Moses - Part 2

Moses - 2

(Exodus 2:11-15)

 

We saw in our previous study that except for Jesus, Himself, there is no person in the Scripture more important than Moses...

·         He is one of the few people in the Bible whose life-story is given from birth to death...

·         He was the one through whom God communicated the law to the nation Israel...

·         He was prophet, priest, and king all wrapped up in a single person...

·         His life previews the life of Christ from the unusual events surrounding His birth, to his leading the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt as Jesus has led us from the bondage of sin, to his unusual departure from this world, to his appearance with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration…

The importance of Moses in God’s redemptive plan for humanity cannot be over-emphasized.  While Abraham is often described as the father of faith, in Moses we see an beautiful picture of a life lived in faith.

 

In the last session we explored the events surrounding the birth of Moses.  In this study, we are going to focus on the events in the early days of Moses’ life.  Moses grew up in the court of the Egyptian Pharaoh.  However, he never forgot his own people. 

 

We are going to pick up the story of Moses in Exodus 2:11-15.  From this event in life of Moses want share with you two basic truths.

 

I.       Every person, no matter who he or she is, eventually fails to measure up to God’s ideal.

1.      There is an old story about a young Jewish girl who brought her fiancé home to meet her devoutly Jewish parents…the girl had shared with the parents that their relationship was very serious and they were contemplating marriage...before the girl and her fiancé arrived, the mother instructed the father to take the young man aside at some point during the evening and find out as much about him as he could... so at an appropriate time the father invited his daughter's fiance to sit down a talk with him privately...he father began the conversation by asking, "So, what are you plans?"  The young man who was also a very devout Jew said, "I am a Torah scholar."  "A Torah scholar," the father replied.  "Very Admirable, but what you will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in, as she's accustomed to?"  And the young man said, "I will study, and God will provide for us."  Then the father asked, "And how will you buy for her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she deserves?"  Again the young man replied, "I will concentrate on my studies, and God will provide for us."  Then the father said, "And children?  How will you support children?"  And, as before, the young man said, "Don't worry, sir, God will provide."  For some time the conversation proceeded like that.  Each time the father raised a concern, the very devout young man would insist that God would provide...later that evening, when the young couple had left, the mother asked the father how the conversation went the father said, "Well, he has no job and no plans, but the good news is he thinks I'm God!"...

2.      And while you don’t need me to tell you this, none of us is God!  The life of Moses is certainly and reminder of that great truth.  Here was man who made many right choices early in life...a man who chose to be faithful to God rather than sell-out to the temptations of Egyptian power and pleasure and possessions...

3.      Hebrews 11: 24 tells us that Moses "refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter"...to understand the significance of that statement need to understand that according to Josephus, the Jewish historian, the Pharaoh in power at the time had no other children except for the daughter...and the daughter had not children of her own except for Moses, her adopted son whom she had plucked out of the Nile River...so according, at least according to Josephus, by refusing to be called "the son of Pharaoh's daughter" Moses may well have been refusing the throne of Egypt itself...[Pink, p.19]

4.      And in the early days of his life, Moses no doubt did many other good things.  He seemed to have a great compassion for the underdog.  He intervened, albeit clumsily, we he saw an Egyptian abusing a Hebrew.  Later in this chapter we read about him standing up for the daughters of the priest of Midian, one of whom later became his wife, when some ruffian shepherds were trying to keep them from watering their father’s flock.

5.      So Moses was a good man who did many good things.  However, he was also a man who did a terrible thing...he took the life of another person...he broke one of the basic principles upon which God has established this world -- the principle that human life is sacred...some people have tried to justify what Moses did by saying he was defending another person or that the Egyptian slave master deserved to die because he was mistreating the Hebrews...but while Moses' motives may have been good, his actions were obviously wrong...and the account in Exodus makes it clear Moses knew that killing the man was wrong...for example--

--he looked around to make sure that no-one was watching before killing the man...

--he hid the man's body in the sand...

--he fled when he discovered that his secret was out...

Obviously, Moses was well aware that he had made a terrible mistake...he momentarily abandoned his faith, confidence in God, took matters into his own hands, and made a terrible mess of things...

 

 

1.   What's  the lesson in that for us?...well among other things we should learn from that if someone of the calibre of Moses --the man who led the Israelites from Egypt, the man through whom the 10 commandments were given, the man whose life previews for us the life of Christ-- if someone like that could have a lapse in his faith, it certainly can to happen to us as well...

2.   And if that is true, and I believe it is, it has tremendous implications for our lives...we must ever be on guard against spiritual arrogance and smugness...we must be diligent... careful...conscientious in our walk with the Lord...we must not over-estimate our spiritual strength nor underestimate our spiritual adversary...

3.   And if you look carefully at NT will find statement after statement to that effect...for example--

--James 4:7-8a - "Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..."

--I Peter 5:8-9a - "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  But resist him, firm in your faith..."

4.   We must be diligent, for like Moses, we can easily falter in our faith...

 

II.  When we fail to measure up to God’s ideal, God does not abandon us

1.   Think that's really the main lesson from this experience in Moses' life...an interesting thing is said about Moses in Hebrews 11:27...verse says "...he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king..."...on surface that statement seems to be in direct contradiction to the story in Exodus 2 about why Moses left...obviously, he left Egypt to keep the Pharaoh from killing him...but point is, didn't live remainder of his life in fear of Pharaoh...Moses went on with life, allowing God to work out His purpose in him...

2.   The KJV says that Moses "forsook Egypt"...that's a good translation...because idea is that Moses didn't just physically leave, he turned his back on Egypt and all that it represented... he renounced it permanently...

3.   When this event occurred in Moses' life he had two choices... could spend life looking over shoulder in fear of the Pharaoh or spend life looking forward to what God had promised him... chose to do the latter...he chose to look to God or as the writer of Hebrews puts it "...as seeing Him who is unseen."

4.   And if read the remainder of Exodus 2 will see that God kept on working in Moses' life...he settled in land of Midian...met the daughters of Reuel, the priest of Midian, at a well...ended up marrying Zipporah, one of the daughters, and she gave birth to a son...and Moses spent 40 years in Midian being prepared by God for the monumental task that was ahead...

 

1.   What want you see in all that is that even though Moses had a temporary lapse of faith, God did not give up on him...kept working in him and through him...and what was true for Moses is true for us as well...may think because of some mistake in your past that you can no longer be useful to God... nothing can be further from the truth...as matter of fact God seems to delight in reclaiming those who have stumbled and fallen--

--He took a man like Simon Peter who utterly failed Jesus on the eve of His crucifixion, a man who denied even knowing Jesus and then who went out a wept bitterly over his lack of faith, and made that man the spokesman for the church just 50 days later on the day of Pentecost...

--He took a man like Saul, a man who ranted and raved against the church and whose mention in life was to persecute Christians, and made him the greatest theologian and missionary in church history...

--He took a man like David, a man who committed adultery and then in an attempt to hide his sin became an accomplice to murder, and made him the greatest king in Israel's history and the author of psalms which have blessed the people of God for generations...

2.   And if God could do that in their lives, He can do it in our lives as well...when our faith falters, it is good to remember that God does not stop working with us and in us....

 

CONCLUSION

1.   One of the great events in the history of college football took place on New Year's Day in 1929… Georgia Tech was playing UCLA in the Rose Bowl...Roy Riggles recovered a fumble for UCLA...but somehow, he got turned around and began running 65 yards toward the wrong goal line...just before he crossed the goal that would have given Georgia Tech a safety, one of his own teammates tackled him from behind...he forever came to be known as “Wrong Way Riggles”…

2.  But what is not widely reported is that event happened in the first half of the game...when the teams went to the locker room for half-time, everyone was wondering what Coach Price of UCLA was going to say to Riggles...when Riggles got into the locker room, he was so embarrassed, he sat in a corner with a blanket over his head....to everyone's surprise, Coach Price didn't even mention Riggles' mistake...

3.   When time came for teams to go back on field, the coach said, "The same 11 players who started the first-half will start the second-half."...all the players began to go back on the field except for Roy Riggles...he just sat, paralyzed in the corner...the coach walked over to him and said, "Roy, didn't you hear me?  I want you back in the game."...and Riggles said, "Coach, I've embarrassed my school, you, and myself.  I just can't go back out there."...and Coach Price said, "Roy, the game is just half over.  Get back out there!"...and realizing he was being given a second chance, Riggles went back on the field and according to those who witnessed it, played the best game they had ever seen football player play...

4.   That's good picture of how God has chosen to relate to us...even though we may make mistakes...even though may stumble and fall ...doesn't abandon us...stays with us...encourages us...and keeps doing His work through us...

 

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