Summary: Sometimes it must get worse before it gets better; short-term failures can be steps to long term and greater successes. We must aim toward a long term vision, not merely achieving short-term goals.
When Failure is A Step Toward Success
1. Misunderstanding can lead to creativity. "Bell was inspired to start development of the telephone when he read an account, written in German, describing an invention which he thought had the function of a telephone. After demonstrating his first working telephone Bell learned that, because of the language barrier, he had misunderstood the report, and the German invention had an entirely different function." (http://www.quantumbooks.com/Creativity.html)
2. One big obstacle to inventing things is believing that a desired invention is possible. Since Bell believed the telephone was possible, his mind opened up.
3. Sometimes the best way to succeed is to fail.
4. Moses was in that predicament. He tried his best to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt. But God intended Moses to fail until the ante was upped.
5. As a result, Moses is failing, plague after plague, miracle after miracle, because wants something bigger than Moses wants. And failure is the only way to get there.
Main Idea: Sometimes it must get worse before it gets better; short-term failures can be steps to long term and greater successes. We must aim toward a long term vision, not merely achieving short-term goals.
I. Moses’ First Attempt with Pharaoh BOMBED (5:1-23)
A. Pharaoh LAUGHED it off
• An 80 year old man and an 83 year old slave stand before the most powerful man in the world at that time…
• The Pharaoh was visiting the Nile Delta
• (show photo of King Amenhotep II, then Tuthmose 4, then Amenhotep III)
• then show photo of Akhenaten
• Pharaoh had probably heard of Yahweh, but the Pharaoh was thought to be a god himself, so he did not recognize Yahweh as a legitimate god…
• God wanted Pharaoh to laugh it off; success, remember, is not measured by immediate results, but by long term- and eternal- consequences!
B. The Israelites were more MISERABLE than ever
C. Moses LOST what confidence he had (5:23)
• Moses scolds God!
John Davis writes, "We should not regard the response of Moses to his God as being irreverent or insubordinate, but these were words of a searching heart…"
1. Nonsense. Such statements reflect an era of evangelicalism we have gladly left behind … the era of sterilizing the Scripture to make it fit the molds we want it to fit
2. The truth is that Moses was very human, and sometimes his attitude stank, but God worked with him anyway…
3. You don’t change reality with verbiage
4. We call this "armchair theology"
• And God does not fault him…
Sometimes it must get worse before it gets better; short-term failures can be steps to long term and greater successes.
II. God REASSURES Moses: "We’re On Track" (6:1-30)
A. God’s plan has been unwavering from the START
• 6:1, "Then the LORD said to Moses, ’Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.’"
• It’s like that game show, "Let’s Make A Deal." God is after the big prize; He doesn’t have to worry about playing it safe, because He knows what is behind every curtain.