Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20060104.htm
EXODUS: FUNCTIONING WELL IN A HOPELESS GROUP ASSIGNMENT
Part I: God's Great Deliverance Of Israel Amid Humanly Helpless Trials
B. The Leader's Futile Impact Via Relying On His Futile Human Resources
(Exodus 2:11-22; Acts 7:22-28)
Lesson: Since Moses relied on his HUMAN assets of great training, achievement and planning in order to gain the acceptance and headship of his oppressed people so he might deliver them from bondage, he initially FAILED: that failure arose from his not considering (a) his great need for God's approval and hence blessing as to his ways and means of leadership, and (b) he was not aware how spiritually unresponsive his own Hebrew people would be toward accepting his leadership role.
- When God calls a human leader to perform a certain task, the leader often initially fails to be effective as he often in all good intentions sets his own plans and implements them in his own resources. This failure rises from his lack of God's leading and help that we humans MUST have to handle the spiritual warfare dynamics of ministry, for such dynamics require SUPERHUMAN resources, cf. Ephesians 6:10-13.
- Failure in ministry is thus often the first step toward success, for through failure, the leader comes to see he needs the Lord for all aspects of his spiritual work. Moses' life illustrates this truth well (as follows):
- The Leader's Futile Impact Via Relying On His Futile Human Resources, Ex. 2:11-22; Acts 7:22-28.
- Moses initially tried to deliver his oppressed Hebrew people in his own human planning and power, but his plan and its implementation utterly failed, Exodus 2:11-15 with Acts 7:22-28:
- When Moses noted the oppression of his Hebrew people, he believed that murdering one of their Egyptian slave masters coupled with his position, education and achievements as a prince of the royal court would win the following of his people so he could deliver them from bondage, Acts 7:22-25b.
- Thus, Moses murdered the Egyptian taskmaster and tried to mediate between two feuding Hebrews as their "savior," assuming they would then respectfully heed him, Exodus 2:12-13.
- However, his plan as implemented resulted in utter failure: (a) Moses failed to gain God's support in sinfully murdering the Egyptian and (b) he overestimated the spiritual tenor of his countrymen who faithlessly rejected his oversight and even told Pharaoh about his murder, Ex. 2:14-15a; Acts 7:25c-28.
- Accordingly, Moses fled from an angry Pharaoh who wanted to avenge the death of the Egyptian taskmaster. Moses ended up in the desert land of Midian east of the Gulf of Aqaba, a complete failure compared to his intent to be the great human deliverer of his oppressed people back in the land of Egypt, Ex odus 2:5b; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., ftn. to Exodus 2:15.
- This failure became a teaching tool for Moses: when he witnessed a case of human oppression in the land of Midian he helped the oppressed without resorting to murder, a move that was amply rewarded, 2:16-21:
- In the land of Midian, Moses saw some shepherdesses unfairly driven away by oppressive male shepherds from a well they needed to use to water their flocks, Exodus 2:16-17a.
- Moses thus came to their rescue, helping the women without slaying the oppressors so as not to leave avengers seeking his life in Midian like Pharaoh sought Moses back in Egypt, Exodus 2:17b.
- This wiser method of dealing with oppression was met with great reward: Moses was accepted by the father of the shepherdesses who in turn gave one of the women to Moses to be his wife, Ex. 2:18-21.
- However, since Moses had HUMANLY ruined his chance to be a "savior" to his Hebrew people, he lived in deep disappointment over his past mistakes in Egypt while in the land of Midian:
- Moses named his firstborn son Gershom, a name meaning "a stranger here," Ibid., ftn. to Ex. 2:22.
- This revealed Moses was very disappointed with his lot in life: as a former highly motivated prince of Pharaoh's court with much promise and hope toward delivering his people, his own best laid plans had backfired badly, leaving him living in obscurity and feeling useless in a foreign land, Exodus 2:22!
Application: (1) May we who seek to lead in ministry efforts realize that to SUCCEED, we must handle spiritual dynamics that are SUPERHUMAN! (2) That being so, may we RELY on the LORD to lead, instruct and empower us each step of the way in the ministry effort that we might succeed in His grace!