Summary: God's challenge to Moses
A. INTRODUCTION: EXODUS 4:18-20
1. Where do you go after the fire fades and the voice is still? “Moses went and returned . . .” (4:18). He went home to Midian.
2. According to tribal tradition, Moses sought permission of his father-in-law. “Let me go and return to my brothers who are in Egypt” (4:18). Follow earthly and heavenly principles.
3. Moses probably didn’t tell about the burning bush or encounter with God. Don’t give diamonds to those who don’t appreciate them. Show them your changed life but don’t share your encounter with God.
Why Moses Didn’t Go Immediately
His youthful impulsive spirit was now tamed
He was in no hurry to face criminal charges
He loved the solitude of the desert and his sheep
He was promised tribulation (4:21)
4. God’s call confirmed. “Go return to Egypt, for all the men who sought your life are dead” (4:19).
5. Moses left Egypt a hothead, he returned as a servant of God.
6. God’s method is elevated, “Take this rod in your hand” (4:17). He obeyed, “Moses took the rod of God in his hand” (4:20).
Methods (tools) are many,
Principles are few;
Methods may change,
But principles never do.
7. Think about the methods God has used to make Thomas Road Baptist Church successful; i.e., bus ministry, door-to-door visitation, radio, Treasure Island camp.
“Using every available method,
to reach every available person,
at every available time.” –Jerry Falwell Sr.
B. GOD’S CHALLENGE TO MOSES: EXODUS 4:21-26
1. Moses is sent to tell Pharaoh that Israel is God’s first born Son, so Egypt must let them go free. If not, God will kill Pharaoh’s first born son (4:22-23).
a. We only learn what God wants us to do, as we obey the next step. Your car lights will not shine more than 100 feet, if you don’t travel the light that’s available.
b. We fear the awful pain we see in the future’s light, so we are tempted not to obey. But by obedience God helps us through our tribulation.
2. What was this? “On the way . . . that the Lord met him (Moses) and sought to kill him” (4:24).
a. A sudden and dangerous illness.
b. A divine visitation.
c. Threat from without.
3. Moses had neglected circumcision for his youngest son (perhaps in arms).
a. Circumcision was an outward symbol of identification with God.
b. Perhaps due to Zipporah’s dislike for Hebrew tradition, and Moses didn’t follow his fatherly responsibility. “Zipporah . . . cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at Moses’ feet . . . a husband of blood to me” (4:25).
c. There have always been those who hate the idea of blood.
d. The power of conscience led to obedience.
e. We cannot be used of God when we shrink from divine responsibilities. God loves symbols and so must we, i.e., baptism, Lord’s Table, the Lord’s Day.
The more we are dear to God,
The more we receive the care of God.
f. The more fruit-bearing qualities we have, the more we shall be pruned.