Summary: The greatest man of the Old Testament had a rough start. It’s amazing what God did with his life and what God can do with your life, too.

How would you describe Moses’ relationship with God?

Listen to what God says at one point when Aaron and Miriam speak against Moses: Numbers 12: 6 He said, "Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream.

7 "Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household;

8 With him I speak mouth to mouth, Even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant, against Moses?"

Wow! That’s an astonishing statement of God. But, do you know something? Moses didn’t start here. That’s where he ended up. But Moses’ life took several interesting turns that God used to build him into the greatest spiritual and national leader in the Old Testament. God worked on Moses patiently and persistently. Moses was faithful, but, as we see in Exodus 3-4, he was human too, and not always a willing vessel in the hands of God. Actually, by the time we meet Moses in Exodus 3-4 he is an old shepherd who seems to have lost all ambitions for leadership or greatness. And just how did Moses get to this point? We must back up again, because shepherding is not where Moses’ story begins either. Let’s go back to his beginning.

Think about this with me. At the time of Moses birth, what was going on? For one thing the king of the land wanted all boy babies of Israel to be killed. Does that sound a bit familiar? What happened at Jesus’ birth. Moses birth is told about in the beginning of Exodus chapter 2, but I want you to notice something. Almost all we have of Moses childhood to manhood is a tale of three women. Moses father is mentioned one time in verse 1. That’s it. All the rest of what God tells us about Moses childhood surrounds his mother, his sister and Pharaoh’s daughter.

It’s always amazing to me how much God’s word packs into such a small space. Moses goes from birth to adulthood in just 10 verses. What happened during those years? We only know that his mother was paid to nurse him and bring him up. We find out more in what the New Testament tells us in Acts 7: 20 "And it was at this time that Moses was born; and he was lovely in the sight of God; and he was nurtured three months in his father’s home.

21 "And after he had been exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter took him away, and nurtured him as her own son.

22 "And Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds.

23 "But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel.

Moses, a man educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, powerful in word and deed. Then, Steven says, it entered his mind to visit the sons of Israel. Somehow Moses mother must have massaged the message of his identity with God and Israel deeply into Moses’ heart and soul. These early years training in the palace would prepare him for God’s later mission for his life.

There’s one more place in the New Testament that we need to look. Listen to Hebrews 11: 23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;

25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin;

26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.

27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.

Did you get all that? Moses must have grown up with an awareness of his Israelite identity and a faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Notice also that the Hebrew writer sees Jesus in this: 25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin;

26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.

What I want you to see here is that Moses had a great start. But after he killed the Egyptian and then fled to Midian and married and settled into a life of shepherding, Moses seems to have taken on a humiliation that boarded on fearfulness and self doubt.

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