Summary: Moses was a great example of someone who sacrificed for what he believed in. We’ll look at this model of sacrifice that eventually was surpassed by the ultimate model: Jesus.</
Heroes of the OT:
February 22, 2009
It was bedtime for Danny. His mom had taken him upstairs to his room to put him to bed. As they said their prayers, it was obvious the Danny was distracted by the rain storm outside. The wind howled. Lightening flashed. The thundered rumbled. Rain occasionally pelted the windows.
“Don’t worry honey,” Danny’s mom said, “You’ll be perfectly safe. Mommy and daddy will be downstairs in their room and we won’t let anything happen to you.”
“It’s still scary,” Danny replied.
“Just close your eyes and you’ll fall right to sleep. Besides, Jesus is with you.”
“It sure would help if you were with me too. Mommy, would you please sleep with me tonight? Please?”
“I’m sorry honey but mommy can’t because mommy has to sleep with daddy.”
A disappointed frown appeared as Danny thought about it. Danny’s mom turned to leave when Danny said, “Daddy is such a sissy.”
This morning we are going to look at someone who definitely wasn’t a sissy: Moses. Moses is truly one of the great heroes of the OT. He is lifted up as a huge example for generations of people seeking the Lord even to our day. If you want to read about Moses, just read the book of Exodus, the second book of the bible and you will find many episodes from his life. We are going to look at a summary of Moses made by the early church found in Acts 7.
Moses was a model of sacrifice
• Moses lost the world but gained his soul.
I’ve adapted Mark 8:35-37 where Jesus tells what does it profit us to gain the whole world and lose his soul. Moses had the whole world at his finger tips. He grew up in power and privilege. There was nothing that he could not have. He was educated at the highest levels. He enjoyed the high life while his fellow Hebrews worked their fingers to the bone as slaves. He had everything that anyone could ever want.
Except Moses knew his heritage and he knew his religious heritage of a people that were descendents of Abraham and were designated as God’s people. Not just any god but the one creator God. Moses also realized that God’s hand was on him and that he had been divinely placed in order to help his people. So one day, he decided to take matters in his own hand. He was forty and probably tired of waiting around for God and killed an Egyptian who was beating one of his fellow Hebrews.
The next day, two Hebrews were arguing and he tried to make peace but they called him on his murderous actions and rejected him. Fearing for his life, Moses ran. He left the power and privilege. He literally gave up all his possessions and ran off to the desert where he met a man who loved the Lord and became a part of his family by marrying his daughter. He gave it all up trying to do God’s will. At least what he believed was God’s will.
His problem was that he was trying to do it on his own. He used his own rational thoughts and own justification to do what he believed God wanted him to do. This wouldn’t be the last time either. Moses paid a great price later when he decided to do things his way. He was kept from entering the Promised Land because he became presumptuous with the power that God had given when Israel was wandering the desert.
I have to wonder how much was here in American really are willing to sacrifice. Jesus told a young man and his disciples that riches needed to be sacrificed. I have heard preachers talk about this and justify our own greediness. “Jesus was addressing this specific young man and not really us.” But even his disciples wondered who could be saved if it takes such a radical commitment. Of course all things are possible with God but then I have to wonder what Jesus is telling us. Does this really justify us holding on to 80% (or more by some estimates) of the world’s wealth and consume 90% of the world’s resources?
When things get tight as they are now, the temptation for us is to hold back and tighten our belts especially in our giving. I felt it. You’ve felt it. A lot of us have seen our incomes decrease if not by job loss, then certainly by escalating prices without a corresponding increase in income. But this is the time to give less. It is the time to give more. It is the time to sacrifice more. It may be the time to examine our lifestyles and really find the waste and excesses. It is the time to be generous and give to others and help others. Then again, maybe we don’t really believe that with God all things are possible.