Forward in Faith #26
Moses: Faith For Deliverance
I hope you are gleaning as much from these People of Faith as I am.
From Abel to Enoch, to Noah, to Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob, Rachel, and Leah, to Joseph, down to Moses’ Parents and now their son, Moses we have a story unfolding of faith. Some of these people were famous others were insignificant and today we have the most prominent person in the whole of the Old Testament
When we left the story last week, Moses had been born to Amram and Jochebed in the midst of intense persecution from the Pharaoh that had instructions for killing all baby boys.
His parents placed him, by Faith, in a basket and floated him in the Nile River. The Pharaoh’s daughter found him and after allowing Jochebed to nurse and wean him for probably 4 years, she took him into the Pharaoh’s house and raised him as their own.
The Story of Moses jumps forward 40 years between verse 10 and 11 in chapter 2. We have to imagine that he had the best of everything
He was trained in the ways of Egypt in every way, in education, philosophy, technology, as well as theology.
But remember he was weaned on the faith. He obviously knew who he was.
At 40 he was out, among his people. He saw the way they were mistreated by the Egyptian slave drivers. He came to the Hebrew’s defense and he killed the soldier. When the Pharaoh heard, he threatened to take his life and Moses fled into the desert.
In the desert he met a priest named Reuel, also known as Jethro, who had 7 daughters. Moses stayed with the family and married one of those daughters, Zipporah and they had a son named Gershom.
Well 40 more years passed and the Pharaoh died in Egypt. The slavery continued and the people began to cry out to God and in God’s plan, the time came for him to remember his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to return his people to Canaan.
So, at 80 years of age, God calls Moses into his plan of Redemption.
You know the story, you have heard it or seen it in a movie or on TV.
Moses was tending his sheep on Mount Horeb, known as The Mountain of God.
There on the mountain, The Angel of the Lord, that’s Jesus, appeared to him in flames of fire from within a Bush. The bush was on fire, yet it wasn’t burning and that got his attention so he went over to check it out.
And the Bush on fire, SPOKE and called him by name.
Moses I’m sure had heard about God from his Father in Law the priest. But that day he met him face to face.
God told him to take his shoes off because he was on Holy Ground. He said “I am the God of your father, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”
And Moses was SCARED …
Well, wouldn’t you be?
God revealed his compassion for the condition of his people, and his plan for their deliverance and the plan included Moses leading the people out, going right back there and telling the Pharaoh, “let God’s people go”.
“Who am I, to go before Pharaoh?” was all Moses could think of.
In 40 years he had gone from the top of the world to the bottom in his mind.
But God said “I am with you”
“Who exactly are you” Moses asked.
“I AM WHO I AM – Tell them I AM has sent you”
God told him to tell them that he was the God of their Fathers.
Every time God reveals himself to us, it creates a crisis of faith
Do we believe IN him
Do we believe in his PLAN
Will we do what he says and join him
Will we separate ourselves from our plans and join God in his plans
God wrestled with his insecurities and his fears about his past and eventually, he returns to Egypt, with the help of his brother Aaron, to see his people set free.
In Exodus 4:21 God says The Lord said to Moses, ‘when you return to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you power to do.’
IN Exodus 5 Moses goes before Pharaoh and commands him to let God’s people go to worship him.
But Pharaoh said “I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.”
Instead Pharaoh increased of brick making without supplying them with straw.
Moses and Aaron continued to talk to the Pharaoh with no response. They did miraculous wonders, but Pharaoh’s sorcerers copied them
And then as you know, God sends plagues.
He turned their water into Blood
He sent a plague of frogs, followed by a plague of gnats. Would have been easier for the Egyptians of the frogs had come after the gnats HUH? J
Then came flies, but again with the frogs gone … the things they ate were even worse.
Then a plague of sickness was sent on the Egyptian animals
That was followed by a sickness of boils on the Egyptians themselves.
With each plague, Pharaoh would seem to relent but then break his promises after every time.
The boils were followed by hail and the hail by locusts that ate up all the vegetation.
Then the Lord sent darkness and again Pharaoh broke his promise to let them go.
So, God promised one more plague the worst of all. God promised he was going to kill the firstborn of every household that didn’t belong to him.
God gave very clear instructions for a special meal centered around a special clean lamb that was to be killed and eaten. They were to take the blood of the lamb and spread it on the sides and top of the doorposts of the house.
And when the death Angel came through Egypt he would pass over every house that was covered by the Blood of the Lamb
Oh there’s power in the Blood isn’t there?
And God’s people obeyed Moses, they ate their dinner from the spotless lamb, they covered their doors with the Blood of the lamb and there was crying in Egypt but not in the houses covered by the blood.
And that night Pharaoh gave the order for the children of Israel to be released from bondage, set free to go to the Promised Land.
So began the last 40 years of Moses’ life.
Moses exhibited a Faith of Deliverance
Deliverance from Bondage
Bondage to the Past
Bondage to Slavery
Bondage to a ruthless ruler
And so with the time I have left, what does our Commentator, the writer of Hebrews, inspired by the Holy Spirit have to say to us about Moses?
Read Hebrews 11:24-28
What are the principles of Faith for Deliverance?
1. Rejecting False Faith
How easy would it have been for Moses to stay with the religion of the Egyptians, the chief of which was the sun God?
How Easy would it have been to trust his position in the family for his future
How easy would it have been to reject who he was born to be.
Oh that would have been so easy
Oh that would have been so comfortable
Oh the pleasures of the Pharaoh’s house
But he refused to be called the Son of Pharaoh’s daughter as a grown man
I’m sure he had been honorable toward her but now he was grown and it was time for him to be his own man and follow the path of faith.
He chose TRUE Faith over False faith
Rather than enjoy as verse 25 says “the pleasures of sin for a season”
Warren Wiersbe says that the phrase “pleasures of sin” doesn’t refer to lust or other gross sins … it describes a way of life – being successful, position, prestige, power, wealth, and freedom from problems”
- The Greek word is apolausis –enjoyment … it looks like the word Applause
Moses was not going to be just satisfied with the applause of the world rather than the applause of God
Anything that you place your trust is instead of God is a FALSE FAITH
It is your religion
Your family can be your religion
Your Job can be your religion
Your competence can be your religion
And if it is their joy you seek, their strength in which you rest, their applause you long for, then that is a false faith.
- Moses, when he had GROWN UP
When he had put aside childish things
When he put aside the selfishness of self-indulgence
He refused any longer to be known as a son of Pharaoh but a son of God
What about you? Have you grown up?
Whose applause do you seek?
Where is your faith placed?
There is another reality of a life of faith and that is that Living a Life of Faith WILL involve
2. Enduring Rejection For Faith
Persecution for our faith is a reality of the fallen world that we live in
Satan has been given a level of dominion over this earth. He has been and will be judged and in his anger he is taking out his anger on the beloved of Christ because he can’t do anything to Christ.
It has always been a reality
In the 2nd Century the Church Father, Tertullian wrote “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the church”
Isaiah was sawn in half
Zechariah was stoned
Uriah was murdered by the King
Stephen was stoned
James was put to death by the sword
Paul was beheaded by Nero
Peter was crucified upside down
Antipas was put to death in Pergamos
Philip was crucified
Matthew was killed with a halberd (an ax shaped spear)
Matthias was stoned and then beheaded
Andrew was crucified
Mark was dragged through the streets to death
James the just was crucified and stoned and then beaten to death with a club
Jude was crucified
Bartholomew was flayed and then crucified
Thomas was killed with a spear in India
Luke was hanged
Simon the zealot was crucified …
The numbers of famous martyrs is huge over the last 2000 years.
According to www.OpenDoorsUsa.org, 100 million Christians are currently suffering from persecution for their faith right now from imprisonment, abuse, and other hostilities but still countless many face death every year.
You can go to that website and read the latest news of Christians around the world that are being actively persecuted today for their faith. Their stories will bring tears to your eyes and remove our frustrations with the petty inconveniences of our faith
Go to the website and read about the watch list of top countries and the conditions for Christians
You and I will most likely never face ANYTHING to compare to these. Yet Rejection FOR our Faith should be weighed and realized is a reality of serving our Lord
Look at verses 25 and 26 again in Hebrews
Moses CHOSE to be mistreated along with the people of God
Have you had to choose the difficult for your faith
Haireomai hahee-rah-omahee to choose, select, to prefer
He preferred to be unified with the struggles of his people than have the ease of the applause of the ungodly
- V26 ?he regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt?
“regarded” – hegeomai – be of an opinion, decide, think
He made a decision
He looked at his options
The wealth of Egypt or the goodness of God …
And he decided that “disgrace” oneidismos – reproach, disgrace, shame
Greater value than treasures of Egypt – oh this is a beautiful comparison
Because they KNEW that there was plenty of treasure in Egypt
Thesauros – storeroom; treasure box; treasure
But he chose megas ploutos - the “greater value” is found in disgrace for Christ
Egypt had a storeroom full of Gold and jewels but the WEALTH is found in Serving God
Not all that glitters is Gold
And not all Gold is Wealthy
I remember living in Austin and knowing a man named Bill. Others may have driven fancy cars and appeared to have lots of money with fancy clothes and jewelry. But our friend Bill just wore a white shirt and tie to work and drove a pickup truck. I didn’t realize he was the founder of a computer company and worth $500 Million.
He understood the difference between treasures and value
And so the person of knows how to differentiate between treasures and value. I see so many people today who seem to have everything but are not happy. Many are chasing treasures but feeling empty. And yet I have met those who are suffering or poor by the world’s standards and they are truly at peace and happy because they have weighed it out and found where the real value is.
- Did you see the difference maker?
The end of verse 26 gives the KEY that all of these people of faith understood.
So many are looking around us and asking “where is my treasure? Where is my reward? When or how will I get what I deserve?”
But not these people of faith, it says he was “looking ahead to his reward”
“Looking ahead” – apoblepo ap-ob-lep-o to turn one’s eyes away from other things and fix them on some ONE thing
Oh people we need to turn away from temporary treasure hunting and fix our eyes ahead
We are looking for pennies on the track while there’s gold at the finish line
We are looking for the applause of the crowd along the way when our Father is waiting at the finish with open arms
O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace.
- V27 – He left by faith … not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible
What did Stephen see as he was being stoned? Jesus standing to receive him
What did Paul see when his journey was near the end?
A crown laid up for him in heaven
They had their watch set on “in a little while”
Well I need to hurry to finish …
Rejecting False Faith
Being Rejected For Faith
Which brings us to the most joyous reality of faith for all who will believe …
3. Receiving The Deliverance Of Faith
Think of what he had been through, as a baby, as a young man, in his middle ages the loneliness of the desert.
The magnificence of his encounter with God
A tentative return to Egypt, the awesome hand of God …
And so by faith he could keep the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that the destroyer … would not touch …
Oh listen people this was the hand of God’s messenger. But we face an adversary who comes to “steal, kill, and destroy”
We are not being condemned, we are already condemned
Our sin separates us from God
Our destiny in and of ourselves is death and hell
But Jesus said “I came that you might have LIFE”
- Moses believed God.
Moses believed the testimony of Joseph who had said that they would leave Egypt and take his bones when they did. Moses had faith that God is a Deliverer
From where will your deliverance come?
Who is your deliverer?
David said “He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold, and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge …” Ps 144:2
Job had the perspective of eyes focused on his Savior in the midst of tragedy, financial ruin, and personal suffering
Job 13:14-16 Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands? Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance …
- Moses was focused on his deliverance and faith is the key
We are saved by the Gracious Choice and Provision of God and we enter into that by FAITH
For by Grace you are saved through Faith …
Did you see how he overcame the destroyer? It is the same way we do?
By the Word of our Testimony and the Blood of the Lamb
It is FAITH in the Work of Christ at the Cross
For Moses that had A “Passover Lamb” and the sprinkled the blood over the house
For us we have THE Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ and his blood poured out for us
He was sacrificed at the cross and his blood has been taken before God and sprinkled on the Mercy Seat
Won’t you come to him today?
Stop trusting yourself for deliverance
What did Job say? “Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands?”
When you try and deliver yourself you are taking your life in your own hands but Jesus says “BRING IT TO ME”
“COME TO ME”
Successful but Still Empty
Come to Me
Isa 45:22 “TURN TO ME and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other”
You Are My Hiding Place
© Michael Ledner
You are my hiding place
You always fill my heart
With songs of deliverance
Whenever I am afraid
I will trust in you
I will trust in you
Let the weak say I am strong
In the strength of the Lord