Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Exodus 3-4 - The Life of Moses

Exodus 3:1-10 - God Calls Moses

Moses is now a shepherd in service of his father-in-law, Jethro.  Moses led his flock to the far side of the desert and came to the mountain of Horeb (Sanai).  There an angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from a burning bush. 
Mt. Horeb or Sanai was a special place where Moses went to be with God.  Do you have a special meeting place you go to be with God?  If not, find a place.  It might be your office, a corner of your bedroom, or just a chair somewhere in your house.  You will find as you make a habit of going to the same place each time, it will become easier to get in the right frame of mind to worship and hear from God.

Moses was intrigued by the burning bush and went over to get a closer look.  "God called out to Moses within the bush, Moses!  Moses! And Moses said Here I am.  Do not come any closer, God said.  Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." - Ex. 3:4-5.  God called Moses by name. This shows that God knows us personally by our names and that He loves us dearly.  

Moses sandals were dirty and removing them was a symbol for putting off all personal contamination and approaching God reverently showing respect for who God is.  Holiness is a characteristic of God that sets Him apart from sinful humanity.  He is righteous and sovereign.  God's holiness is used often throughout the Bible to describe God.  "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." - Is. 6:3.

The angel of the Lord who appeared to Moses is Jesus Christ Himself (Gen. 16:7-13; Jud. 6:11-17).  Fire is a symbol for God.  The burning bush symbolizes God's presence at all time and in all things.  The bush was in fire, but was not burning up.  This represents Israel's judgment, but God will not let them be consumed or destroyed.  It shows God is powerful.  He is the Creator of nature and only He can break the laws of nature.

God had a message for Moses.  To put it simply, He wanted him to go to Egypt and rescue His people.  God had not forgotten His people, just the opposite.  He was concerned for them and His plan was for Moses to set them free.  God had promised Abraham in Gen 15 that He would make them a great nation and now it was time. 

Principle:  God personally reveals Himself to those He calls.

Do you know God is real?  To find out, step out and serve Him.  We all have excuses, but if God is in your calling you will know it.  He will reveal Himself to you.  Let Him break through your excuses.

How does He reveal Himself to you?
What has God asked you to do to help His people?

Exodus 3:11-4:17 - God Answers Moses

Moses had several excuses as to why he didn't want to go.  Sound like us, doesn't it?

He said "'Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?' and God said, 'I will be with you.  And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you.'" - Ex. 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?'  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.'" - Ex. 3:13-14.

"I Am Who I am" indicates that God is self-existent.  He has no origins and is answerable to no one.  He is eternal and unchangeable.  In John 8:58 Jesus revealed Himself as God. "I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!"  Jesus is God!  He is the same God that created the universe, made a covenant with Abraham, and rescues His people.

God continues to tell Moses he was to go to the elders and promised they would listen.  They would go with him and the people would come out of Egypt with the Egyptians' blessing.  Now Moses has more excuses.  He said, what if they do not believe him.  God answered by giving Moses 3 signs: His rod became a snake and then changed back to a rod; God gave him power to heal leprosy; God gave him the ability to turn water to blood. - Ex. 4:1-9.

Moses still had another excuse.  He said he was not an eloquent speaker and was slow in speech and tongue.  God said He would help him speak and will teach him what to say. - Ex. 4:10-12.

Moses last objection was direct.  He said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it.  Then to Lord's anger burned against Moses." - Ex. 4:13-14.  God would solved that problem, too.  He would send his brother, Aaron to help him and God would tell him what to say.  Moses probably realized that he had run out of excuses and he better do what God said.

Principle:  God blesses our trusted obedience, not our excuses.

Our problems are not the problems of God.  The real problem is our lack of trust.  Saying "yes" to God is always worth the cost.

How have you objected to what God had told you to do?
How did God deal with your objections?

Exodus 4:18-31  God Sends Moses

Moses prepared to leave for Egypt by seeking permission from his father-in-law.  God told Moses that the men who wanted to kill him were now dead.  So Moses took his wife and sons and started back to Egypt.  He also took the staff of God in his hand. - Ex. 4:18-20.  The staff is a symbol of God's power.  We have a symbol today.  It's 2 boards nailed together, the Cross of Christ.  It is a sign of God's love and how He went to great lengths to save us.

Moses failed to circumcise one of his sons.  Ex. 4:24 says the Lord was about to kill him.  His wife, Zipporah saved him by doing it herself.  Why would God want to kill Moses?  Circumcision is the sign of the covenant.  It signifies purification and identification with God and the people of God.  Moses could not proceed on his course until he was right with God.

Moses and Aaron met in the desert and obey the Lord's instructions.  They brought the Israelite elders together, performed signs, gold them what God had said.  The result was that the Israelites believed God was concerned for them and they bowed down and worshiped.

Principle:  Following God's call will result in His worship.

When we worship, there is no room for pride.  Worship is our highest calling.  Serving God is our purpose.

How are you serving Him?
What are your excuses?
What steps will you take to worship and serve the great "I Am"?

Moses was 80 years old when God called him.  It's all about God's timing.

Will you trust God in His timing?
Where are you being overly impatient?
Do you believe that God is always with you?
Where will you dare to serve Him?
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