Summary: Perhaps no person in history, outside of Jesus Christ, has made such a profound impact on the world as Moses. There are four lessons of life and faith we learn from Moses
Both secular and religious sources document the Exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt and the man who led them through the wilderness, Moses. Muslims revere him as a prophet, messenger and leader in Islam. In fact, Moses is mentioned more in the Quran than any other individual, and his life is narrated and recounted more than of any other prophet. They believe he was sent by God to free the Jews from slavery and see him as the forerunner of Mohammed. Jews believe he was the greatest prophet, leader and teacher Judaism has ever known. Christians, Jews and Muslims see him as the giver of the Pentateuch (Genesis thru Deuteronomy). Perhaps no person in history, outside of Jesus Christ, has made such a profound impact on the world as Moses. There are four lessons of life and faith we learn from Moses.
First, heroes fail but they fail forward. Moses was not perfect. Like any man, he had his flaws and even made grievous mistakes. Moses had been brought up as an Egyptian prince, educated in the ways and life of Egypt and royalty. But something deep inside never allowed him to let go of who he really was, a Hebrew. When he was about 40 years old (Acts 7:23), he left the comfortable confines of the palace one day and went out to see the hard labor of his people toiling under the sun and their Egyptian taskmasters. And what he saw was that the Hebrews were being abused. An Egyptian was senselessly beating a Hebrew slave. Moses was so outraged that he struck and killed the Egyptian and then hid his body in the sand. But when a fellow Hebrew condemned him for this action and Pharaoh sought to kill him, Moses was forced to flee from Egypt. Moses’ anger led him to a rash and deadly action, the murder of another. He had failed epically in God’s eyes. But God was going to use that in Moses’ life for His purposes.
David Wilkerson moved in the 1950s from a small rural church in Pennsylvania to New York City to minister on the streets to gang members. NYC was so bad that police were afraid to enter some gang owned neighborhoods. There he met Nicky Cruz who was head of the largest and worst gangs in the city. Nicky was a violent criminal, filled with pain from his abusive parents and full of hate. David Wilkerson saw Nicky’s pain and said to him, ‘God has the power to change your life.’ Nicky started cursing out loud, spit in David’s face, and hit him. He told him, ‘I don’t believe in what you say! Get out of here.’” Nicky almost killed him right then and there. Nicky never expected what he heard David Wilkerson say next, “You could cut me up into a 1000 pieces and lay them in the street. Every piece will still love you.” Nicky said those words did damage, good [damage] in my brain and in my heart. He began to question everything, and for two weeks, he couldn’t sleep without thinking about love.” Nicky and his gang showed up at one of Wilkerson’s rallies. One by one, they gave their lives to Christ. It was the crucifixion – Jesus’ death on the cross -- that grabbed Nicky “I was choked up with pain, and my eyes were fighting tears which began to come down and more tears and as I was fighting I surrendered. I let Jesus hug me, and I let my head rest on His chest. I said I’m sorry. Forgive me, and for the first time, I told somebody (Jesus), “I love you.” The love Nicky got in return radically changed his life. He left the gang scene, enrolled in Bible college, started a ministry to troubled teens in NYC and then travelled the world as an evangelist, touching the lives of millions of people. Heroes may fail but they fail forward.
Renee Swope writes, “Failure is painful. It’s embarrassing. And sometimes it makes me want to give up, mainly on myself. God is teaching me a lot about failing. In fact, He is giving me a little push these days, to fail forward. He’s been challenging me to determine in my heart and mind that I am a work in progress and move forward even when I have a setback. He is reminding me that I am a woman who is becoming all He created her to be. A woman who is growing. A woman who is getting better and better each day. A woman who is not perfect – but who tries to surrender to God’s perfect love and perfect power at work in her….Every time I fail to be the woman God calls me to be, or the woman I expect myself to be, God reminds me of the progress we’ve made. Because, even though I may not be who I want to be, I am not who I used to be! And I get that much closer to who I am meant to be every time I fail forward.”