Summary: How failure leads to faith


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.


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.


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).


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).

2. Moses criticizes God. “Neither have You delivered Your people at all” (5:23).

3. We must die to self-esteem, kingdom-building, and self-pride before we are used of God.

Go down before we are lifted up.

Humbled before elevation.

Emptied before filled.

Die before we live.

4. Moses’ failure prepared for God’s success. “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh” (6:1).

5. God reminds Moses:

I appeared to Abraham . . . Isaac . . . Jacob (5:3).

I established My covenant with them (5:4).

I have heard the groaning (5:5).

I have remembered My covenant (5:5).

I will bring you out (5:6).

I will take you to me (5:7).

I will bring you into the land (5:8).

6. God’s promises did not change the people’s rejection. “But they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit” (6:9). Followers have short memories, they think with their eyes.


1. You are not perfect, but strive for it.

2. Everyone fails; you just don’t see it or remember it.

3. Life is not fair, make the best of it.

4. You have an enemy who tries to make you fail; work smart.

5. Lots of people expect failure, prove them wrong.

6. When you fail, get God’s forgiveness.

7. Never fail at the same spot again, learn a lesson.

8. Make your failure a point of strength.

9. Remember you are still growing.

10. You may fail, but that doesn’t make you a failure.

If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:

Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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John Lewis

commented on Nov 17, 2017

Some great application here... thank you for sharing. References under section about God's reminder to Moses should be Chapter 6. Many thanks for the message.

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