Hearing God's Call
Embrace God’s call with confidence
The alarm clock rings signifying it’s time to get up. Or perhaps you have a spouse or parent that calls out to you early in the morning “up and adam!”
However, I want to talk to you about a different kind of call, a call from God. We are going to look at the life of one of the greatest men whom ever lived Moses (see Exodus 3)! When this man heard the call of God he was unsure of himself; however, when he realized that this calling was from God and that God was in control he then embraced God’s call with confidence.
Let me share some background information that leads up to our text, this begins in Exodus 1.
Moses was born in Egypt when the Pharaoh was trying to reduce the Hebrew population by killing all the first born males. Man had times ever changed for when the Hebrew people first came to Egypt they found a warm welcome. Generations had come and gone. And I don’t know for sure if the Hebrew people had turned their backs on God; therefore, allowing God to allow the Egyptians to treat them as slaves, I don’t know for sure what had happened. I do know that a new Pharaoh had come to power one who didn’t know that previously the other Pharaoh had treated the people favorably. This Pharaoh feared the Hebrews because they were increasing in number; therefore he was out to kill the entire first born. And so Moses was born. For Moses to live his mother put him in a stream of water, a creek, the Nile. She had hung on to him as long as she could but she couldn’t hide his crying as any normal baby would; therefore, she sent her baby boy down the Nile. Moses’ sister Miriam watched at a distance to see what would happen. As the baby was floating down the Nile, Pharaoh’s daughter found it. Miriam saw all this and approached them and said would you like me find a woman to nurse the baby and that she did; therefore, taking the baby back to his mother! What a divine coincidence surely God had his hand in this. Moses lived with his mother until the time came for him to go and live in Pharaoh’s house. “Train a child in the way they should go and when they are old they won’t turn form it.” I think this is what Moses’ parents did. Moses would be educated in Pharaoh’s household, having the best that the world had to offer; however, after 40years of this Moses had his fill. A passage in Hebrews 11 tells us about this. Some call this section I am about to read “Hero’s of the faith.”
Read—Hebrews 11:24-27 (NLT)
And so after killing one of Pharaoh’s guards for mistreating a fellow Hebrew, Moses became a fugitive. He tralved far to the East and became a nomadic hearder for 40 years. This is where our story begins.
Read—Exodus 3:1-6 (NLT)
God got Moses’ attention (vv. 1-3) when he was least aware; likewise, God’s call often comes at the time we may least expect. The time which finds us with our hand to the plow, the time when we are simply staying in the buggy, the time which we are on summer break, working our nine to five, and more often than not in our retirement years such as Moses. God had called Moses when he was eighty years old when he was tending his father-in law’s flock. Now if Moses was eighty then his father-in law had to at least be 100 or so. It doesn’t say it in the text nor have I read anything about it; however, who was to take care of Moses’ responsibilities? Surely Jethro his father-in law wasn’t capable any longer but perhaps he was?
God gained Moses’ respect (vv. 4-6), after this encounter with the Lord it didn’t matter who was going to take care of the flock because God had Moses’ attention and respect! (reflect with me) I really don’t know if this call was something that Moses was anticipating, I think not. Just as God’s call in our lives often comes in what we may call the mundane. In many ways we are at an advantage today to the likes of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because we have the opportunity to look back to God’s calling upon their lives. Abraham’s call came when he was 100 and his wife Sarah was 90, who would have thought they would be parents, parents of a multitude? And Isaac the obedient son of this wise couple. And Jacob, father of Joseph. Jacob and the rest of the Hebrew people would come to Egypt because of the famine, many years before the Hebrew people would be treated unfairly. Therefore, seeing how God’s will has been accomplished through these individual, God’s call shouldn’t take us by surprise. And when it happens, embrace God’s call with confidence!
A. Read—Exodus 3:7-10 (NLT)
God knew of Israel’s plight (v. 7), but why was God so long in coming to their rescue? I mean they were mistreated for at least 40 years! Allow me to try and explain. On Tuesday I had the privilege of visiting with the ladies of Ladies Aid. They had taken a break from quilting to indulge in chocolate chip cookies. And some meaningful conversation began taking place over coffee and cookies in the church bungalow next door. The ladies helped me understand why God took so long in rescuing the Hebrew people from Egypt.
2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)
9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
Perhaps, our salvation is the result of God’s patience?!!! God’s patience is kinda like when Noah; therefore, allowing Noah and his family to be rescued from the flood waters. God’s patience is also like in the life of Lot (Abraham’s brother). In other words no one but Noah and his family were saved when the flood waters came, and in Sodom and Gomorra the 10 righteous persons Lot pleaded for couldn’t be found. God is patient with us not wanting any of us to perish; however, God’s patience doesn’t last forever. As there was a judgment day for the people living in Noah’s day, so there will be a judgment day for each of us too. This judgment day will come in two ways as I see it. (1) I know for sure that each of us will be judged when we die or should Christ return and take us home. (2) However, if the USA doesn’t straighten up and straighten up in a hurry then the way in which God has judged previous nations that turned their backs on Him will happen to us. God’s patience won’t last forever! So the time came for God to let the Egyptians have it, their own first born would die and the Hebrew people would plunder them as they escaped from slavery in Egypt. Furthermore, after wandering the desert 40 years all the peoples living in Canaan (Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—not for getting the electric lights) would be destroyed too.
God predicted Israel’s deliverance / Rescue (vv. 8, 9). God heard the cry of the righteous, promising them a land of milk and honey. Oppression—takes various forms for example: oppressive nations such as the Egyptians, Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians or Romans. Often there is a ruler involved such as: Pharaoh, Ben-hadad, Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar and Herod; furthermore, there are instances of oppressors outside the Bible such as Hitler or Sadam. There are also oppressors within a class of society such as wealthy people, the Pharisees of the Gospels or the Jews of the book of Acts.
One week ago today, George Tiller (abortion doctor) was gunned down while inside a church service. In the Old Testament one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus) tells us not to kill. And in the New Testament we are told to leave room for God’s judgment, for God is the ultimate Judge (Rom. 12). I am not saying in any way that this shooter was embracing God’s call. However, could there be a bigger message here? God coming to the aid of the unborn child!
Are looking for guidance in discerning God’s will? Then I suggest reading through Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount beginning in Mt. 5. Hopefully by reading and applying Jesus’ teachings we will be better equipped to discern God’s call.
However, sometimes God’s call, His will still seems foggy at best. And it is then that I like to think of the last part in Romans 11. Oh, the depths and wisdom of God how unsearchable his judgments and his paths beyond tracing out who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor, who has ever given to God that God should repay him? For from him and to him and through him are all things to God be the glory!
Read—Exodus 3:10-12 (NLT)
When the 40 years of wandering in the desert were over God was worshiped by Moses as the Great Deliver and rescuer of the weak.
Moses was a rescuer; rather, God working through Moses as the ultimate Rescuer! It’s extremely critical that we must remember God through Jesus Christ is supremely superior to any other rescuer including Moses! And although much of this text in Exodus speaks of this divine encounter (the burning bush), the text is primarily concerned about God’s revelation of Himself (see Deut. 33:16; Mk. 12:26; Lk. 20:37; Acts 7:30-34).
Our Father hears the cry of the oppressed. God will strengthen us to stand up for the oppressed even when we feel least capable. God counters insecurities (vv. 11, 12), for even Moses had insecurities at times. God had a plan and it entailed using Moses, and he embraced God’s call although it took some time before he embraced it with confidence. So what does all this tells us? God’s call may come when we least expect it, God’s call may seem unattainable, all this is why like Moses each of us must fully rely not on ourselves but wholly on God! Rescuing the Hebrew people by his own strength wasn’t possible; likewise, accomplishing God’s will in our own strength isn’t possible.
I want to conclude by reading Hebrews 11:23-27 and ask that we all embrace God’s call with confidence!
Will you pray with me? I think of preachers of not so long ago living in the South and having slaves. Some of these preachers had far greater wealth then their fellow man. I think of some preachers today making well over $30,000, $70,000, even $100,000 when there are saints whom they are leading who hardly make enough money to put food on the table. Jesus, others, yourself is one thing I have learned while living in the agricultual midwest. The shepherd always thinks of the flock first. Father, have mercy.
• And everybody said amen