Summary: Though you may do some things for God or His people on your own; if you would do some great thing for God or His people, God Himself must be with you.
"It Takes God to Do Something Great"
(and just about anything worth doing is something great)
Author: Dr. Neal Gray
Passage: Exodus 2:10-3:12
Purpose: Though you may do some things for God or His people on your own; if you would do some great thing for God or His people, God Himself must be with you.
As much as I dislike admitting it, many of the ideas I have floating around in my head are shaped, in one way or another, by the cultural events I have experienced. Put a lot more simply, the attitudes, music, and movies of my generation have influenced my thinking. They influence yours, too.
Do you remember seeing the movie starring Charleston Heston called, "The Ten Commandments"? My parents took all six of us boys to see that movie, (probably hoping it would do us some good!), when I was about 13 years old. It was my first exposure to the story of God’s people in bondage in Egypt, and Moses’ call of God to lead them to freedom. As I remember, I was very interested in the movie and watched every moment of it carefully.
==> What a surprise, later in life, to read the Biblical account of Moses’ call to be God’s leader of the people. It is so different from that movie!
Our Scripture spans two chapters. I want you to see the beginning of Moses’ adult life, along with his first (known) encounter with God. So, let’s look together at Exodus 2:10-3:12.
WE WANT OUR LIVES TO COUNT
Moses is a great man, a tall figure in biblical history. He did great things for God.
You may never be recorded as a great man or an incredible woman in the history books of the Church. But I know that YOU HAVE A DESIRE TO DO GREAT THINGS FOR GOD, or your country, or your family, or perhaps even for Christ’s Church. We want, it seems to me, our lives to count for something.
So, how can you get God’s help to do something great? to make your life count?
Moses’ Confused Childhood
Our hero in the story, Moses, had a confused childhood. The Pharaoh of Egypt was fearful of the increasing population of the Hebrew people in the land of Egypt. So, Pharaoh ordered that all of the new-born Hebrew male children be killed, "cast [the boys] into the river," (see 1:22).
Moses’ mother could not do this awful thing. You probably know the story, (see Exodus chapter one): she bore the male child, nursed him for three months, put him in a basket on the river, Pharaoh’s own daughter saw the beautiful baby boy and took him in to raise. (The movie got that much right!)
By God’s own Providence, Pharaoh’s daughter employed a Hebrew woman to nurse Moses--it was Moses’ very own natural mother!
So Moses’ grew up as the step-grandson of the king of Egypt. But surely his natural mother informed him of his correct birth race. Like I said, Moses had a confused childhood. For starters, His name, "Moses," means "I drew him out of the water." Even at three months old he was a "basket case"!
"Stop Harming My People!"
The first adult act we see of Moses sets the stage, really, for this message. We see Moses’ doing something drastic, something awful--but thinking that he was doing something great.
The Bible tells the story. Moses’ observed an Egyptian beating a Hebrew person. The Scripture reveals to us Moses’ thoughts, "This is one of my brethren," (see 2:11).
With premeditation, i.e., "he looked this way and that way," Moses committed murder. "He killed the Egyptian," and buried him in the Egyptian desert! Why did Moses kill the Egyptian? Because that man was harming two men of Moses’ natural birth race, the Hebrews.
==> Here’s the point to ponder: Moses’ thought that he was doing something very good. He thought that he was protecting his own people. And Moses had some authority and power. He wanted to use his position and power as the resident of Pharaoh’s household for the good of the Hebrew people.
Moses’ Actions Without God
But Moses did not have God. That’s right. Our hero, at this important time in his life, did not know the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.
So he took things into his own hands, with his flawed human wisdom, and committed murder. A common saying applies here: "the ends justify the means." That was Moses’ reasoning. But it was all wrong.
Moses could not do anything great without God.
No Great Thing Without God
AND NEITHER CAN YOU. Your motives may seem right. The timing may be right. The strength to accomplish the deed may be in sight. But if you attempt to accomplish anything great, and don’t have God in it, FAILURE OCCURS.