:1, “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will, say The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.”


Moses’ Excuse #4: This is Not My Calling.

Moses’ fourth excuse to God was that his speaking and leadership abilities were lacking. Leading the people of Israel could not be his calling because he was not eloquent of speech, nor of a quick tongue. Exodus 4:10 tells how Moses gave excuses to God concerning his slowness of speech.

Exodus 4:10, “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”

Moses’ Excuse #5: I Do Not Want to Fulfill My Calling.

Moses excuse this time was that he did not desire to fulfill his calling and lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses basically asked God if someone else could fulfill the calling that God had given to him. Exodus 4:13 tells us how Moses asked God to send someone else to fulfill Moses’ calling.

Exodus 4:13, “And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.”