(Summary of the sermon:11 Oct 2015)
RESURGENCE OF FAITH
Last week, we saw Jochebed’s life of faith. Her perseverance in faith saved her nation. Today, let us study the faith that her son Moses exhibited in his walk with God.
THE RISE AND FALL
And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.
“Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian. For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand. And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong one another?’ But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Do you want to kill me as you did the Egyptian yesterday?’ Then, at this saying, Moses fled and became a dweller in the land of Midian, where he had two sons.
Acts 7: 22-29
By faith Moses, when he became of age, 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; for he looked to the reward.
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”
4 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
Moses grew up as a prince in the Egyptian royal household. He was the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter, educated by the best teachers of his day and lived in the lap of luxury. He was a golden boy, snatched from the jaws of death as an infant and established in the royal palace. Impressive pedigree. He seemed to have everything going for him. Not only that, he also knew that he would be Israel’s deliverer. So, it must have seemed pretty ingenious to him to begin his work of being Israel’s hero by killing the Egyptian. He must have thought that God would totally approve his actions. But to his surprise, his plan fell flat. Instead of hailing him as their hero, the Israelites called him a murderer!
Moses quickly realized that it would only be a matter of time before his little secret was discovered by the palace.
So he fled Egypt.
SWORD AND STAFF
Fast forward 40 years.
We see Moses tending a flock of sheep in the wilderness! Quite a change in station of life! From wielding a sword, here he was, handling a staff!
One day, he saw a burning bush. It would have been just another common sight of the wilderness had it not been for the fact that the bush was not charred! Moses was surprised but he decided to walk past it. Often God could be doing something extraordinary right in front of our eyes. We may pass by, not being affected at all. But God is waiting for us to be disturbed from our routine. He wants us to recognize Him and respond to Him. God called out to Moses from the burning bush. Moses tried to excuse himself citing all the possible reasons as to why he could not live up to his calling of being Israel’s Deliverer any longer. But our God is a God of second (and multiple) chances! Even if we give up on God He doesn’t give up on us. He is able to raise us up and use us for His glory.
You see, no matter how terrible a blunder we make, there is always a way to return to God’s side. In fact until the day we die, we have many things to accomplish for God’s glory. Paul testifies to this in Philippians 3:13-14 where at a grand old age, he says that, ‘Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’.
RESURRECTION OF FAITH
God replaced Moses’ sword with a staff and He resurrected Moses’ faith. Moses went back to Egypt with Aaron and butted heads with the stubborn Pharaoh. After many deadly plagues that God inflicted on the Israelites, Moses led the descendants of Jacob out of Egypt.
Often we will have to make choices. Those choices will go a long way in determining us. At those times do we lean on our own wisdom or on God’s? Hebrews 11 speaks of a long list of people who relied on God’s wisdom in faith.
Here are a few examples. Abel, by faith, took his first offering to God. Noah, by faith, prepared an ark at a time when no one had even heard of rain! Abraham, by faith, left his father’s house to go to a land he had never even seen. Moses, by faith, refused to call himself as Pharaoh’s son. He knew that his calling would be fulfilled only if he gave up the pleasures of this world, even if it seemed illogical and stupid.
Often, faith seems illogical. But God is glorified through our seeming illogical faith. Years before, when we were at the peak of our careers, God asked my wife and me to quit our jobs and step into full time ministry. By all worldly standards, it seemed pretty stupid. But God helped us and honored our decision!
Faith doesn’t deny that we don’t have a problem. It says, ‘I do have a problem. But I believe in the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who is able to move this mountain for me’. In fact, we see Jesus demonstrating it in the lives of the lepers who came to him for cleansing. He didn’t say that they didn’t have an illness. Instead He says, ‘Be clean’. He brought into existence what He desired. Lastly, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, may we also say that even though our problem might overpower us, we will not bow to anything else because there is no one like our God!
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