Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20060118.htm
EXODUS: FUNCTIONING WELL IN A HOPELESS GROUP ASSIGNMENT
Part I: God's Deliverance Of Israel Amid Humanly Helpless Trials
D. The Leader's Great Resource For Success In His Sovereign, Gracious God
Lesson: When all human ability and even hope for Israel's deliverance was gone, an All-Sufficient God armed with His unconditional promise, His unfailing memory of that promise, His sustaining power, His compassion and sheer sovereign force to counter mighty Pharaoh -- THIS God came down from His lofty heavenly throne to deliver Israel from Egypt via the humanly failed deliverer, Moses!
- When trials arise for which all possible human efforts and resources for a solution are depleted, it is easy for us to lose hope, to become afraid and feel our lives are useless or meaningless.
- However, at the lowest point of such trials, God loves to reveal Himself as the SOLE and All-Sufficient Cause for the solution so that all we need to do is to TRUST Him forever! This very simple but profound and immensely important truth is presented in Moses' encounter with God in Exodus 2:23-3:10:
- The Leader's Great Resource For Success In His Sovereign, Gracious God, Exodus 2:23-3:10.
- At Exodus 2:23, all possible human solutions to the plight of the children of Israel were gone:
- The children of Israel had suffered bondage to their Egyptian taskmasters, Exodus 2:23a with 1:8-11.
- This initial bondage had resulted in increased numbers and strength of the children of Israel, so the Egyptian pharaoh who initially instituted their bondage made them serve with hard service, Ex. 1:13.
- Also, this pharaoh tried to have the infant boys of the people of Israel killed by the midwives, 1:15-16; when this failed, he called on his people to throw the male Hebrew infants into the Nile, Ex. 1:21-22.
- A glimmer of hope arose in all of this trial with the entrance of the man Moses, Exodus 2:1-10:
- A Hebrew mother saved her beautiful male infant, presuming God had a plan in giving him, 2:1-2.
- Hence, she arranged for him to attract the pity of Pharaoh's daughter so she would bring him into Pharaoh's court to be reared as a second Joseph and deliverer of Israel, Ex. 2:3-5a with Gen. 45:7-8.
- The plan worked in getting Moses into position to be Israel's deliverer as Joseph had been, 2:5b-10.
- However, when Moses was grown and tried to deliver Israel on his own, his efforts failed, Ex. 2:11-15:
- Moses had tried to obtain a following from Israel by slaying one of their Egyptian masters, 2:11-12.
- Yet, Israel failed to follow him, so he fled from Pharaoh's wrath to Midian, Exodus 2:13-15.
- Once there, Moses settled into nomadic life, concluding he was a failure as Israel's deliverer, 2:16-22.
- Thus, when all human hope was gone, God made ALL the difference for Israel and Moses, Ex. 2:23-3:10:
- Exodus 2:23-25 NIV five times emphasises GOD'S involvement -- that He heard Israel's cry, He heard their groaning, He recalled His covenant with their forefathers, He looked on the children of Israel and He felt concern for them. The emphasis here is abundantly clear -- GOD made ALL the difference!
- The rest of the passage describing God's meeting with Moses emphasizes the all-sufficiency of God:
- The covenant God recalled He had made with the forefathers is mentioned in Exodus 3:8, one recalling God's unconditional pledge to a helpless (in a deep sleep) patriarch Abraham in Gen. 15:12-21, that, after 400 years, his descendants would leave Gentile taskmasters and inherit Canaan!
- God's appearing to Moses in a burning bush that is not consumed in Exodus 3:1-5 typifies God's all-sufficient sustenance of Israel and Moses so He could fulfill this covenant: (a) the fire pictures Israel's fierce Egyptian bondage, (b) the burning bush helpless Israel under trial and (c) God's voice out of the bush His involvement to sustain and to deliver Israel from her Egyptian bondage.
- Moses had to take off his sandals, "a sign of respect toward a superior," cf. Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., ftn. to Ex. 3:5. In this context, the sovereignty of GOD is exhibited very clearly!
- God repeatedly told Moses He had compassionately seen and heard the afflictions of Israel, and He had come down from His lofty heavenly throne to deliver Israel from her taskmasters, Ex. 3:7-9!
- Finally, equipped by this all-sufficient God, Moses was told by the Lord that he, Moses, the "failed deliverer", was being sent by God to Pharaoh, the leader from whom Moses had fled, to be used of God to bring Israel out of Egyptian bondage, the task at which he himself had before failed, 3:10!
Application: When all hope and human ability are gone, may we trust in our All-Sufficient Lord!