*/Preparing and Persuading Moses - Exodus 2-4 (Part 2 in a Series of 11)/*
July 6, 2008
Jesus, you have challenged us to walk worthy of You and to fully please You.
This is too high for us - to please You in every way is a life worthy of You.
How can we possibly do this?
When we look at our lives, we’re so often concerned with living up to the expectations of others rather than the expectations You have for us.
We desire to proclaim Your name to the unsaved people we love and have contact with daily.
Help us to stay away from manipulating them.
We desire to lead believers to Your Word through acknowledging Your pardon, mercy, and grace in their lives.
Help us to stay away from guliting them, forcing them, or conforming them to our ideals instead of Your ideals.
Our gathering this evening is touched by the indifference of our times.
We have to be to some extent.
Help us to please You with every thought, every word, and every action or reaction in our lives this week.
We realize that this is impossible without our dependence upon You.
We voice that collective dependence this evening.
Help us to work, to play, to communicate with our husbands …with our wives.
Help us to raise our children and fulfill our responsibilities this week.
Guard our minds.
May we read, watch, and wear that which pleases You.
The money we spend or don’t spend …let it please You.
Hot tempers, loud voices, quick solutions, and independence are coveted by so many of us.
Give us greater patience and endurance.
Give us the power of Your Holy Spirit.
If our greatest need were economic, then You would have sent us an economist.
If it had been entertainment, then You would have sent an artist or comedian.
If political stability were the goal, then You would have sent a politician.
If it had been our physical health, then You would have sent a doctor.
But Lord God of Heaven and earth, our greatest need involves our sinfulness so You sent Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
How can we not respond with joy and gratitude this evening?
Please bless the preaching of Your Word and the fashioning of our spiritual lives.
*Background, Review, and Introduction:*
Last week, we studied how the children of Israel multiplied no matter how intense the bondage and affliction suffered at the hands of Pharaoh and his cruel taskmasters.
God kept the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Exodus 1 establishes the fact that our greatest need involves deliverance.
We may not be escaping the slavery depicted in this passage, but we do need redemption from ourselves and others.
From ourselves because we are dead in trespasses and sin.
From others because the world and the devil seek to exploit and destroy our testimony for Christ.
This week, we turn to the */preparation/* and */persuasion/* of one of God’s choice servants: Moses.
Instead of reading the passage under consideration this evening, allow me to walk us through the next three chapters of Exodus - chapters 2-4:
A beautiful child is born to Levite parents (2.1-2).
He is safeguarded from Pharaoh’s heinous command to kill Hebrew infant boys by casting them into the Nile River.
This goes on for three months until the parents can no longer hide him.
They build an ark of bulrushes to save the child.
Interestingly, the only other time that an ark is mentioned in Scripture is in reference to Noah’s ark.
They thrust Moses into the Nile evidently obeying the letter of Pharaoh’s command but not the diabolical spirit of it.
Ironically, the child is found by Pharaoh’s daughter.
The understanding of many conservative Bible scholars is that this daughter is none other than Hatshepsut, daughter of Thutmose I.
She was a powerful woman who actually wielded quite a bit of control and influence after her father died.
When the unnamed beautiful child of the unnamed Hebrew parents weeps, the daughter of Pharaoh shows compassion.
At this moment, the child’s sister steps forward.
She asks if she should find a nurse for the child.
With that, the child’s mother is reunited with her baby boy for three years.
Verse 9 of chapter 2 states that she was even paid a wage to nurse her own child!
It is here that Pharaoh’s daughter calls him Moses because he was drawn from the water.
Interestingly, the Egyptian equivalent for the Hebrew name means Son of the Water (a reference to the Nile).
Just as Thut/mose/ is Egyptian for son of an Egyptian God Thoth.
Moses matures and reaches 40 in a matter of a few verses.
We meet him next when he witnesses one of the taskmasters beating a fellow Hebrew brother.
We ought to pause and think about this.
God has been preparing Moses for 40 years.
The children of Israel have been suffering greatly an additional 40 years!
But God is not in a hurry as is evident in what unfolds next.
Moses kills the Egyptian taskmaster and hides the body in a sandy grave.
Pharaoh heard of it and sought to kill Moses.
Moses escapes to the Sinai wilderness and spends 40 additional years as a shepherd preparing to deliver and lead God’s children from Egyptian bondage.
During this time, he gains a Midianite wife and two sons.
Exodus mentions only his son Gershom but Stephen recounts Israel’s history in Acts 7 and mentions that Moses had two sons (Acts 7.29).
*Exodus 2:23-25** (NKJV) \\ */23/Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died.
Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage.
/24/So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
/25/And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged /them//./
Tending his flock upon the very mountain that he would later receive the 10 commandments of God, the Angel of the LORD appears to Moses in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush.
The bush burned with fire and yet it was not consumed.
God spoke to Moses from the midst of this bush:
*Exodus 3:4-6** (NKJV) \\ */4/ “Moses, Moses!”
And [Moses] said, “Here I am.” /5/Then [God] said, “Do not draw near this place.
Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand /is/ holy ground.
/6/…I /am/ the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.
Moses hid even as Adam hid.
He was a sinner, a man who had murdered another man created in the image of God.
Yet the LORD said to Moses…
*Exodus 3:7**, 10 (NKJV) \\ */7/“I have surely seen the oppression of My people who /are/ in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.
…/10/Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
Moses had learned no not be so rash in his 40-year stint in the wilderness.
I know this because, now at 80, Moses struggles greatly with confidence in assuming the mantle of leadership thrust upon him by God Almighty.
God is careful and patient with Moses right through chapters 3 and 4:
The LORD grants Moses a sign - Moses would serve God with the children of Israel upon the very mountain that contained the burning bush.
The LORD reveals to Moses His eternal name, His memorial to all generations: I AM WHO I AM.
3. The hardness of Pharaoh’s heart was foreknown by the LORD and relayed to Moses, the readiness of the children of Israel’s acceptance of Moses’ leadership was foreknown by the LORD and relayed to Moses, and the favor of the Egyptian populace in giving the children of Israel treasure as they left was foreknown by the LORD and relayed to Moses.
A rod of God served as a sign for Moses, the children of Israel, and the Egyptians.
When thrust upon the ground by Moses it became a serpent.
When retrieved by the tail, the serpent became once more the rod of God (4.1-5).
5. Another sign involved the literal hand of Moses.
When he thrust his hand into his bosom or under the folds of his tunic, it became white with leprosy as he withdrew it.
When thrust within the folds of his tunic again, it was restored back to normal as he brought it out (4.6-8).
God graciously and mercifully gave Moses yet a third sign.
When the water, retrieved from the Nile by the hand of Moses, was spilled upon the dry ground, it became blood (4.9).
Amazingly, Moses continues to resist the mantle thrust upon him.