Sermons

Summary: God’s Dreams Are Bigger Than Yours

God Promises Deliverance

Ex 6:1-12

INTRO:

Exodus – story of Moses is about rescue/obedience

Covenant relationship since Genesis

“You will be my people and I will be your God.”

Since the opening chps – Israelites were oppressed

From a position of privilege (end of Gen) -- position that threatened the Egyptians (beginning Ex.)—Became an oppressed people

Moses—young man – dreamt of helping his people – story of him killing the Egyptian – tried to cover up—plan failed— he fled to Midian – once again – rescue someone in trouble – young women – attempting to draw water for their father – driven away by shepherds

Moses chased off the shepherds -- made it possible for the women to get water -- They were impressed – father too was impressed – He invited Moses to his home – Moses married one of the women he met at the well

Moses -- go through life helping people – However, God had a dream for Moses that was bigger than Moses ever could have imagined. God’s plan was that Moses would lead a nation of slaves to freedom. The Israelites had been in bondage for more than 430 years; God chose Moses to release them from captivity.

READ: Exodus 5:22-6:12

Doing God’s business is hard going

[vv. 22-23] Moses to God, “O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”

Wasn’t going as Moses had planned

He didn’t think he had failed ... he thought God has not delivered on his promise to rescue his people

[5:20-21] Supervisors were angry because of the trouble caused by Moses return

The problem is not that the task is too big—rather it is that our God (view of God) is too small

ILLUSTRATION: Obstacles in front of us—obscure our view of God

God’s business in his time, his way

[6:1] YHWH to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh ...”

YHWH may be invisible to those in the story—but he is not absent

Liberation is slow, hard work

It takes time, effort and resources

Social revolution is accompanied by real people, through public protests

The complaining of the Israelites—led to

Pharaoh hardening his heart (4:21)

Further unrest

Pharaoh finally agrees to let them go after the plagues

What about our social revolution

It takes time, effort and resources

We may encounter people who harden their hearts to our work

We may encounter unrest in people’s lives

But it is a necessary work

It almost seems that the harder and more unlikely the task, the more likely God can do it—if we submit to God’s way of doing things

The gospel message says: “You don’t live in a mechanistic world ruled by necessity; you don’t live in a random world ruled by chance; you live in a world ruled by the God of Exodus and Easter. He will do things in you that neither you nor your friends would have supposed possible.”

[Eugene H. Peterson, Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work]

ILLUSTRATION: Faith Like Potatoes (The Angus Buchan story)

The rescuing is not for our benefit

vv. 2-8 It is for God’s

Extending the KOG (God’s reign in this life and the next)

Conclusion: God’s Dreams Are Bigger Than Yours.

Forty years before God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, when Moses first conceived his dream of rescuing the Israelites, he had no idea how big this dream would become. That’s because at this point it was just his dream. And the simple truth is, our plans are smaller than God’s plans. We often dream of having a little bit of success in life because a little bit of success can be quite comfortable. But God’s dream will take you beyond your comfort zone and challenge you to do something bigger than anything you could have imagined.

When Lew Wallace wrote the book Ben Hur in 1880, he optimistically told his wife that the book could earn him up to $100 a year in royalties. That was decent money in 1880—just about enough to live on. Of course, this novel about a slave who converts to Christianity eventually sold millions of copies and was made into a motion picture three times—twice as a silent film and once starring Charlton Heston. Lew Wallace and his heirs earned more from this story than he ever believed possible.

As a new Christian I remember being challenged to “Attempt something so great that unless God intervenes, you’re sure to fail.” Now, 20 years later, I would modify it slightly. Rather than “jump first and pray second,” I urge you to include God from the start. Doing God’s will God’s way involves asking him to give you a dream for your life that is so magnificent that unless he fuels the dream you have no chance of succeeding.

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