Summary: A brief study of the life of Moses and lessons drawn from it.
Moses, Prophet Without Peer Deut. 34:10
INTRO.: Moses was unique among the prophets of God. He was privileged to deliver Israel its first code of law. He inaugurated the covenant relationship between God and Israel. He led Israel out of slavery and welded together a nation to bring glory to God. He gave that nation the moral standard and political system by which they were to live for the next 1400 years.
No other prophet has influenced the thinking of the modern world as much as Moses. Tremendous controversy centers on his revelation of God’s Law. For some reason, there are those who think we have no right to display it in public places in spite of its huge role in the establishment of our nation.
The influence of Moses’ writings goes on and, as always, the detractors and critics attack it for all they’re worth. This is because Moses delivered the Word of God and the enemies of God will always deny and attack it.
In our land and in every civilized nation, moral decisions, judicial verdicts, and civil statutes are based on principles Moses revealed.
What a man he was! His life is worthy of notice! The life of Moses can be divided into three 40-year periods. Let’s look briefly at each of them.
I. The first 40 years of his life were spent in Egypt:
A. His preservation was miraculous: Exod. 2:1-10
1. He was a slave child in a foreign land and fated to die.
2. In his preservation, we see God’s hand at work 80 years in advance preparing for Israel’s deliverance. That’s long range planning!
3. It’s unlikely anyone would have thought he would achieve greatness. God was at work.
B. God began his preparation early: Acts 7:20-22
1. As an infant, his mother taught him the religion and traditions of his own people.
2. His adopted mother provided him an education in the culture and science of Egypt.
3. He lived in the courts and universities and it didn’t destroy his faith in God. Even the rank paganism of Egypt didn’t taint his faith.
4. He saw the inhuman spectacle of wealthy, powerful people living in luxury supported by slaves.
C. Seeing the injustice in this, he became a rebel: Exod. 2:11, 12
1. Angered by the oppression of the Israeli’s, he strikes out at his peoples’ enemy.
2. Maybe he thought the people would rise to follow his leadership
3. There is no indication he sought any divine guidance. He simply struck out in anger and indignation.
4. It’s good to become angry about injustice, but the Christian must act under God’s direction.
5. His plan, if such there was, was a failure and the second period of his life begins in which he learns godliness and discipline.
II. The second 40 years: spent in Midian in relative obscurity. Exod. 2:16-25, a mere ten verses, tell the story of the entire 40 years.
A. Moses’ education continued. God qualified him before calling him.
1. He learned the responsibilities of parenthood, found love and acceptance among godly people.
2. Learned more of the religious traditions passed down from Abraham.
3. He learned the rigors of a hard and lonely life as a shepherd in the wilderness.
4. He learned the footpaths and water holes in the wilderness through which he was to guide Israel on their pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
B. His religious life also developed:
1. There was no doubt a warm devotional atmosphere in the home of Jethro, the priest.
2. Lonely hours in the wilderness with nature, the sheep, and God taught him survival skills.
3. He must have found inner peace because he was content to spend 40 years there. The impatience of youth has given way to the kind of patience he will need in the next 40 years.
C. Finally, he receives his commission from God. The story is in Exodus 3:
1. His religion became a matter of personal encounter with God.
2. He offered every excuse for not doing God’s will, but God answered every excuse. If God decides He has a job for us, it’s pointless to argue with Him.
3. We can be sure what Moses did and wrote was according to God’s will, not his.
III. The third 40 years: as leader and lawgiver.
A. He finally found the meaning and mission of his life.
1. This occurred only after 80 years of preparation.
2. He had searched for meaning in the courts of Egypt, among an oppressed slave people, in the home of a priest and in the lonely deserts.
3. Life finds meaning in service, but we may never fully realize this until we serve under God in His way.
B. From this point on, Moses lived very close to God