Faith For the Future
Faith for the Future
The name Exodus is taken from two Greek words which mean "the way out." The book of Exodus is a book that tells us that God has a way for us to get out of our present difficulty. The only question that is, do we have faith for the future. Can we really trust that God will deliver us. Just open up the first chapter of Exodus and you encounter a problem. The question is will the Jews have faith that sometime in the future God will deliver them. Look at Exodus 1:8-16 and notice the oppression the Jews received.
8 Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. 9"Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. 10 Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country."
11 So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor,
(the Hebrew word for "oppress" means to humble. It has the idea of humiliating someone with a debasing job. In the military they humbled trouble makers by having them clean toilets with a tooth brush.) and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites 13 and worked them ruthlessly. The Hebrew word for "ruthlessly" means harshness, severity, or cruelty. 14 They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly. 15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 "When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live." (NIV)
Now that's oppression. Now you and I can be oppressed. Now you can be oppressed at home, at work, at school. The question is, as you are oppressed, will you have faith that God is going to deliver you? Let’s take a tour of the book of Exodus and see how through faith God delivers.
EXODUS 2:1-10 - By faith God can protect your children from the pharaohs who want to destroy them.
2:15-3:7 - By faith God can use you in spite of your past failures.
3:1-4:18 - By faith can completely obey the perfect will of God.
4:1-5 - By faith God can use your weakest talents, and your leastest abilities in a great way for God.
7-10 - By faith you can have complete confidence that the God of the Bible is absolutely powerful.
12- By faith you can have complete assurance that your all sins completely forgiven.
13-14 - By faith God can deliver you from your deserts, detours and deadlines.
15 - By faith God can turn your bitterness into blessings.
18 - By faith you can be delivered from being over worked.
20 - By faith you can obey God and still enjoy life.
25-30 - By faith you can see God's great blueprint for your life.
33 - By faith you can know the ways of God.
The book of Exodus is an exciting book. Don't think that it is just a history book. The Bible says in
4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (NIV)
I want us to look at the mother of Moses. She is an incredible example of one who lived by faith. Do you know her name? You have to go to Exodus 6:20 to find her name. Her name is Jochebed (God is glory). She is the mother who defied the Pharaoh of Egypt. Pharaoh wanted all males who were born to be thrown into the Nile River. In her greatness, this mother develops a bold plan to hide her son. When she could hide him no longer, she built a little ark of bulrushes. Then she set her baby in the ark, and laid him in the river where Pharaoh's daughter would be taking a bath. Talk about boldness! If Pharaoh's daughter choose too, she could pick up baby Moses and throw him into the Nile. The mother of Moses, Jochebed, displays for us the characteristics of trusting God.
FIRST -- THE HOME OF MOSES' MOTHER. EXODUS 1:8-22
To get a picture of Jochebed's home imagine living as a Jew in Nazi, Germany. You see; Moses was born in a land that hated Jews. Pharaoh was the Hitler of his day. The Jew's were the object of a whip. They were hated, misused and abused.
Exodus 1:11 & 13
11 So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh...13 and worked them ruthlessly. (NIV)
Do you see the word "ruthlessly (KJV) “hard laror (NASV)" in verse 13? The Hebrew word has the idea of harshness, severity, or cruelty. Those of you who constantly suffer migraines, or have given birth can identify with the Hebrew word for "ruthlessly." I can not imagine living daily with pain, but that life of Jochebed's family.
I don’t know if we have anything in our country that comes closest to that. Where murder is a daily event. That's the environment of the mother of Moses. Her whole family is hated. Her whole family is mistreated. What amazes me is the incredible character of Jochebed. From her life we learn the advantages of living by faith.
SECOND - THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS GREAT MOTHER.
A. SHE WAS A WOMEN WHO LIVED BY FAITH.
1 Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. (NIV)
Jochebed gives birth to Moses. You can imagine the excitement at birth. There is their new born baby boy. Mom is holding her son. I can remember when Shara, our first born. Immediately, after she was born, for one minute they let Velva hold her. Then the nurses took Shara to another room. They invited me to go with them. There, they weighed her, measured her and did all the other things they're supposed to do. Do you know what I was doing while the nurses were working? I was counting her fingers and toes. And I can imagine Moses' mother holding little baby Moses, as she counts his fingers and toes. She is so excited. Then it dawns on her, that every new born baby boy is to be thrown in the Nile River. So by faith, she decides to hide her little baby Moses. The Bible says in
23 By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. (NIV)
Someone says, "What does the word faith mean?" The acrostic of the word FAITH will help you.
Forsaking All I Trust Him
The word faith means, inspite of present difficulties and circumstances you trust God. You trust God to work out the problem. And that is exactly what Moses' mother is about to do. By faith, she is going to trust God, that somehow, some way, God is going to provide a way of protection for her child.
A missionary named Hotchkiss went to Nigeria where he was walking across a large grassy field. He heard the thunder of rhinoceros hoofs, and as he looked up he saw the heard heading towards him. He had no place to run. So he knelt down in the middle of field, held his Bible tightly to his chest, and prayed, "Lord, here I am." When the heard passed by he arose. He was standing in the midst of the grassy field that was marked with the hoof-prints of a hundred or more rhinoceros. But he was alive. Years latter, while visiting a family in Ohio, the husband said, "I had the most unusual experience. I woke up very early in the morning, with an irresistible urge to pray for you. I prayed that God would keep you safe." Hotchkiss asked, "Do you remember when that was?" The man said, "Yes, I wrote the date and the time in the margin of my Bible." When they compared the times, it was on the same day and the exact same hour that Hotchkiss had been spared from the heard of rhinoceros.
I can imagine that there were other Jewish mothers in Egypt who gave birth to a son, but unlike Jochebed they threw their son in the Nile River. But Jochebed, chose by faith to hide her son. When you live by faith, I believe that God provides creative alternatives.
B. GOD'S PROVIDES CREATIVE IDEAS.
The creativity of Mothers absolutely amazes me. Men if you don't think that mothers are creative, just try planning a variety of meals for a month, on a limited budget. I know what would happen if most of us men were in charge of preparing the meals. We would eat hot dogs, hamburgers, and TV dinners.
After 3 months of hiding Moses, it became impossible to hide him any longer. I don't know if it became impossible to hide Moses, because Moses was just one of those loud crying babies, or if Pharaoh offered rewards to those who turned in the law breakers. But for whatever reason, Jochebed could no longer hide her little baby. The Bible says:
3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. (NIV)
Look at the creative talents of Jochebed. I do not think that Jochebed's plan was to just set Moses a float in the Nile, and say, "Good luck kid." Instead, she takes a basket and makes it water proof. I believe that she knew where Pharaoh's daughter bathed in the Nile River. Her plan was to place baby Moses in the basket and to place the basket right in the very place where Pharaoh's daughter is going to take her bath. And the plan was that when Pharaoh's daughter sees the baby in the basket, she will do one of two things, she will either pick up the baby and throw him into the river, or she will pick up the baby and will want to keep the baby. The plan of course is for Pharaoh's daughter to fall in love with the baby. That's her creative plan.
Mothers, I don't know how you do it. How do you come up with such incredible, creative plans?
C. A PERSON OF FAITH IS ALSO A PERSON OF PRAYER.
When you come to the Scriptures, do not just read over these verses without feeling the emotions. Put on the shoes of Jochebed. What do you think Jochebed was feeling the night before she put Moses into the Nile River? Imagine that this is the last night your baby will be home. I tell you something folks, all the other mothers may be sound asleep, but the home of baby Moses there was no sleeping tonight. This will be the last night she will ever tuck him in. Some of you have been there.
What is she thinking this last night with her son? I think she was praying. If you can see her, she would be putting a dab of pitch here and a dab of pitch there on the basket. And between this dab and that dab, you could hear her praying. Perhaps she prayed, "Lord keep my boy safe. Lord, I can't keep my boy any longer. Please keep him safe in this basket." And at times you could hear her singing. I can imagine her singing.
You are my hiding place, You always fill my heart with songs of Deliverance,
When ever I am afraid, I will trust in You. I will trust in You.
Then the morning arrives for her to place Moses in the Nile River. Watch what happens next:
5 Then Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew babies," she said. 7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?" 8 "Yes, go," she answered. And the girl went and got the baby's mother. 9 Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you." So the woman took the baby and nursed him. (NIV)
Do you see what is going on here? There is God’s amazing provision. Isn't it amazing how God provides! The heart of the princes, and baby Moses meets. Pharaoh's daughter opens the lid to the basket, and just as she does, Moses cries. Her heart melts. She falls in love with the child. Instead of throwing Moses in the river, Moses' life is spared, and above all that, Jochebed is paid to raise her own child.
And it all started with a mother of faith, and a mother of prayer, and God giving the creativity.
D. A PERSON OF FAITH ATTEMPTS TO PASS ON THEIR FAITH.
It is believed that Jochebed raised Moses for about 5 years. Look at the results 40 years later:
"24by faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of pharaoh's DAUGHTER. 25CHOOSEING RATHER TO SUFFER AFFLICTION WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD THAN TO ENJOY THE PLEASURES OF SIN FOR A SEASON...27 BY FAITH HE FORSOOK EGYPT, NOT FEARING THE WRATH OF THE KING"
Does verse 27 sound familiar to you? That is the same faith that Jochebed displayed at the birth of Moses. Jochebed did not fear the wrath of the king. Look at:
"BY FAITH MOSES, WHEN HE WAS BORN, WAS HID 3 MONTHS...AND THEY WERE NOT AFRAID OF THE KING'S COMMAND"
Moses is nearly 40 years of age, and he is displaying the same faith as his Mother. His faith started with the faith of his mother. I believe that when you have faith and you begin to pray for your family God will provide the creativity and the faith in your own family. Jochebed's plan was not just a lucky idea. The Bible says in:
"WHEN A MAN'S WAYS PLEASE THE LORD, HE MAKES EVEN HIS ENEMIES TO BE AT PEACE WITH HIM"