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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Leadership -- Moses

          During writing on the Gospel of John, God impressed upon me that I should write on leadership. God is in control of the lives of those He has chosen to lead His people. He knows their end from their beginning and orchestrates their lives to prepare them for the call on their lives.
Backdrop of the Birth of Moses
          The Israelites were in Egypt. Joseph had prospered Egypt and God’s people when he was exalted to the right hand of the throne. Joseph and all his brothers and that generation died, but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them. Exodus 1:6-7 All prospered and multiplied under the leadership of Joseph.
A new king of Egypt who didn’t know Joseph came into power. This new king was fearful of the Israelites because of their numbers. He felt that if war broke out, the Israelites might join in the fight against the Egyptians. To suppress the Israelites, the king put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor. Exodus 1:11 However, the more the Israelites were oppressed, the more they multiplied. So the Egyptians worked God’s people even harder and treated them ruthlessly. In desperation to stop the multiplication of God’s people, the Egyptian king told the leaders of the midwives who helped the women in childbirth to kill every newborn Israelite boy, but the girls could live. The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live?” These midwives feared the Egyptian king, but they no doubt feared God more, so they did not do what the king asked them to do. When the Egyptian king confronted the midwives, they spoke the truth, but not the whole truth. They had seen the strength of the Hebrew women, so they said, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.” Exodus 1:19 Their strength came from God. God was kind to these midwives, and the people became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, He gave them families of their own.” God blessed them for saving His people.
            The Egyptian king became even more incensed. He orders all of his people, “Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.” Exodus 1:22 By destroying all of the boys, Israel’s strength in battle would be weakened. God will reverse this curse. Moses will be put into the Nile, but he will not die. God will raise up Israel’s deliverer from the Nile. What the devil means for evil, God will turn around for good. Believers know that the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy is the devil. The devil is working through Pharaoh. But God……. will use the evil king of Egypt and the bondage he has put God’s people in to bring Moses to life and prepare him to lead God’s people to salvation in route to God’s Promised Land. God’s love and salvation for His people is always uppermost in His mind and heart despite their sins. God’s people may suffer consequences for their disobedience against God, but God’s love for them is everlasting.

Moses is Born to a Believing Couple 
          Moses is the child of a man and woman from the tribe of Levi – the priestly tribe. So, they believed in the true God of Israel.

God Uses Others to Save Moses for His Purpose  

·         Exodus 2:3-4 -- God used Moses’ mother to save him. His mother hid Moses for 3 months and then put him into an ark and put him in the Nile. She also had Moses’ sister Miriam watch over him to see what would happen to him.  In other words, she put both Moses and Miriam in God’s hands by faith. She was willing to give up her child to save him.

·     Exodus 2:5-10 – God used Pharaoh’s daughter to save Moses. Even the daughter of the slave-driving Pharaoh had compassion on Moses. Pharaoh’s daughter knew that Moses was a Hebrew baby. How did she know? Moses was circumcised. The New Testament says that Jesus circumcises our heart. This is how others will know that we are Christians. Jesus takes the “outward” inward. Circumcision is the cutting away of the flesh around the organ that produces life. God wants us to allow Him, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to cut away our fleshly ways to produce His spiritual ways in us.  Not only did Pharaoh’s daughter save Moses, she looked for a Hebrew woman to nurse him. God led her to Moses’ own mother. Not only would Moses’ mother be able to nurse him, she would be able to teach the young Moses about the true God of Israel. When the child Moses grew older, Moses’ mother gave her son back to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. Pharaoh’s daughter named him Moses, which means “drawn,” saying, “I drew him out of the water.”  A Jewish mother and a Gentile daughter of Pharaoh will raise up Israel’s deliverer and lawgiver.

·       Exodus 2:11-22 – God used the shepherd/priest in Midian to teach Moses how to shepherd sheep, so Moses will know how to shepherd God’s sheep – His people. Moses was in Midian as a shepherd for 40 years. Shepherding Jethro’s sheep was a much easier task than shepherding and leading God’s people!  Moses had rescued the daughters of the priest in Midian. These seven daughters had come to the well to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue, and watered their flock. Vv16-17 Moses showed that he was a protector of the weak and was also willing to serve them. Moses the “prince” became a “servant” and protector! God saw Moses’ heart. He has gone from using his fleshly ways in killing the Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew to now protecting and serving those who are weaker. He is learning God’s ways. In Moses’ heart, he was protecting the Hebrew slave from the Egyptian, but he was using his fleshly ways.

God must take the “murderer” and “royalty” out of Moses before he can take on Pharaoh. He can’t deliver God’s people while in the royal house – the house of glory. He must leave the throne and go to a humble place as a shepherd in Midian so he can save God’s people from bondage. Moses is a type and shadow of the Good, Chief and Great Shepherd Jesus who left the royal throne of God in heaven to come to humble earth to save all who believe in Him from the spiritual bondage of the evil one.  The “natural” speaks to the “spiritual.” 

Moses was the Deliverer, Law-giver, Servant-Ruler and Shepherd of God’s people. In type and shadow, he was a picture of the One greater than he, Jesus. Both Moses and Jesus were:
·         Favored at birth
·         Preserved in childhood
·         Mighty in God through their words and deeds
·         Offered deliverance to God’s people
·         Rejected by their brethren.
·         Were victorious over the evil one. Moses with the evil king Pharaoh and Jesus with Satan and his demonic host.

           Moses tried to do God’s work by his wisdom and might, but God had other plans. He must teach and train Moses through trials and tests. He would not become leader of Israel for another 40 years. The number 40 in scripture is the number of "trials and tests." At God’s appointed time, God will do the work through Moses and Aaron, but God will get the glory. 

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