Excuses are funny things, if they were not so seriously flawed. Children are quite innovative (or so they think) and can muster up the most serious face as they present absolutely absurd “reasons” for flawed conduct. It is often all a parent can do to keep from laughing when the little urchins offer up such nonsense unless the matter is extremely serious – at which time it is downright offensive and correction must be made so they will understand that excuses for failures are the wrong way to deal with sin.
Take the children of Israel, for instance. Moses went up on the Mount Sinai to receive the Law of God and, as the natives became restless at his long absence, Aaron offered a solution, he made an idol and threw a party (Exodus 32:1ff). When Moses came down from the Mount, he was furious and called big brother into account. Aaron’s response would be funny if it were not so pitiful. “And I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold let them break it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I cast it into the fire, and this calf came out” (Exodus 32:24). Yea… sure.
The conclusion to this incident was not pretty, culminating in the death of “about three thousand men” (v. 28) with a plague to follow (v. 35) and, to kick off the real “party,” a golden-calf-cocktail (v. 20). The lesson should be obvious: excuses are unacceptable! God does not require more than we are able (Luke 12:48) and with any temptation provides escape (1 Corinthians 10:13) leaving us “without excuse” (Romans 1:20). We CAN do what we need to do, so let us dispense with the excuses and be about God’s work.