Have you ever thought about just how transparent Moses was about himself when he wrote the book of Exodus? Under the inspiration of the Spirit, Moses wrote about everything surround the deliverance of the Jews from Egypt. He shared the good the bad and the ugly. Many times in the book he shared his failures right along with his successes. He even shared things that might have been considered embarrassing for a man of his importance. But he shared them nonetheless. Moses was extremely transparent about himself when writing the book of Exodus.
Now why would the Lord want him to be so transparent? Why would the Lord want him to write about his own personal failures?
Remember, Moses wrote this, and the other of the first five books of the Bible, towards the end of Israel’s 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. The people that would benefit from these writings the most would be people that weren’t there during the exodus. The coming generations of people would be able to read about Moses’ and Israel’s struggles with faith and obedience towards God.
What good would it do for us if the book of Exodus only reflected the good and faithful things that Moses did? Well, we’d see an individual that we couldn’t relate to. We’d see someone who has no problems with their faith and it wouldn’t speak much to us.
[“Sinless” youth speaker story.]
It helps us when we hear of sinners that struggle and grow and overcome sin in their lives. We can relate to that. We learn from that. We realize that we’re not just some hopeless, isolated person. We’re all wrestling with one issue or another.
God inspires Moses to be transparent in his writings so as people read about the exodus they see how God can take a reluctant, insecure, exile and turn him into a great man of faith.
And you know what, if being transparent was good enough for Moses, it’s good enough for us as well. As we pass on our faith to the coming generations, we need to be transparent as we tell our stories. People won’t listen to a know-it-all. But they’ll listen to a real person who’s gone through the same struggles they’re experiencing.
So let’s look at some of Moses’ struggles. Turn with me to Exodus chapter five. This chapter begins right after Moses and Aaron had met with the leaders of the Hebrews in Egypt. They spoke God’s Word to them, they performed the signs in front of them, the people immediately got on board and even had a little worship service right there for the Lord.
So Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh armed with the support of the people and the message and power of the Lord. But things don’t go to well.
I. Moses shares his failure
[Read Exodus 5:1-18.]
Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh and ask that he let the people go a three-days journey to be able to worship God. (The Jews couldn’t worship there in Egypt like they wanted to because it involved the sacrifice of certain animals that were sacred to the Egyptians.)
Pharaoh responded with a big, fat “no”! First he said he didn’t know of the Hebrew God they were referring to. Now, he obviously knew that the Jews worshipped their God, but to the Egyptians he was a god and he probably viewed himself as a god. So he wouldn’t recognize the authority of the Hebrew God since he was a god himself.
He also saw this as the Hebrews trying to get some time off of work and accused them of being lazy. So to punish them he decided that instead of having the straw brought to them to make the bricks for his empire, they’d have to harvest the straw themselves and still make just as many bricks every day as before. The Jews obviously couldn’t keep up and were severely punished for not keeping up with Pharaoh’s unrealistic goals.
At the time Moses saw this as a personal failure. Not only would Pharaoh not release the Jews, but he made their lives even more miserable than before.
But Moses should have actually been encouraged by this. God had told him that Pharaoh wouldn’t let the people go. This was to be expected! This should have reminded him of God’s ability to know the future. This should have strengthened his faith. But he saw it as a failure.
Well, the Hebrew people saw it as a failure too.
II. Moses shares his doubts
[Read Exodus 5:19-23.]
Wow! Not only did the people turn on Moses, but Moses kind-of turned on the Lord here. “You have not delivered your people at all.”
Not really a moment you want recorded in a book for eternity. Can you see Moses as he’s writing this down look upward and say, “Lord, do I really have to write this?” But yes, we need to see that this great man of faith still had to deal with doubts at times. Even when he didn’t need to.