Summary: This is the fifth message in a series on the life of Moses and shows that being God's man is never easy. This message examines how God calls us to choose the road of obedience even when it is the most difficult way.
Most of us will accept the idea that God has a plan for our lives. However, we often struggle with the notion that God could use us in a significant way to impact the Kingdom. Why do we have this struggle? Because we know what we are really like and we know our failures. Needless to say it takes a lot of convincing for us to buy into the idea that God can actually use us in a significant way. Andy Stanley writes in his book “Visioneering” this powerful insight. "God's vision for your life is much bigger than you. Apart from His intervention and preparation, you and I are incapable of pulling off even our small part of the operation." God doesn’t let our failures determine our usefulness; He determines our usefulness based on what His power can do in and through our lives. Moses probably could have used these words as he struggled with the notion of God ever being able to use Him again. He was a failure, in fact he failed at the very thing God was calling him to do. It would take God’s continual leading and direction to convince Moses that he could still be of use in the deliverance of the Hebrew people. Moses committed to following God’s leading and timetable as he moved forward doing things God’s way. As Moses traveled the road of obedience he continued to learn and grow. Our goal today is to learn from Moses’ example that traveling the road of obedience is a learning process. In fact there will be times that we really blow it, but if we continue to faithfully strive to travel this road God will grow us and bless us.
I. How am I going to explain this to my family?
A. Moses for some reason decides not to share any details with Jethro.
1. More than likely Moses has some lingering doubts about what he experienced at Horeb.
2. Moses is seeking his father-in-law’s blessing on the journey not his permission to make the journey.
3. When you examine the Hebrew text Moses desires to return to Egypt to check on “his brothers.” The word translated brothers usually refers to his own family not necessarily all the Hebrew people.
4. Although Moses does not fill Jethro in on all the details, he did do the right thing be talking to his family before setting out on this journey.
5. By including his family in his plans Moses is able to depart from Midian on good terms.
B. Moses is apparently still reluctant about going back to Egypt.
1. Despite the favorable response from his father-in-law, Moses is still dragging his feet.
2. This time God appears to Moses in Midian and tells him that it is safe for him to go back to Egypt.
3. Moses will finally load up the donkey and begin the journey with his wife Zipporah and his two sons, Gershom and Eliezer.
C. There are five things in our text that helps Moses become more comfortable with accepting God’s call.
1. Jethro doesn’t try to discourage Moses from making this trip.
2. As Moses and his family start the journey to Egypt God gives him further information and instructions.
3. God disciplined Moses during the journey for failing to follow His instructions.
4. Moses met Aaron during the journey and he believed all that Moses shared about his experience.
5. The leaders of the Hebrew people gave Moses and Aaron a favorable reception.
II. The road trip back to Egypt.
A. Besides his family Moses also takes along his shepherds’ staff.
1. Moses is not simply making a short term trip back to Egypt to visit relatives. He is relocating with his family to live in Egypt and to become a part of the Hebrew community.
2. Moses took along his staff because it would reassure him since it was a symbol of God’s presence with him.
3. In ancient Israel a man’s staff was an important personal possession.
a. It was a means of protection.
b. It was a form of identification.
c. It was a symbol of one’s status or power.
d. The staff was the ancient equivalent to our wallets or passports.
4. All of this indicates that Moses was planning to be in Egypt for quite a while.
B. Moses would encounter several potholes on the road to Egypt.
1. God informs Moses that it would not be easy to accomplish the task of delivering the Hebrew people.
a. He was to perform all the signs just as God had instructed him.
b. Pharaoh would be stubborn and refuse to listen.
2. God instructs Moses to tell Pharaoh that Israel is His firstborn son and that God desires him to release them from slavery so they can worship their God.