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Summary: Moses' circumstances surrounding God's call


1. A life-changing decision comes at age 40. “When he (Moses) was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel” (Acts 7:32).

a. After acquiring the best education (Acts 7:22).

b. When pleasures of sin and security of position call loudest.

c. When fortunes of Israel were the lowest. “They (Egypt) set taskmasters over them (Israel) . . . their lives bitter with hard bondage – in mortar in brick” (Ex. 1:11, 14).

d. When Moses had full power of maturity.

“One day as he was nearing his fortieth birthday, it came into his mind to visit his brothers, the people of Israel. During this visit he saw an Egyptian mistreating a man of Israel. So Moses killed the Egyptian. Moses supposed his brothers would realize the God had sent him to help them but they didn’t. The next day he visited them again and saw two men of Israel fighting. He tried to be a peacemaker. ‘Gentlemen,’ he said, ‘you are brothers and shouldn’t be fighting like this! It is wrong!’ But the man in the wrong told Moses to mind his own business. ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us?’ he asked. ‘Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?’ (Acts 7:23-28, LB).

2. What was wrong about Moses’ good decision?

a. Motivated by anger or retaliation. “Saw an Egyptian beating . . . his brethren” (Ex. 2:11).

b. Knew it was wrong. “Looked this way and that . . . saw no one” (Ex. 2:12).

c. Moses violated “thou shall not kill.” “He killed the Egyptian” (Ex. 2:12).

d. Knew the Egyptians would retaliate. “Hid him in the sand” (Ex. 2:12).

(1) Egyptians could kill an Israelite, but not their own.

(2) It’s never right, to do wrong, to do right.

3. Moses was accused by his friends, not Egyptians.

a. To assume wrongly is to be consumed by consequences. “Moses assumed his brethren would realize that God had sent him to rescue them, but they didn’t” (Acts 7:25, LB).

b. The call of God is inwardly clear, but is surrounded with contradictions and complications.

c. The delivered one became Moses’ accuser. “Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday?” (Acts 7:28). Gratitude is the least remembered of all virtues.


“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command. By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible” Heb. 11:23-27).

1. Renounced his relationship to Egypt. Moses rejected sonship and (possible) kingship on earth, to gain the sonship and kingship of heaven. “Refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter” (Heb. 11:24).

a. Can’t grasp heaven until you let go of earth’s attractions. “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).

b. You can’t enjoy heaven’s happiness, until you hate earth’s sins. “If anyone comes to Me and hate not . . . cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26).

2. Esteemed the reproach of Christ greater than the riches of Egypt (Heb. 11:26).

a. To be identified with Christ’s rejection.

b. The purpose of “treasurers” is to gain pleasure, but the world never satisfies. We get more satisfaction from Christ” (Phil. 1:21).

c. We sadly lose our fellowship with Christ when stuff gets between Him and us, but never lose our relationship with Him.

3. Moses had faith to respond to God’s command.

a. Moses’ faith was based on the Word of God. “By faith Moses . . .” (Heb. 11:24). “Faith comes . . . by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17).

b. What was the basis of Moses’ faith?

(1) His mother’s teachers.

(2) God’s revelation.

4. What did Moses know about Messiah? “He had come to regard abuse suffered on behalf of the Messiah as greater riches than the treasures of Egypt” (Heb. 11:25, Hebrew Bible).

a. Moses knew God promised His people would come out of Egypt. “Thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them . . . they shall come out with great substance . . . in the fourth generation they shall come hither again” (Gen. 15:13, 15).

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