Summary: To examine how God works in the life of Moses to bring about His Sovereign purposes.
SBC Philippi 10/24/04
God’s Sovereign Hand of Purpose
Primary Purpose: To examine how God works in the life of Moses and brings about His Sovereign purposes.
Today we are looking at what could be described as one of the darkest times in Jewish history. The story begins with the birth of Moses. This is about 360 years after the Egyptians began oppressing them into forced labor. The edict from Pharaoh has just been handed down (1:22) that because of the large size of the Jewish nation that the boys who are born to Hebrew women from this point on much be destroyed by throwing them into the Nile River. So, this is a very difficult and fearful time for the Hebrew people. Yet, just as this edict is being handed down, a leader is being born who will help deliver the people from their distress.
A mother was putting her little four year old daughter to bed for the night. The child was afraid of the dark, and the mother, on this particular occasion, with her husband away, was fearful also.
When the light was out, the child caught a glimpse of the moon outside the window. “Mommy” she asked, “is the moon God’s light?” “Yes”, the mother said.
Then the child asked, “Will God put out his light and go to sleep?” The mother replied, “No dear, God never goes to sleep.” Then, out of the simplicity of a child’s faith, the little girl said something which gave reassurance even to her mother. “Well, as long as God is awake, there is no sense both of us staying awake.” And off to sleep she went.
(From a sermon by David Phaneuf “A Love That Keeps” original author unknown)
I. God’s Hand at Work v.1-9 Moses is born to parents who are born Levites. These are the people who would eventually lead the people of God in temple service. At this point, Moses has a older brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam.
Even when Moses is born, God’s hand is on him. God gives Moses mother the courage to be disobedient to Pharaoh and to hide the baby. When this becomes impossible, Moses mother does the difficult thing of placing the baby in a basket and leaving him there among the reeds.
It is impossible to know if Moses’ mother knew that Pharaoh’s daughter would be by soon. We don’t know if she even stayed to find out what would happen. All sorts of things could have happened to the child, none of them good. Left on his own, he would eventually become dehydrated and die. As it turns out, Pharaoh’s daughter comes sometime afterward and sees the child. It is not a given that she would have compassion on the child. She could have dumped the baby out and kept the basket. But, here again God brings just the right person to the scene and moves her heart with compassion.
II. God Equips Moses for a future task- v.9-11. God equips Moses for a special task he has for him in several ways. First, he allows his mother to continue to raise the child. How strange it must have seemed to have given up your child to fate, only to find your enemies daughter saying as Pharaoh’s daughter did to Moses’ Mother “Take this child away and nurse him for me and I shall give you your wages.” Now, by Pharaoh’s daughter own words he is protected. Not only that, but she will now get paid for watching her own son. She has the opportunity to instill in him some values and teach her son about who he is and who their people are. This may be why it says in Heb 11:24 “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.”
Second, God uses the Egyptian schoolmasters and education to prepare Moses for the writing of the law and the leadership that he will provide to become the deliverer of Israel. Moses by all accounts had the best education in the world, along with literature, science and writing. God is here using the Egyptian school to equip the young Moses to carry out his task.
III. God’s Role for Moses assumed v.11-14. Josephus tells us that at age 40, Moses went out to see his people and saw this one Egyptian taskmaster abusing a Jew. Stephen, the first martyr of the church, told this story and said about it that, Acts 7:23-25, “when he was approaching forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel, and when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian. And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not understand.”