Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Moses: The Testing of Faith

Temple Baptist Church - 4-22-2020
Hebrews 11:27


A.  Last week, we took a biblical look at the first 40 years of the life of Moses, one of the greatest men in the Bible.

Acts 7:20-23  In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months:  (21)  And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.  (22)  And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and in deeds.  (23)  And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.

B.  1 Corinthians 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

C.  Moses was all three of the above:

1.  Moses was a wise man.  “Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians”

2.  Moses was a mighty man.  “and was mighty in words and in deeds”

3.  Moses was a noble man.  “Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son”

D.  Now we come to the middle 40 years of the life of Moses.  A period of testing his faith.  I knew who he was; he was no doubt a man of faith; he knew what the Lord wanted him to accomplish; But he was rejected and fled from the face of Pharaoh.

Exodus 2:15  Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.

E.  It was not God’s way (killing the Egyptian-Moses was a man of renown and could have stopped the smiting without killing him) nor God’s time.  What did Moses learn in his time of testing?

F.  Moses endured 40 years of God’s silence because he “saw” Him who was invisible!  My thoughts ran to these verses in the New Testament:

John 20:28-29  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.  (29)  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.  (There are times when we do not “hear from God,” and we certainly do not see God but know who He is, what He can do, and that He is always there with and for us!)

G.  God’s “Bible College” is often found in difficulties or on the “backside of the desert!”  Here is what Moses’ “education taught him.”

1.  Moses learned Affiliation – Exodus 2:11a  And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens:

Moses gave up his position and possessions for his people.  From wise, mighty, noble, and rich beyond our imagination to affiliate with God’s people who were slaves.

2.  Moses learned Persecution – Exodus 2:11b-15  And he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.  (12)  And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.  (13)  And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?  (14)  And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.  (15)  Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.

Moses learned that he would be persecuted by both his own people as well as the world.

3.  Moses learned Waiting – Exodus 2:15  Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.

Moses knew that God would use him to deliver Israel from Egypt but would now spend the next 40 years waiting.  He learned that God would do these things in His time, not when Moses though it was right.

4.  Moses learned Subjection – Exodus 2:21a  And Moses was content to dwell with the man:

Moses became subject to the priest of Midian for period of 40 years.  Before Moses could lead, he had to learn to follow.

5.  Moses learned Family – Exodus 2:21b  And he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.

Moses married the daughter of the priest of Midian and she bore 2 children for him.  The New Testament “shepherd,” the Bishop or Pastor, had to be married and had to have his children in subjection.

6.  Moses learned Shepherding – Exodus 3:1a Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian.

Moses was placed in a position of care for Jethro’s flock of sheep, a menial task but a very important one.  Shepherding sheep prepared Moses for shepherding God’s “sheep,” Israel!  Those who are faithful over small things can generally be trusted with large things.

7.  Moses learned Communion – Exodus 3:1-5  Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.  (2)  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.  (3)  And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.  (4)  And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.  (5)  And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

I believe that it would be safe to say that Moses spent time communing with God in the solitude of the “backside of the desert,” much after the manner of David’s writing the 23rd Psalm while tending his father’s sheep.  Moses knew God before he came to Midian and there was nothing to entertain one’s thoughts on the “backside of the desert.”  No TV, no radio, no cell phones, just solitude where a man had time to think and ponder the things of God.  It was there that God appeared to Moses and we find the first recorded time that God actually spoke to him.

8.  Moses learned Obedience – Exodus 3:10, 4:20  Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt ... And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

When God met with Moses, Moses became obedient to God’s command to face Pharaoh, possibly the same Pharaoh that he fled from 40 years previously, and deliver the people of Israel.

9.  Moses learned Trust – Exodus 3:11-12  And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?  (12)  And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

Moses offered up excuses to God but learned to trust God and follow the command given to him.  This man, Moses, was the one to deliver Israel out of the hand of Pharaoh and Egypt!

10.  The first 40 year period of the life of Moses was one of Testimony while the second 40 year period of his life was one of Testing.

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