Summary: The example of Moses in getting ahead of God’s plan for your life.
A Study of the Life of Moses
Sermon # 2
“Getting Ahead of God!”
Acts 7: 20-29
Dr. John R. Hamby
Last week in our first in the series on the life of Moses we examined how Amram and Jochebed, the parents of Moses, passed on to their son a heritage of faith. The time came that they had to hand their son over to the daughter of Pharaoh.
According to Exodus 2:10, “And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, “Because I drew him out of the water.”
When Moses was weaned he was taken into the household of the Pharaoh, were he was raised as the son of the princess. She named the boy, Moses, a name that was rooted in the event of her finding the baby, meaning “to draw out” as she had drew him out of the Nile.
God had given the parents of Moses more than they could ask or even imagine. Not only was his life spared, and protected by none other than the pharaoh’s daughter, but they are allowed to keep him and train him in the ways of God and they were even paid to do it. What a gracious God we serve.
Between verse 10 and verse 11 nearly 40 years are passed over in silence. The account in Exodus throws no light on the nearly 40 years Moses spent in the courts of Egypt. We left off with Moses as a baby and now we see him as an adult. In the intervening years there are several facts that we need to understand about the life of Moses. But Stephen in his account before the Sanhedrin in Acts 7:22 tells us, “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.” Moses was raised as an Egyptian prince and was given a remarkable education in the courts of Pharaoh. He was likely educated at the “Temple of the Sun” which was known as “the Oxford of Ancient Egypt. He would have studied the various sciences, mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, medicine and religion, philosophy and the law. It appears that he was a great student for the verse says that he was “mighty in words and deeds.”
The fact that he was “mighty in …deeds” seems to indicate that he also had some military experience. The Jewish historian Josephus in his “Antiquities of the Jews” gives an account of how by the time he was thirty Moses led the Egyptian army to victory in a battle against the invading Ethiopians.
Preceding the events of verse 11 and those that follow is a decision that Moses made in his heart described in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews (vv. 24-26). “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, (25) choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, (26) esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.”
This seems to tell us that during that time Moses had made a critical decision to identify with the Hebrew people.
At some point Moses had come to believe that he was to be Israel’s deliverer. Once he understood this divine calling upon his life he made his decision to give himself sacrificially to his people, he was ready for action. As we have already seen Hebrews 11: 24-25 records, “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, (25) choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,”
The decision that Moses made was truly remarkable. God did indeed intend for Moses to be the deliverer of His people from bondage in Egypt. Even though Moses was schooled in all the knowledge of the Egyptians there was much hat Moses had to learn yet. There would be a time when he would know the ways of the Lord, but for now he was too full of his own ways. In a later time he would be empowered by God, but now he was acting in his own self-energy. Moses was rash, impatient, headstrong and headed for trouble.
We take up the biblical account of the life of Moses in verse 11, “Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren.”
Verse 11 in our text sets the stage for the coming events by saying that it happened when Moses “was grown.” According to Acts 7:23 Moses was, “…forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.”