Summary: This is the second message in a series on Moses that shows being God's man is never easy. This message teaches that there are never any failures, just learning experiences.
How many of you have ever failed at something? If we are brutally honest we would all admit that we have failed more times than we would like to admit. However, I would like to suggest that there are two classes of people who fail: The ones who give up and the ones who use those failures as learning experiences. Consider some of these examples of great men who used their failure as learning experiences which would lead to their great successes. As a young man, Abraham Lincoln went to war a captain and returned a private. Afterwards, he was a failure as a businessman. As a lawyer in Springfield, he was too impractical and temperamental to be a success. He turned to politics and was defeated in his first try for the legislature, again defeated in his first attempt to be nominated for congress, defeated in his application to be commissioner of the General Land Office, defeated in the senatorial election of 1854, defeated in his efforts for the vice-presidency in 1856, and defeated in the senatorial election of 1858. At about that time, he wrote in a letter to a friend, "I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth." Thomas Edison's teachers said he was "too stupid to learn anything." He was fired from his first two jobs for being "non-productive." As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps." Winston Churchill failed sixth grade. He was subsequently defeated in every election for public office until he became Prime Minister at the age of 62. He later wrote, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up." Moses is another example of someone who failed miserably before succeeding. As we will learn Moses learned a great deal from his failures and the truth is so can we. Our goal today is to learn from Moses’ example of turning failures into learning experiences which will enable us to succeed in the future.
I. Things Moses learned from his failure.
A. It’s a bad idea to try to accomplish God’s will by our own means.
1. The narrative moves along very rapidly. Moses goes from being a child to being forty years old in the space of a few verses.
2. Moses now an adult is obviously aware that he is of Hebrew descent and has a soft spot in his heart for his people.
3. Moses makes a knee jerk reaction when he sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew unmercifully.
4. Moses probably realized that his decision to intervene was a bad idea as the dead Egyptian laid at his feet.
5. Moses was called to bring deliverance to the Hebrews but his actions were not a part of God’s plan.
B. Waiting on God is as important as taking action.
1. Not only were Moses’ actions wrong, his timing was wrong.
2. Moses’ sense of justice was not the problem, his rash actions and timing was the problem.
3. Instead of following the Lord Moses blew open the door and got ahead of God.
4. God enacts His plans at just the right time and it usually doesn’t line up with our timetables.
5. Not waiting on the Lord would cost Moses greatly.
C. Covering up our mistakes do not erase them.
1. Before taking action Moses looked all around to make sure that no one was watching.
2. After taking action Moses then tries to bury the evidence in the sand.
3. Here is the problem not only did fellow Hebrews see what Moses did, God saw it as well.
4. Moses attempt to cover up his mistake only served to make his failure that much worse.
5. Moses discovers that the cat was out of the bag when he goes the next day to settle a dispute between two Hebrews.
D. God calls us to the role of leader, we don’t call ourselves.
1. Moses assumed the role of deliverer for his people and as a result he was not able to deliver anyone including himself.
2. Moses discovers that instead of being viewed as a deliverer and leader he was viewed as a murderer and a meddler.
3. Moses finds out that although he sees himself as a leader, no one is willing to follow him.
4. Moses becomes keenly aware of the mess that he has made as his own people tell him to mind his own business and his adopted family seeks to punish him by killing him.