Summary: This is week 5 of our sermon series No Ordinary Family and looks at the faith that put Moses on the list.
Every story has a beginning and this story began on the side of the Nile River.
But before we can tell you about the beginning we need to tell you the beginning of the beginning. I’ve told you the story several times about Joseph being sold into slavery and ending up as governor of Egypt, how he brought his family to him and how they enjoyed the benefits of being kinfolk of the boss. But in the four hundred years that had elapsed the Egyptians had become fearful of this ever enlarging group and then we are told in Exodus 1:8-11 Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. He said to his people, “Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are. We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don’t, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country.” So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king.
And so began the first of many persecutions for the Jews. And in an attempt to destroy the people of God, the pharaoh issued orders to kill all the male children belonging to the Jews.
Hebrews 11:23 It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command.
1) Moses’ Life Began With a Decision Moses wasn’t the only male child born during that time, and other parents probably were heart broken when their sons were killed. Moses survived because of a decision his parents made. Other parents looked at their options and gave up, they saw no way to fight back against the force of the Pharaoh and yet Moses’ parents looked for a solution and they found it.
Of course you all know how when Moses was three months old his mother placed him in a water tight basket and placed him in the bulrushes. And we all know how the Pharaoh’s daughter found him, and how his mother became his nurse maid, I mean I don’t have to tell you any of that do I?
So I won’t but that is the beginning of the story. I will tell you that this young Jewish boy was raised as the grandson of the pharaoh and as such enjoyed all of the privileges, and perks of being one of the most powerful men in Egypt.
He had all of the wealth, resources and benefits that the palace of pharaoh could offer. And hey, any way you slice it, being royalty sure beats working for a living.
But as the man said, all good things must come to an end. And so we read in Exodus 2:11 Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. Moses came to a place where he had to make a choice.
2) Moses’ Life Changed With a Decision Moses had to ask himself “Am I for em or agin em?” He had to decide, “am I an Egyptian?” or “am I a Jew?” And it was a decision that no one could make for Moses except Moses. Moses had the ability, the opportunity and chance to decide who he would serve, and what nationality he would claim. I don’t know what prompted Moses to leave the palace and seek his past, maybe there was that nagging desire to find the truth about who he really was and who his family was, we don’t know but whatever it was he could have chosen to ignore it and to continue to live the life he had always known. Instead he chose another path. Moses could have said with Robert Frost “Two roads diverge in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
And so Moses has come to a fork in the road of life, a time when it is no longer enough to be the grandson of pharaoh. A place where he can no longer compromise on his stand, but must decide which path he must follow. A decision must be made or a decision will be. By not pursuing his Hebrew lineage then Moses will have made the decision to be an Egyptian. Often we simply refuse to move, but we have to move. Life doesn’t just stand still, and we can’t allow our indecision to become our decision. After all it was Yogi Berra who said “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”