Moses – God’s Leader (Part 2 – see last week for part 1)

Four answers – to live like Moses
First, faith that overcomes and comes to maturity will do so when in our natural selves we are VULNERABLE and helpless. Our own strength undermines faith for it rests on effort. 
Second,
there must be a complete confirmation that we are central to the divine will. When we are uncertain as to HIS leading there cannot be assurance in stepping out on the invisible road of God. 
Third,
there must be an acceptance that God knows what He is at, and that He wants our ultimate good for His perfect will. We must be convinced that the providences that surround us and marshal our way are for our benefit.
Fourth,
there is a necessity to exclude feelings from our reckoning in determining our approach to any situation in and for God. Feelings often lie and underlie our moods and it is not our emotions that prove God, but His word.

Glitter or Gloom
Moses was faced with a choice, like many of us today.  He stands as an example as did Christ, who chose a cross to save us from condemnation.   Our choices must have the stamp of eternity upon them.   Moses was faced with ascending a throne and receiving all the wealth, glory and honour that went with that office ‑ the “glitter”, or to reject all that the natural man longs for and associates with the “gloom”  of Israel’s plight.

The Eternal Values
The measure of maturity in our choices will be evidenced by our concept of the “BEFORE”.   Jesus for “the joy that was set BEFORE Him, endured the cross…” [Hebrews 12:2]. Four words characterize Moses.   He “refused”, “chose”, “esteemed” and forsook” [Hebrews 11:24, 25, 26, 27].  All these are marks of the committed man, who is seeking the purpose of God for his life.  The examples in scripture are numerous; Daniel [Daniel 1:8], Joshua [Joshua 24:15 and Jesus [Phil. 2:6‑8].  It is interesting that when Abraham and Lot were faced with a choice it was Lot who chose the land of plenty in the environment of Sodom and finished up with a crippled testimony.

Pay day is coming, and when we stand before Christ on that final judgment day [2 Corinthians 5:10] we shall all give an account of the choices we have made and the life we have led.  John in his Revelation tells us that “lukewarmness” is as much a sin as coldness in spiritual zeal [Revelation 3:15, 16].  The negative aspect of life that prohibits choice actually determines choice which favours the world.  We should therefore, not lift up our eyes before lifting up our hearts, as did Lot, before making any decision.  For he chose one step down and two steps in and finished up running for his life.

The Heartside of God [Exodus 2:11, 12]
The backside of the desert is the heartside of God, and Moses found that the entrance to God’s university was through a wilderness.  Moses had tried to deliver Israel with his own strong arm, and being the head of Egypt’s armies, had proved what a powerful and effective arm that was.  He knew in himself that the killing of the Egyptian was wrong for the scripture says he “looked this way and that way”, furtiveness is evidence that God is not in it.   The fear of man is ignored when we are certain God is in the action.

God’s Bible Class
Moses wanted to do what God wanted, but in his own way.  It was the only way he knew and being well qualified in all the known skills of his day, thought human ingenuity was sufficient.  It is said that Moses was the “meekest man on earth” and as such must also have been the strongest, for meekness is strength under control.  But, as with many of us, we have not learnt God’s mind on a matter and resort to finite reasoning and effort to secure what God can do perfectly through His almighty power.  He then gets the glory and we fade into the background as supporting cast!

God educates us by stripping us of the ability to “do” things.  The pity that Moses showed was not sufficient, for pity based on human sympathy will not stand up to provocation, and Moses was to lead about two million grumbling sheep (Israel), through a hostile wilderness.  He had gone from being a prince to a pauper and a soldier to a shepherd and, in that new found discipline, became all that what God wanted.   Self‑sufficiency is always the rot at the base of the post, and God has to cut out that which would weaken the edifice of our lives. When his face had been shot blasted by the wind driven sand and he looked like the scrub he lived amongst and was “content” to dwell in the desert, without sense of glory and deliverance, God used him to conquer the might of Egypt.

Moses – God’s Leader (Part 1)

God created man and placed him in Eden. Man sinned and God started again with Noah, but he failed.  His third attempt was Abram who became Abraham, and from him was to come forth a nation who would give lineage to the Messiah.  This nation would be provided for amidst a famine, which by God’s providence Joseph accomplished.  This sojourn in the land of Egypt would last for just over 400 years and then they would be led out of the land from great oppression by a new and God‑appointed leader, who would take them to a land of His choosing to fulfil the promise given to Abraham [Genesis 13:14‑17 especially 15:13 ‑ 16].

That man who was to lead the children of Israel to their new destiny was Moses, the beautiful child of the Nile.  He was born to humble parents under the oppression of Pharaoh, and escaped by the divine hand ordering the sequence of events that led him to a perfect training for the task of delivering about two million people.

Training, Training, Triumph

Moses’ life was split into three periods. He was trained for forty years in all the arts, crafts, sciences and military might of Egypt, and then trained for forty years unlearning human reason and might, depending only upon God.  After these eighty years he was ready to be used by God for the next forty years in shepherding the wilful children of Israel.  A description of the man is found in [Deuteronomy 33:1, 5; 34:7; Ezra 3:2], but probably the scripture that speaks about him the most powerfully is found in [Deut. 34:10‑12] ‑ “But since then there has NOT arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of Israel” 

The honour of the Egyptian courts and the highest knowledge of that day were his. He had been adopted by an Egyptian princess who was next to the throne and he was destined for the ultimate rulership of that kingdom.  History records that he twice refused to ascend the throne and chose rather to suffer affliction with his brethren [Heb. 11:24]. His lifestyle became an example of FAITH, that which was the characteristic of the great men of Genesis.  Five times it says in Hebrews 11 that it was “By faith” and if it was “By faith” it could not be by sight, and this being so, God had to rid him of the dependence of the rational education of Egypt and thrust him into a domain where all he had learned had to be restructured by a visible trust in an invisible God.

God’s Timing and Training

God’s men may seem to lie idle for many years in obscurity, but at the RIGHT time they will emerge.  God may take a lifetime to prepare us for a task at the end of our life, so we should not be too anxious to press God before HIS time to send us out.  Moses wanted to deliver Israel from their bondage, but his method was not right, so God had to get him away from that influence that would tempt him to use human resources, and whilst he was away from that environment, to rid him of that lusting after natural achievement. We read in Genesis that Joseph fled temptation, but it is “NOT ONLY, BUT,” not only run from the allurement, but also die to it so that whilst running one is not hankering after it!  It took God forty years with Moses.

If Moses had ascended the throne Israel would not have left Egypt, their conditions would have been made tolerable by an act of sovereign judgment by their friend Moses. They would have stayed and been influenced by Egyptian theology, adopting the philosophy of that alien land and culture. God wanted a pure worshipping nation separated unto himself so that He could bring forth the Saviour of the World ‑ the environment in Egypt was hardly conducive for this.

Fourfold Foundational Principle All this was achieved because Moses “by faith” moved out into a wilderness; he “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God…” [Hebrews 11:24].  See next week for continuation . . .

The Watchman – part 3

The Faithfulness He Defines

Jesus “set His face to go to Jerusalem”[1] – a concrete decision, “set” for all eternity; is it unusual if his servants are like-minded? The Watchman is ardent to pursue the objects to which he has been called, heroic in endurance, daring in Divine pursuits, patient in tribulation, constant in adversity. We read disappointing things in the Bible, like Paul’s lament, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world”,[2] but not the Watchman. He remains faithful following his course.   He gives “diligence to make his call and election sure” through the night until the dawn.    He knows how to “Endure hardship as a good soldier”.[3]  

Too often men acknowledge everything but apply nothing. A torpid, inert faith is at best a fallacy. The testimony of vital faith is continuous action. Jesus showed the way; He stepped out of the cradle and walked without stopping into the throne-room of God.   The Watchman realises that he must “labour…..for the meat that endureth”[4] that “everlasting substance” encountered through Christ. Even as he stands amid the gathering gloom he takes note of the transient conditions. Applying himself to the promises of God, he takes on the immortal character of the immortal seed. Once rooted it grows apace until it brings forth the fruit of faithfulness.

The Encouragement He Speaks.[5]  

The Revelation He Distils – “To distil” means “to let drops fall.” This is the function of the Watchman. We see “through a glass darkly”[6] now, but then face to face. Until that time of fullness, when perception becomes perfect, we are encouraged in “the way.” The Watchman interprets to us the growing dawn. When at the point of despair he shouts to us, “The morning cometh!” and fresh strength flows into ebbing souls. The Watchman was watching for the captivity tribulation to finish, ready to speak those longed- for words.

When Joseph was in prison there came a day when two men – a butler and a baker – had dreams. Both were troubled by these images in the mind, but when Joseph came to the cell in the morning he revealed to them that their dreams were to become their destinies. Do we see things that are difficult to understand?

The Redemption He Depicts – Our salvation is not yet complete. God has not brought us out of bondage to see us in confusion. Whereas the Old Testament saints hardly had a dawn, we are living in the morning rays of revelation.  “The path of the just is as a shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”[7]  Our salvation is one deliverance after another. The Watchman points out to us that the final deliverance is yet to be. Do you not hear his cry, “It is coming” – “to wit, the redemption of the body”? Every day is a triumph with God, but one day the final trumpet will be blown and life will be swallowed up in life.

The Israelites at the Red Sea moaned at God. Pharaoh said that “the wilderness had shut them in”8 and they were encamped before “Baalzephon”.[9] But God moved and in the morning they went across the dry river bed. Would the God who prevented even the dogs curling their tongues at His people let them perish under the sword in the wilderness? Of course not! When we are tempted to be like them and grumble at the providence’s of God let us bend our ear to the Watchman and remember that our redemption draws near!

The Resurrection He Desires – With the morning comes a new beginning with aspirations and attempts at new heights. The failures of yesterday are forgotten in the possibilities of the new day. The wrongs of past defeats righted in the glory of the rising sun. There is more than hope ringing in that Watchman’s voice. He is convinced that man is to be formed of dust once again as God’s breath breathes into the stubborn sod on that resurrection morning.  He has noted the time and realises that it is almost upon us.

The Watchman delivers the whole counsel of God. “The morning cometh and also the night;” for some sunshine, for others darkness. In Genesis the butler was lifted up to the throne, the baker to a scaffold. To the one it was a new day, to the other an eternal night.   God has set the Watchman in the Church so that all may hear. “He that hath ears let him hear.” [10]


 

 

[1] Luke 9:51

[2] 2 Timothy 4:10

[3] 2 Timothy 2:3

[4] John 6:27

[5] Isaiah 21: 11,12.

[6] 1 Corinthians 13:12

[7] Proverbs 4:18

[8] Exodus 14:3

[9] Exodus 14:2

[10]Revelation 2:7