Monday, September 21st, 2015
Deliverance (Part 43)*
Starring Roles: Moses
And Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, all the hardship that had come upon them on the way, and how the Lord had delivered them...
And Jethro said, 'Blessed be the Lord, Who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh, and Who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.'
Exodus 18:8,10 (NKJV)
Moses was the Lord's front man for earth's second greatest delivery.** After Joseph's death in Egypt, his kin faced centuries of hardship. God's family of seventy became millions, including Moses. Their numbers worried Pharaoh, so he enslaved them and murdered their boys.
Moses escaped this fate by the ingenuity of his mother. Born an Israelite, raised an Egyptian, Moses bridged two cultures. At the age of eighty, he was chosen to deliver God's people.
Among many godly attributes, consider these lessons from Moses:
1) He was humble, a leadership prerequisite. 'Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth' (Numbers 12:3). Every Bible hero was humble, or humbled.*** Again and again, from the Old Testament to the New, God reminds us: 'Before honor is humility' (Proverbs 18:12).
2) He was an outsider, on-the-run from two groups. When he rescued a Hebrew from an Egyptian, he received the first complaint of many to come: 'Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?' (Exodus 2:14). God reminds us: No place on this earth is our home.
3) He was ill-equipped, but God chose him anyway. Moses hadn't been raised as an Israelite. He was a shepherd who married and had two sons. He'd lived as a loner and not as a leader. 'Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?' (Exodus 3:11).
4) He was obedient to God, through doubt and grief. From his first apparent failure, 'Why is it You have sent me?' (Exodus 5:22)... to a wall of water, 'Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea' (Exodus 14:21)... to forty years of testing, 'Moses did everything just as the Lord commanded him' (Exodus 40:16).
5) He was faithful, preferring the Lord to Pharaoh. He 'Refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt' (Hebrews 11:24-26).****
6) He was self-sacrificing, pleading for his kin. When God grew furious with them, Moses bargained: 'Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin--but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your Book which You have written' (Exodus 32:31-32).
7) He was close to God, as evidenced by his face. Starting with an encounter at a burning bush, through two fasting, forty-day mountain-top retreats, to countless personal tabernacle meetings, Moses became so amazingly close to God, 'That the skin of Moses' face shone' (Exodus 34:35), literally.*****
To Be Continued...
* CORRECTION: Deliverance, Part 42, listed Joseph's father's name incorrectly. Joseph's father is Jacob (or Israel), son of Isaac, son of Abraham.
** Jesus was the front Man for earth's greatest delivery.
*** Samson was humbled. He lost God's Spirit when he lost his hair. Delilah said, ' 'The Philistines are upon you, Samson!' And he awoke from his sleep and said, 'I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.' But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him' (Judges 16:20). God returned to Samson for a final moment of glory when his renewed strength caused the Philistine's temple to fall.
**** Faith's Hall of Fame mentioned in Hebrews 11: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%2011&version=NKJV
***** Moses' Shining Face, an excellent sermon by Pastor Don Gettys on how Moses got so close to God, focusing on his second 40-day trip up the mountain: http://mcdonaldroad.org/sermons/07/070317.htm. Wow on this study!
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Deliverance series.