Summary: This is the fourth message in a series based on Moses and shows that being God's man is never easy. This message examines how God often calls us out of our comfort zones.
The majority of us would agree that failure is quite unpleasant. In fact failure often causes guilt and ultimately shame. Guilt and shame have the ability to paralyze us, make us feel unworthy and believe that God could never use us. These feelings often cause us to respond to God in three negative ways:
• We can run before we are sent.
• We can retreat after we have failed.
• We can resist when called.
In fact Moses displays ways two and three. Why? God has called Moses to return to the scene of his greatest failure, Egypt. Not only does the mention of Egypt bring back memories of failure it brings back the horrific pain of rejection. We can understand why Moses would resist; no one wants to be forced to relive past wounds and pain. After forty years Moses is probably still remembers the failure and rejection like it was yesterday. Could God really use someone that had messed up like Moses? Well, here’s the good news. The Bible is full of stories of God using in mighty ways individuals who failed miserably. Like Moses, God can use us if we let Him heal our wounds and then trust in His power. Today, our goal is to discover how God can use us despite our past through the example of what He did with Moses.
I. Moses experienced God’s call in a very unique way.
A. For Moses it was a day just like any other day.
1. Moses was not expecting this day to be any different from any other day. Hanging out in the desert with the sheep.
2. As Moses moves the flock toward the range of mountains known as Horeb he would not be prepared for all that would take place.
3. Curiosity gets the best of Moses as he notices a bush that was on fire but wasn’t being burned up.
4. The events that take place in chapters 3 and 4 are the most significant of any chapters in the book of Exodus.
a. God will reveal His name for the first time. (Yahweh)
b. Moses will receive God’s call to lead His people.
5. On this day Moses would have an encounter that will change his life forever.
B. Moses wasn’t really sure about how to respond to God.
1. Moses not only hears God calling out to him, he encounters God’s holiness in a spectacular way.
2. God connects the dots for Moses as He tells Moses that He is the God of the patriarchs that are written about in the pages of the Genesis narrative.
3. Moses is overcome with fear because he is not sure how to respond to God so he hides his face.
4. God tells Moses that He is aware of the misery of the Hebrew people and he is going to do something about it.
5. Everything is fine with Moses until God let’s Moses know that he has a major role in the plan.
II. Moses provides excuses and God provides answers.
A. Excuse number one: “I’m a nobody.”
1. Moses does not see himself as God does; in fact Moses probably believed that his best years are all in the past.
2. He tried to help the Hebrews once and it didn’t work. So Moses views himself as a “nobody.”
3. Moses asks the logical question, “Who am I?” This question is more than likely asked out of fear rather than humility.
4. For every excuse Moses offers God will effectively answer.
B. God’s answer: “I will be there with you.”
1. God makes it clear that His power would accompany Him.
2. Moses would not be doing this by his ability it would be dependent upon God’s presence.
3. God gives Moses a sign to let him know that He would be with him through it all.
4. Just Moses asked God, “Who am I?” God lets him know who it is that is sending him.
C. Excuse number two: “What if they laugh at me and refuse to believe?”
1. After Moses had basically carded God, Moses is now fully aware of who God is and His credentials.
2. Now Moses remembers his first experience trying to deliver the Hebrews, he asks the obvious. “What if they don’t believe me?”
3. Moses does not doubt God here, he doubts himself.
D. God’s answer: “My power will back you up.”
1. God answers Moses by giving him three signs that he could use to show the people that God was with him.
a. God tells Moses to throw down his staff and it becomes a snake.
b. God tells Moses to put his hand in his coat and it turns leprous when he pulls it out and when he puts it back in and pulls it out again it is healed.