God Never Wastes an Experience
One day a mom and Dad checked the mailbox. In the mailbox was a letter from their daughter who was away at college. They opened the letter very excitingly and here is what it read;
“Dear Mom and Dad just thought I’d drop you a note to clue you in on what’s been going on in my life. I’ve just fallen in love with a guy named Jim. He’s a great guy who quit school after the eleventh grade to get married. About a year ago, he got a divorce, and his ex-wife took the children. We’ve been together for two months and plan to get married this summer. Until then, I’ve decided to move into his apartment. I sold my car to help him make his mortgage payments. By the way, I’m not sure, but I think I may be pregnant. At any rate, I dropped out of college last month, but I plan to go back and finish sometime in the near future.” On the next page she continues, “Mom and Dad, everything I’ve written so far is a lie. None of it is true. However, it is true that I got a C in French, a D in Chemistry, and my money has run out.” That’s a pretty smart girl huh? She understood that even bad news can look like good news, depending on your perspective.
That’s exactly what we want to talk about today. We want to talk about how we look at the things in our lives. Whether we are looking at circumstances in our Christian life with a biblical perspective. Perspective that is based solidly on the truth of the Word of God. A biblical perspective can change the whole outlook of the experiences in our lives.
This message in part comes from Lon Solomon. Lon is senior pastor of a church I was a member of back in Virginia at McLean Bible Church. Today’s sermon is entitled,
“God Never Wastes an Experience”
We’re going to use an incident out of the life of Moses as our springboard today. We’ll see what happened to Moses and then we’ll bring it all together to see what difference it should make in our lives.
Here’s a recap of Exodus one the second book of the Bible.
The Israelites, the ethnic group who are descendants of Abraham, have grown into a massive nation inside Egypt. Because of that, the Pharaoh at that time, Tutmoses I, has set out to reduce the number of the Hebrew population. After a couple of failed attempts, one involving Hebrew midwives who were to commit what amounted to infanticide, Tutmoses authorizes every Egyptian citizen to kill on sight each and every Hebrew baby boy.
That brings us to Exodus 2 when Moses is born and its open season if you will on Hebrew boys in Egypt. Now I know some of you can sympathize with “open season”. When you lose its open season wherever you go when you win they love you. But unless you’re a Hebrew boy in Egypt about 1525 B.C. your life isn’t in danger. How’s that for a parallel?
The birth of Moses was one of the most important events in all of Hebrew history. This little child was to become the greatest man of God to live during the 2000 years between Abraham and Jesus Christ.
As soon as Moses was born scripture says that his mother noticed something special about him. She felt a sense of spiritual destiny about him which explains what she did in verse 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.”
Now when Moses’ mom cast this little boy into the Nile, well, the odds were pretty stacked against little Moses. I mean if a loyal law abiding Egyptian citizen found him, he would be drowned on the spot.
This brings up an interesting topic because the Bible tells us in Romans 13:1-2 that we are to abide by the laws of people placed in authority. Was Moses’ mom breaking the law of the land by not killing or handing over her son? Well suffice to say that she was in keeping with the spirit of the law; get rid of the child, and she did. But more importantly for you and me when man’s laws contradict God’s commands, we are to follow what God has laid out for us in His Word.
* So not only were the odds stacked against him from being drowned by an Egyptian but he was also at risk of being lunch if a crocodile found him in the Nile. Yet aren’t you glad we serve a God who is bigger than human odds? A God who is sovereign over the laws of man?
Look at what happens next. Read verse 5. 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.
This was an amazing thing God did here. Pharaoh's daughter was certainly aware of the edict her father had given regarding Hebrew baby boys. She certainly knew that above all people his daughter would be expected to carry out that edict and drown that child right on the spot. Not only did she not carry out the edict but she felt compassion on baby Moses. She took pity on Moses.
* This was but another example of a sovereign act of God. This was God’s exercise of power over his creation, in this case the heart of Pharaoh's daughter. Proverbs 21:1 tells us that “the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord...” certainly the heart of the king’s daughter was in the palm of God’s hand acting for the good of his purposes. Look at what happens next, verse 8 reads.
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.
* Pharaoh's daughter, says to Moses’ mom, ‘Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you’. Talk about another sovereign act of God. By God’s wonderful grace, Moses’ own mother now gets royal permission to not only save his life but to nurse him and nurture him, and she gets paid for doing it! (great deal)
Because of Egyptian history we actually know the name of Pharaoh’s daughter her name is Hatshepsut. I like to call her Hot-Cheap-Suit that’s how I remember. Now you might be asking what does that have to do with anything Harry? Well for quite some time scholars did not believe that Hatshepsut actually found Moses in the Nile. The palace they found was 100 miles away from the Goshen Delta where archaeologist believed the Hebrew settlement to be. There was no way they would believe Hatshepsut would ride a chariot 100 miles to take a bath.
(Archaeological Proof) In 1993 Dr. Manfred Bietak, who is an eminent archaeologist and professor of Egyptology at he University of Vienna in Austria, was over in Egypt doing archaeological work. He discovered a huge palace complex at Tel el-Daba dating from the time of Moses. This palace was right along the Nile river in the Goshen Delta where the Israelites were living. It is entirely logical that the Pharaohs’ daughter would have walked out and taken a bath in the Nile and seen the basket with baby Moses. In other words, we found this royal palace from the time of Moses right where the Bible says it was supposed to be, right there in the Goshen Delta next to the Hebrew settlement. Tel El Daba, Tel El Shaba, Tel El Shwaba what does that have to do with anything today? I’ll tell you what it has to do with. The Bible for thousands of years has been historically correct, and contemporary scholarship has been historically catching up because they’ve been wrong. The more we dig out of the ground, the more the bible proves to be correct. Archaeology continues to validate that the Bible is an authentic an true representation of the truth of God and His word.
Verse 10 says that when Moses grew older Pharaoh’s daughter, Hatshepsut, took him to become her son which amounted to adoption. Moses was probably around 3 years old at the time and Hot-Cheap-Suit was probably about 10-13 years old when she brought him into the palace.
This is significant; Moses would be treated in every way as one of the royal family, with all the rights, privileges and respect appertaining thereunto.
As a matter of fact Moses would receive the best education money could buy at least at the time. Please note that the only people in Egypt who were given an education at this time were royalty. So, because Moses was adopted by Pharaohs’ daughter he was taught reading, arithmetic and medicine.
He was taught organizational skills and administrative skills, foreign relations. He was taught jurisprudence. He was taught military skills and military tactics. He was taught leadership skills and command skills. All because.
Royal children in Egypt received instruction which would prepare them for their future lives as some of the highest ranking nobles in the land. Stephen tells us in the book of Acts 7:22 that, “Moses was educated in all wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.”
What I’m trying to say is that outside of the prophet Daniel, Moses was the most trained person of the entire Old Testament.
Now can’t you see how all this stuff is so important? Can’t you see why Moses needed to go through all this training? Moses was going to fulfill the plan for his life that God had called him to.
Here’s a short list of what Moses would have to do;
1. Moses needed to be able to read and write because he would write the first 5 books of the Bible.
2. Moses needed to have organizational and administrative skills because God was going to ask him to organize and lead 2 million people through the desert.
3. Moses was going to need jurisprudence skills because God was going to ask him to adjudicate the Israelites’ legal cases for 40 years.
4. Moses was going to need military training, because God was going to ask him to mold the Israelites into a fighting force that was capable of invading and conquering the Promised Land.
5. Finally, Moses was going to need leadership and command skills, because he was going to have to lead this motley crew for 40 years through the Sinai Wilderness.
Now, can’t you see how God in the first 40 years of Moses’ life wasted nothing? No one expected Moses to even make it down stream. Years before Joseph ended up in a pit then it should be no surprise to see Moses in the palace. Every single event played in perfectly where God needed it to. God knew the role he wanted Moses to play and knew what would prepare Moses to accomplish God’s plans for the future.
Now sitting here in the 21st century with the benefit of hindsight, we can see how perfect God’s leading was in Moses’ life. We can see how it all made sense and fit precisely into God’s plan.
Now if you were the parent of Moses jumping back 3500 years ago I wonder if Moses’ mom could see that while it was happening. I wonder if she didn’t sit around all night wondering, “God how could you let this happen to my baby boy?” I wonder if Moses’ dad could see what God was doing then. I wonder if he didn’t spend many nights on his knees saying, “God, how could you send my boy into that corrupt, immoral and slave driven palace of Egypt?” I wonder if his brother and sister Aaron and Miriam, didn’t sit around at night saying, “Dear God, how could you take our little brother away from us?” How ‘bout Moses? What might he have said sitting in that palace while his Hebrew brothers were beaten and sisters slaved over the monuments and buildings that he enjoyed from his lofty position? “Lord what are you doing to me, my family’s out there and I’m in here?”
I doubt very seriously that the people going through that circumstance knew that God was in complete control all the time. Can you see that? That’s what we need to understand. God was in complete control.
I believe as followers of Jesus Christ here today that we have things that we are going through in our lives that we don’t understand. That we sit here this morning having gone through or are still in the process of going through something confusing in our lives. Things where we wonder why in the world did God send these things my way? You may in essence be going through some “Moses training” right this very minute. Had you ever thought of it that way? I want you to look at your life with a Godly perspective through the story of Moses. If you can it would amount to you seeing your event through God’s eyes, a biblical perspective of your circumstances.
Friends may I say to you today that we don’t have to understand, why we are going through what we’re going through. As followers of Jesus Christ we don’t have to explain everything that’s happening to us.
All we need to do is believe God and trust Him. We need to believe God when He tells us he has a perfect plan for our lives, just like he did Moses’. We need to believe God when He tells us that every event in our life is working together to fulfill that plan, just like he did in Moses’ life. And we need to believe God when He tells us that every detail in our lives is under His sovereign control, just as it was with Moses.
God gives us perspective in our times of uncertainty and we surely will have them so he says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you...” We have a tendency to say Yeah Lord but I (emphasis) don’t know them!” God says well, so what. You don’t have to know them, as long as I know them, and I’m running the universe. You can relax. Relax. “I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
God says trust me. So will you? Trust me. I never waste an experience God says. Whether you initially understand that experience or whether you don’t. Trust me.
Brethren, God didn’t waste an experience with Moses. He didn’t waste an experience with David or Joseph or the Apostle Paul and he’s not wasting one with you. But, you’re just going to have to trust Him won’t you? You know God didn’t make a mistake with Moses and he didn’t make a mistake with you. God knows exactly what he’s doing and we’re always left playing catch up but in between time we need to trust him even in the midst of what looks like a bad situation there is God’s goodness.
It’s right there, that a Godly perspective of the circumstances can dictate whether we continue to, trust Him.
Our job description isn’t to figure it all out its just to relax and trust Him. He’s got it all worked out and in fact He had it worked out before the beginning of time. Before we were even conceived in our mother’s womb he knew we were going to be in our current circumstance today. So enjoy the experience by trusting in Him and relax his plans work to perfection.
Here’s my challenge for you today;
One of the distinguishing marks of a true man or woman of God is that person’s quiet confidence that God is in complete control.
This is the kind of person that God wants you to be. Both for your own benefit and so that you are an effective representative for the living God in our world, when in the middle of crisis, you can be calm and when people ask you why, they hear you say, “I’m relaxed, because I know I’ve got a God who is in complete control, and I trust Him.”
God wants us all to see His plan through to the end and when we do that, we have trusted Him in even the most harrowing of circumstances. In times when we will look like fools in front of people. In times when no one else in their right flesh would do that. We trust him with all that we have because He’s all that we are.
My prayer then is that you would remember the impossibilities of Moses and trust in the sovereignty of God who designed every detail, He just wants you to trust Him for it. God Never Wastes an Experience so look at life from His perspective. Amen