The Ten Commandments. The building blocks of Judaism and, thus, Christianity. Many of us were raised with them, and were taught them from a young age. They are posted in Sunday school class rooms and displayed in prominent places. You could probably rattle them off from memory. However, we must be careful that familiarity doesn’t breed nonchalance. The Ten Commandments are not something we should take lightly. They are the standards our holy God set for us to be a people worthy of His name.
Things were looking good for the Israelites. They had just won their first battle and were being fed daily with God’s gift of manna. However, as with any group of sinful people gathered together, conflict arose among the people. So while everything seemed to be going great, Moses was stuck listening to the complaints of the people and judging between them day in and day out. Not a very exciting task! But being the servant leader Moses was, he didn’t complain, but tirelessly sat and judged the people each and every day
Welcome back to Exodus! It’s been awhile, but I’m excited to dive back into the life of Moses and the story of God as He transformed a ragtag group of ex-slaves into a conquering nation. Israel had a long ways to go, but each step in their journey brought them closer to the Promised Land and closer to the heart of God. So let’s return to following their footsteps through the pages of Exodus that we may learn from their mistakes and see how God can use broken, imperfect people to accomplish His divine purposes.
When I read some of the stories in the Old Testament it amazes me what some of God’s leaders had to put up with. We think we have difficult people in our lives, but what about them? Have you ever considered how challenging Ahab was to Elijah? But even more trying is when the difficult people in your life are part of your spiritual family, fellow believers with the same faith and God you profess. This is probably the most difficult! But Moses is a great role model for us in these situations.
“Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying, “‘I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name.’”
After the victorious crossing of the Red Sea, the defeat of Pharaoh and his army, and tasting freedom, everything seemed to be going good. We could end our study of Moses and the Exodus here, on the other side of the Red Sea. However, the story of Moses’ life is not done. This is just the close of one chapter—a new one awaits.
Moses. So far, his life has been one epic drama, full of highs and lows. However, all these things were molding him into the man God needed him to be for the task ahead. And eventually, when he was completely following the Lord and carrying out his mission, Moses rose to greatness among all the people, Egyptian and Israelite alike.
Have you ever felt woefully unprepared for a task? Maybe you felt under-qualified. Or maybe after getting into your project you felt like you got in way over your head. No matter what the situation or circumstances might be, I’m sure we’ve all had a moment or two like that—a moment of panic and feeling completely out of our element.
But don’t worry; even the mighty heroes of the faith had moments like these. In fact, Moses—the mighty and fearless deliver of Israel—felt unprepared for the task God gave him. He actually made several attempts to excuse himself from his calling. So let’s take a look at what happened and see what lessons we can glean from Moses’ attempt at by-passing his God-given mission.
Before we dive into the book of Exodus, it would be beneficial for us to learn a bit of the historical background and context in which this story takes place. The people of Israel originated as a family from the Mesopotamian region. So how did they end up in Egypt? In order to answer that question, we must go back a few hundred years into Genesis, to the story of a man named Abraham.
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