Summary: How failure leads to faith
A. INTRODUCTION: OUR RESPONSE TO FAILURE AND DISAPPOINTMENT WILL DETERMINE OUR SUCCESS IN LIFE: EXODUS 4:29-31
1. Moses gathered the elders to present his credentials.
a. Aaron faithfully delivered God’s message. “And Aaron spoke all the words which the LORD had spoken to Moses” (4:30).
b. Presented proof. “Then he did the signs in the sight of the people” (4:30).
(1) Rod becomes a snake, Satan without.
(2) Hand becomes leprous, evil nature within.
(3) Water becomes blood, cleansing and power.
2. The impossibility of hope became believable, “So the people believed . . . then they bowed their heads and worshiped” (4:31). Worship is a proper response to God’s revelation.
B. AUDIENCE WITH PHARAOH
1. A reasonable request. “Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.” (5:1).
a. A brief holiday.
b. Worship without unbelievers intrusion.
2. Pharaoh treated it as an audacious request. “Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go” (5:2).
3. Pharaoh was considered god, a child of the sun. Egyptians worked, suffered and died for Pharaoh.
4. Moses presented a mandate, not a request, “That I should obey.” Should Moses have used tact or diplomacy?
5. Pharaoh considered the Lord as just a god of the slaves. Pharaoh considered it a plea for idleness. “You make them rest from their labor” (5:5).
6. Pharaoh began to harden his heart. “You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves.” (5:7).
7. Was this the principle, “Jumping out of the frying pan into the fire,” i.e., don’t complain, things will get worse.
C. PEOPLE TAKE MATTERS INTO THEIR HANDS
1. Expect no straw, yet make same amount of brick, harder and longer work. “Go, get yourselves straw where you can find it; yet none of your work will be reduced” (5:11).
2. Moses by passed. “Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried out to Pharaoh, saying, “Why are you dealing thus with your servants?” (5:15).
a. Pharaoh scorned Moses, “False words” (5:9).
b. People rejected Moses, “You have made our salvation abhorrent in Pharaoh’s eyes” (5:21, ELT).
c. People would die because of Moses. “You put a sword in their hand to kill us” (5:21, ELT).
3. God doesn’t always deliver us, until we see our case is desperate and delivery comes by God alone.
4. Moses waited outside for leaders to return. “Then, as they came out from Pharaoh, they met Moses and Aaron who stood there to meet them” (5:20). Moses blamed for their dilemma. “Let the LORD look on you and judge” (5:21).
D. MOSES COMPLAINS
1. Moses blamed God. “So Moses returned to the LORD and said, ‘Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me?’” (5:22).