Do you ever get tired of hearing excuses from people?  I do, but I imagine God is more disappointed than I am.

In Exodus 32 Moses was on the mountain getting the Ten Commandments. When he came down, he found the people worshipping idols. Aaron said, “They gave me the gold. I threw it into the fire and out came this calf.”

Out popped a golden calf? Without someone shaping it or it coming out of a mold? Who would ever believe this excuse for worshipping an idol?

Like everyone else, I’ve heard crazy excuses. One of the village ladies was on her way to another town market and asked me if I needed anything. I asked her to buy some cloth for me to make a dress.

When she returned from the market she told me.  “I couldn’t get the cloth for your dress because I learned about my husband’s aunt who married a heathen. Her oldest daughter married a Christian, but the children are sick. They have hot heads. They prayed and are doing better. Some ladies asked me to go with them to their side of the market and look at their goods. I heard that my brother’s wife was sick. Later I talked to some ladies who wanted to sell rice.”

At the conclusion of her twenty minute justification through two translators, she promised, “I will get your cloth next week.”

But she never did.  For the week after. The week after. Week after.

Every week I listened to another lengthy explanation, which made no sense.

Two months later I walked by a vendor in the city selling the exact cloth I wanted, and bought it. I showed it to the lady and told her she didn’t need to search any more for me.

I later learned the real reason from the pastor’s wife why she didn’t buy the cloth. “She was scared to buy cloth for a white lady.  If she purchased the wrong kind and you didn’t like it, what would she do?”

“Why didn’t she tell me that she didn’t feel comfortable doing it?”

“In the African culture it is disrespectful to say no to a senior person or a respected leader. She couldn’t refuse you.”

“She shouldn’t have volunteered to get it, so I could have sent someone else.”

“The lady never imagined you would accept her offer.”

Jesus talked about the parable of the great banquet in Luke 14:15-23. He told the story about those who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.  A man prepared a dinner and invited lots of guests. They all began to make excuses.

“I just bought a field and I must go and see it.”

“I just bought five yoke of oxen and need to try them out.”

“I just got married and I can’t come.”

The Lord’s invited you to his banquet table in Heaven, I hope to see you there.

Don’t give Him a bunch of excuses for not coming.





About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
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