Excuses are a part of human nature. We all have made excuses at some point in our lives, whether it is to avoid a difficult task or justify a mistake. However, when it comes to our relationship with God, making excuses can have serious consequences.
From Adam, who blamed others for his disobedience, to the rich young ruler, who clung to his wealth, these characters provide valuable lessons on how making excuses can hinder our obedience to God. By studying their stories, we can learn how to avoid making excuses and become more obedient to God’s call.
Excuses can take many forms, such as rationalizing our disobedience or passing the blame onto others. These excuses can be tempting, especially when faced with a difficult task or decision. However, as Christians, we are called to obey God’s commands and trust in His plan for our lives.
By examining these five Bible characters who made excuses, we can learn how to overcome our excuses and become more obedient to God.
The story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 is a well-known one. After they disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God came looking for them.
When He asked Adam if he had eaten from the tree, Adam replied, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate” (Genesis 3:12, NKJV). Adam made two excuses here: first, he blamed Eve, and second, he indirectly blamed God by saying “the woman whom You gave to be with me.”
Adam’s excuses didn’t change the fact that he had disobeyed God, and he suffered the consequences of his actions.
Adam’s excuse of blaming Eve shows how we tend to deflect our shortcomings and pass the blame onto others. Adam failed to take responsibility for his actions and instead shifted the blame to Eve.
Similarly, we tend to pass the buck when we don’t want to take responsibility for our mistakes. This can cause damage to our relationships, particularly when we pass blame to those who are closest to us. We should learn from Adam’s mistake and own up to our mistakes.
Adam’s second excuse of indirectly blaming God highlights how we tend to rationalize our disobedience. Adam knew that God had given Eve to him, but instead of acknowledging his wrongdoing, he made an excuse to justify his disobedience.
We do this all the time when we know we are doing something wrong but rationalize it with excuses. It’s important to realize that disobedience has consequences, and we should avoid justifying our wrongdoing.
When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses was hesitant. He made several excuses, including “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11, NKJV), and “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice” (Exodus 4:1, NKJV).
God patiently addressed each of Moses’ concerns and ultimately used him to do great things. But Moses’ initial excuses showed a lack of faith and trust in God.
Moses’ excuses demonstrate how fear can hinder our obedience. Moses was afraid of the unknown and uncertain. He had a hard time believing that God would be with him every step of the way.
When we let fear take hold of us, we become hesitant to obey God’s call. But if we trust in God’s plan for us, we can overcome our fear and become confident in our obedience.
In 1 Samuel 15, God commanded Saul to completely destroy the Amalekites and all their possessions. But Saul spared their king and some of the best livestock, claiming he did so to offer them as sacrifices to God.
When Samuel confronted Saul about his disobedience, Saul said, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice” (1 Samuel 15:24, NKJV).
Saul’s excuse was that he feared the people more than he feared God. But as a king chosen by God, he should have put God’s commands above the opinions of others.
Saul’s excuse of fearing the people shows how we can be influenced by the opinions of others. We often make decisions based on what others think of us, rather than on what we know to be right.
This can lead us to compromise our beliefs and disobey God. We need to remember that God’s commands are more important than the opinions of others, and that we should always obey Him, no matter what others may say or think.
When a storm arose and the sailors realized Jonah was the cause, Jonah told them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me” (Jonah 1:12, NKJV).
Jonah made an excuse to avoid facing the consequences of his disobedience. But God didn’t give up on Jonah, and He used even Jonah’s mistakes to bring about His plan.
Jonah’s excuse of running away from God’s call shows how we can sometimes be resistant to God’s plan for us. Jonah was afraid of the people of Nineveh, and he didn’t want to preach to them.
We can often be resistant to God’s plan for us because it may be difficult or uncomfortable. But when we obey God’s call, even if it seems impossible, He will use us to accomplish His purpose.
The Rich Young Ruler
In Matthew 19:16-22, a rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him to sell all he had, give to the poor, and follow Him. The young man went away sad because he had great possessions.
He made an excuse that his wealth was too important to him to give up. The story shows that even good intentions can lead to excuses that keep us from fully obeying God.
The rich young ruler’s excuse of clinging to his wealth shows how material possessions can hinder our obedience to God. The young man was willing to obey God, but only to a certain extent. He was not willing to give up his wealth, which became an idol to him.
We too can become attached to material possessions, and they can hinder our obedience to God. We should learn to be content with what we have and not let material possessions become a hindrance to our obedience.
These five Bible characters all made excuses instead of obeying God’s call. Adam blamed others and rationalized his disobedience. Moses let fear hinder his obedience. Saul feared the opinions of others more than he feared God. Jonah was resistant to God’s plan for him. And the rich young ruler was attached to his material possessions.
We can learn from their examples and avoid making excuses when God calls us to obey Him.
We should learn to take responsibility for our actions and not deflect blame onto others. We should trust in God’s plan for us and not let fear hinder our obedience.
We should put God’s commands above the opinions of others and be willing to face the consequences of our obedience. We should not be resistant to God’s plan for us, but instead be willing to obey even if it seems impossible. And we should not let material possessions become a hindrance to our obedience.
In conclusion, making excuses can have serious consequences in our relationship with God. We should learn from these five Bible characters and strive to obey God’s call without making excuses. As we do so, we will grow closer to God and experience the blessings that come with obedience.