Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Story of God: Moses

Joseph’s final words were, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”  He died at 110, was embalmed, and placed in a coffin. (Genesis 50:22-26)

In time, Egypt had a new king.  That king cared nothing for Joseph or his faith.  All he knew was that there were a lot of Hebrews.  If war ever broke out, there would be too many of them to control. So he put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor…(Exodus 1:1-11) He also ordered that every newborn Hebrew boy be thrown into the Nile River. (Exodus 1:22)

A 3 month old Hebrew baby was placed in a basket and placed in the Nile.  Pharaoh’s daughter was bathing.  She saw the baby and had compassion.  The baby’s sister came running and asked.  “Should I go find a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby?”  Pharaoh’s daughter ended up paying the baby’s own mother to nurse him.  The baby’s mother took him to Pharaoh’s daughter.  She named him Moses and raised him as her own.

Years later Moses saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew.  He stepped in and killed the Egyptian.  He buried him in hopes that no one would know.  Not long after that, two Hebrews were fighting.  Moses went to break up the fight.  They said, “Are you going to kill and bury us too?”  Moses feared for his life and ran away to Midian.




The king of Egypt died but the oppression did not stop.  God was moved to answer the prayers of His people.  He came for Moses.  At this time Moses was 80. 

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. 
Exodus 3:4-6

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”  Exodus 3:11-12

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.  Exodus 3:13-15

God unfolded His plan.  Moses was to go before Pharaoh and demand that he free the Hebrew people.  Plague after plague took place. After the plague that killed the first born Egyptian sons, Pharaoh said, “GET OUT!”   Those words meant freedom for 600,000 Hebrew men and their families. They had been in Egypt for 430 years!  It was 1446 BC.

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle. Moses took the bones of Joseph with him. Genesis 13:17-19

As they prepared to cross the sea, they looked up and saw that the Egyptians had come after them.  Pharaoh must have changed his mind!  As you might already know, God parted the waters.  Then when the enemy chased after them, God let the waters roar.


Maybe today you need one.  Physical.  Emotional.  Spiritual.

The most predictable part of a rescue is the surprise

Sometimes it is the “how.”  Sometimes it is the “who”
Moses was a surprise choice as leader.
God used plagues and a long journey that dead ended in a sea.
God's plans for rescue will not follow the script you've written.  There will be a surprise twist!

The most critical part of a rescue is the listening

“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.  Exodus 12:12-13

The people needed to know what to do, what not to do, and when to do it.  Not paying attention would be tragic.  Timing is critical.  If they had skipped just one part of the plan, the results would have been tragic for them.  They had to be willing to listen.

The most difficult part of a rescue is the waiting

Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”  Exodus 5:22-23

They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” 13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 
Exodus 14:11-14

Things may appear to get worse first. 
Moses and the people had to wait on the plagues…on Pharaoh…They would continue to wait….water…food…shelter…
B/c they did not wait well, they were freed but never lived.  Moses never saw the promised land.  Most of the people never saw the promised land.  Why?  They didn't wait well.

God is at work!  Trust Him.  Listen to Him.  And learn to wait well.

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