Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Exodus 2:11-25 - The Life of Moses

When Moses was 40 years old, he visited his own people, the Israelites (Hebrews).  He saw their hard labor.  Then he saw an Egyptian mistreating one of them.  He went to his defense and avenged the Hebrew by killing the Egyptian.  Moses couldn't stand injustice.  He always looked out for the weaker person.  He became known as a great emancipator. Moses looked around to see if anyone saw what he was about to do, because he knew killing was not right.  He saw the cruelty and was compelled to take action. (Ex. 2:11-13).  He looked this way and that way, but failed to look up at God.

What Moses did was wrong.  He had no authority to pronounce a death sentence on anyone.   As Christian we are tempted to use the world's method to achieve results, but we should remember that we are to use God's weapons of the truth - the Bible and prayer.  Moses' heart was right, but his actions were wrong.

Principle:  God's work must be done in God's way and in God's time.

Moses had some bad character traits.  He was filled with hate, anger, vengeance, arrogance, and was short-tempered.  Yet he also had good traits.  He was concerned for the weak, compassionate, brave, bold, and self-confident.

What character traits, good or bad, do others see in you?

Moses thought his own people would see him as their deliverer.  After all Moses had status and surely they would see how important he was.  (Acts 7:25).  His people did not see him that way.  They rejected his leadership.  In Heb. 11:24-36 Moses chose a hard life with God's people and refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter.  By making this choice it cost Moses his status, power and wealth.  "He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward." - Heb. 11:26.

When the Pharaoh heard about what Moses had done, he tried to kill him.  Moses knew he could not survive in Egypt and had to flee the country.  He fled to Midian.  Midian was a desert land.  Today is Saudi Arabia.  While there, Moses sat down to rest by a well.  The priest of Midian had 7 daughters and they came to draw water at the well to water their flock.  Some shepherds drove them away, but Moses came to their rescue and helped them water their flock. (Ex. 2:15-17).  Moses was repaid with kindness and was invited to stay with Reuel (Jethro), the priest.  Since Pharaoh wanted him dead, Moses had nowhere else to go so he took him up on his offer.  Moses was then given his daughter, Zipporah as his wife.  Zipporah gave birth to a son.  Moses named him Gersham saying, "I have become a alien in a foreign land." - Ex. 2:22.  Moses felt like a foreigner.  He was home sick for Egypt.

The Israelites remained in Egypt in slavery.  "The Israelites continue to be in slavery and cried out to God.  God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.  So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them." - Ex. 2:24-25.  This doesn't mean God had forgotten about the Israelites, because it is impossible for God to forget his people.  In Deut. 4:31 He tells us, "For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath."  Maybe they thought He had forgotten them.  God knew their pain and their situation and was preparing them for the rescue to come.  He was preparing their deliverer, Moses.  God was about to do something great to set them free!

Principle:  God listens, remembers, understands, and keeps His promises.

What do you do when you face difficulties?
Do you turn to God?
Moses spent the next 40 years alone with his thoughts as a shepherd in Midian.  During those years he learned humility.  He learned to be patient and his over-zealous temper was smoothed. In Midian God was preparing Moses to deliver His people.  God didn't forsake Moses just because he did wrong in Egypt.  God continued to love him and use him to do His work just as He loves us and uses us no matter what we have done in the past.  Mistakes do not disqualify us for God's service.

What is God teaching you?
Are you depending on Him instead of yourself?
Have you been set in a solitary place?  Take that solitude as God's gift to you and learn to know Him in your quiet times through Bible study and prayer.

God is able to work in us to overcome our failures and then work in spite of them.  He is actively involved in our lives.  He hears our cries, he remembers us, and He watches over us.  God remembers our faith, in spite of our failures.  Moses is praised for his faith 3 times in Heb. 11 and not once is his sin of murdering the Egyptian mentioned.  God says, "I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." -  Heb. 8:12.

Principle:  Go remembers our faith, in spite of our failures.

God took care of Moses and the Israelites.  How has God cared for you this week?

Moses wrote the book of Exodus.  He didn't tell all about his accomplishments.  He told about his sins and failures.  Moses' parents must have planted seeds in his heart to glorify God for him to choose his people over wealth and status.  He must have been sensitive to the Holy Spirit in his life and he made a choice to surrender to God.

What do you value in life? 
Do you value worldly possession or glorifying God?
Have you ever moved away from your comfort to serve God?

Principle:  God calls us to surrender our worldly desires to His heavenly plans.

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