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A Few Good Men-Milwaukee '99

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A Few Good Men

Exodus 17: 8-16

I.                  They Were Specifically Selected (v. 9a)

"Choose" -- an acceptable appointment -- excellent

Notice -- Moses communicated the need w/his Leaders, not the laity.

Reason -- everything rises & falls on leadership -- he identified them, nurtured them, & equipped them.

Lesson -- Battle was won before it began! 

A.     Selected the Right Men -- How?

·        Assessed his needs:  What is needed?  He needed warriors, not negotiators.

·        Assets on hand -- Who do I have available?

·        Ability of candidates:  Who is able?

·        Attitude of candidates:  Who is willing?

·        Accomplishments:  Who gets things done?

This may be the reason you haven't been selected to do anything in the church!

1.     Joshua -- later would lead them into the promise land -- he was gaining experience for greater battles to come!

2.     Aaron -- 1st High Priest of God; effective communicator; Moses' mouthpiece.

3.     Hur -- stood w/Aaron by Moses' side & held up his hands.

Lesson -- God gives individuals special abilities, which he weaves together for his use

II.               They Saw The Need (vv. 8-9)

A.     The symbol -- Moses & The Rod of God

1.     God calls & qualifies his people for service.

2.     Joshua fights, Moses prays, Aaron & Hur support & help carry shoulder the load -- All ministers to Israel.

3.     Moses @ top of the hill -- the visible representation of God -- to be seen by Israel.

4.     Rod of God

a)     Wonder-working rod -- summoned the plagues of Egypt.

b)    Brought Israel out of bondage

c)     Parted the Red Sea

d)    Struck rocks & water flowed

e)     Brought quail & manna from heaven

The rod held up -- 2 reasons

1.     Reflect on the great things God has done for Israel...

2.     To appeal to God & invoke His help -- The battle is not yours, it's the Lord's!

The Word of God & The Rod --

Represent God's presence

         

B.     Moses was Strained & Stressed (v. 11)

1.     Moses was not only a standard-bearer, but also an intercessor, pleading w/God for success & victory.

Lesson -- When you pastor goes before the enemy -- sincere prayers should be made to God for his presence.

2.     Strongest arm extended will eventually fail

3.     Joshua's hands weren't heavy -- Moses' were because he was pleading w/God

4.     Notice -- Exodus 17: 1-7, they were arguing with Moses, murmuring.

Lesson -- God had to convince Israel that the hand of Moses contributed more to their safety than their own hands.

Application -- watch what you say and do to your pastor -- your safety just may well be in His hands!

Your success will ultimately depend on how well you support your pastor -- fight him, you'll lose.  Support him, victory will come.

          C.  Moses Struggling (v. 12a)

1.     Up & down went the hands -- symbolizing Israel's total dependence on the power of God.

2.     He was tired -- he began to struggle.

3.     The struggle -- spiritual in nature -- warring against principalities…spiritual wickedness in high places.

Spiritual warfare going on…Daniel & Gabriel…sent Michael to clear the pathway. 

Lesson -- we're fighting people (which Satan wants) instead of the force that's driving them (things we can't see).

III.           They Seized Moment (v. 12b -13)

A.     They Shouldered The Responsibility

"they took a stone"  effective teamwork -- requirement for leadership.

 

1.     Saw the need, immediately seized the moment by "shouldering" or supporting

2.     No debate -- argument -- passing of the buck -- "Pastor got himself in a lot of trouble."

3.     Could no longer stand -- they got a stone "represents support."

They shouldered the responsibility in 2--ways:

1.     Physically -- they noticed his struggle & immediately knew what to do

2.     Spiritually -- saw Moses interceding, they began to intercede.

·        I'd be willing to suggest that Aaron & Hur began to pray & pick up where Moses left off.

·        Moses chose them because he knew how hard the journey would be & he needed men who could & would pray, w/o any doubt (James 1:6)

B.      They Shared Words of Encouragement

(v. 12) …steady 'til the going down of the sun…

1.     One on one side, one on the others -- so that his hands remain steady

2.     No argument about who's in charge -- Moses is in charge

3.     Didn't try to kick him when he was down & tired

4.     Didn't try to seize the moment for themselves -- no they supported him with prayer, words of encouragement, & physical support

The North Canadian Goose -- V-Formation

Lesson:  Aaron & Hur were willing to stay there until victory was assured.

I wish church folk had goose sense!

IV.            They Shared The Victory (vv. 13-16)

Moses made sure God got the glory -- sets up trophies

A.     Victories are "Scripted." (v. 14)

1.     Things not written tend to be forgotten.

2.     God constantly reminded Israel to write things down

Lesson:  things are written down to remind us that that the same God that blesses us will deliver us!

We're defeated -- no memorials, no stones, no victories -- just defeats. 

So we can't access God's power!

3.     Written on a scroll & read to be remembered, detail by detail for future generations.

4.     Just as the sign on their hands & forehead -- remember it was the Lord who delivered them.

"…rehearse it in the ears of Joshua…"  Joshua's commissioning as the next leader

Rehearse -- to do it again, & again, & again

Generations to come may remember what the Lord has done!

Lessonpreachers, follow directions, leadership, and complete the small tasks.

·        Joshua was able to lead Israel -- had a legacy to build upon

·        Saw God work though his leader, Moses

·        Watched him appoint leaders under Jethro (Chp. 18).

B.     Victories are Enshrined (v. 15)

"Moses built an altar & called it Jehovah-nissi…"

The Lord is My Banner -- my rallying point -- lifting up of the rod of God as a banner

The banner serves notice -- God is in control.

The banner gives encouragement -- no matter how bad the situation may look, God will prevail.

The banner gives empowerment -- There is therefore, no condemnation to those who are in Christ…Greater is he that is in me…I will give the perfect peace…

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