LESSON 9 1/11/2015
MOSES MINISTY: FROM EGYPT TO SINAI (PART 1)
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 240, 242
Devotional Reading: Exodus 7:1-7
Topic: For Adults: Let God Lead And You Follow
Topic: For Youths: Lean Not On Your Understanding
Topic: For Intermediates: Put Your Trust In God Alone
Scripture Lesson: Exodus 4:18-23,27-31; 14:1-30
Memory Verse: “And the Lord said to Moses, “when you go back to Egypt, see that you do all these wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go” (Exo. 4:21) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
Stand Still And See God’s Salvation
Because of what God told Moses about Pharaoh in yesterday’s passage, when Pharaoh eventually was pursuing the Israelites with his army, and there was Red Sea before the people, Moses rose to the occasion to encourage the people even when he himself did not know what to do. Everybody was in dilemma. He instilled confidence into the people that they should not panic but trust in God only for deliverance. He was quite sure that God would fight for the people. If Moses was not courageous enough, the people might have surrendered themselves willingly to the Egyptians. When God heard what Moses said, He was moved to do something and He eventually delivered the Israelites permanently from the Egyptian bondage. As a leader, you need to develop your faith in God to be able to turn people’s heart to God even in difficult circumstances.
Point of Emphasis: To witness God’s mighty move in your ministry, develop faith in God.
Prayer Point: Lord, make me a bold and courageous leader even in the face of seemingly insurmountables.
After the discussion between God and Moses, he eventually agreed to go on the mission to deliver God’s people from the Egyptian bondage. This week’s lesson examines how he went about doing God’s work in Egypt and his leadership of the children of Israel to Mount Sinai.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
PART 1: MOSES ACCEPTED GOD’S COMMISSION (EXO. 4:18-23)
One of the great attributes of Moses as an exemplary leader was his ability to leave his comfort zone in Midian to go back to Egypt where he had been declared wanted (Exo. 3:11-15). This is a major problem for many that God is calling into the ministry. They don’t want to leave their prosperous ventures to engage in the ministry that they have to start building from the scratch. Once Moses discovered that all his excuses to God were not tenable, he surrendered to His will.
Without hesitation, Moses went to his father-in-law, Jethro, and told him of his plan to go back to Egypt to see the welfare of his people. Because God had finished the job, Jethro did not discourage Moses from going but bade him farewell (v. 18). To re-assure Moses, God spoke to him again that those who were seeking for Moses’ life were dead (v. 19). Know that God is able to take care of your fears and make all things work in your favour if only you will obey His instructions to you and do His bidding. God also told him that the mission was not going to be easy for Pharaoh would prove stubborn (v. 21)
Moses recognized that he needed full concentration on the mission. He, therefore, took along his wife and sons with him. He did not leave them behind so that they would not constitute distraction for him. Members of your family must also be carried along in the ministry God has committed to your hand. God also gave Moses the message he was to take to Pharaoh thus: “Israel is My Son, My firstborn, so I say to you, let My Son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn” (vv. 22-23). The message was direct but dangerous. To succeed in the ministry, let God give you His message to the people. Stop depending on your human wisdom.
PART 2: MOSES IN EGYPT (EXO. 4:27-31)
One of the excuses of Moses for not accepting God’s errand was that he was a stammerer. God promised to raise Aaron to be his mouth (cf Exo. 4:10-16). God fulfilled this promise to Moses when He brought Aaron to him and the duo went to Egypt (vv. 27-28). In Egypt, their first assignment was to gather the elders of the children of Israel and intimate them with their mission for which the people gladly received after they performed all the signs that Yahweh told Moses to perform (vv. 30-31, cf 4:1-9)
Therefore, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh to deliver God’s message of “let my people go that they may serve Me” (5:1) and Pharaoh said “who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go, I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go” (5:2). Here the battle line was drawn between God and Pharaoh. However, Moses was not perturbed because he knew that greater was He that was in him than the devil that was in Pharaoh (1 Jn. 4:4). Pharaoh said he didn’t know the Lord and the Lord decided to show him a shadow of His power through the ten plagues (i) water became blood – 7:14-25; (ii) frogs 8:1-5; (iii) Lice 8:16-19; (iv) Flies 8:20-32; (v) Livestock diseased 9:1-7; (vi) Boils 9:8-12 (vii) Hail 9:13-35; (viii) Locust 10:1-20; (ix) Darkness 10:21-29; (x) Death of the firstborn 12:29-30). The devil that you are sent to is like Pharaoh. He is a stubborn enemy that must be fought and conquered with the power of God. God turned Moses to a god to Pharaoh (1:1) At a point, Pharaoh said he must never see Moses’ eyes again lest he died (10:28), but when the tenth plague was accomplished, it was Pharaoh that was pleading with Moses and hastening him to take the people out of his land (12:31-33). As you obey the Lord, He will make you become god to the enemies of your life, family, career, ministry and finance.
PART 3: THE GREAT DELIVERANCE AT THE RED SEA (EXO. 14:1-30)
The picture of Pharaoh in the Bible is a typical example of how the devil works. No sooner had the children of Israel gone out of Egypt, than Pharaoh thought that he had acted foolishly for allowing his sources of free labour to go. Then he decided to pursue. However, nothing takes God unaware. When the Israelites saw Egyptians’ chariots pursing them, they were devastated and started blaming Moses for trying to deliver them and thereby putting them in further problem. But Moses, as an exemplary leader, rose to the occasion by encouraging the people and giving them assurance that God would fight for them, for all they needed to do was to be calm (14:13-14). A leader must be brave and courageous even in the face of danger and death. Moses demonstrated this.
The first thing God told the people was to go forward (v. 15). After this, He instructed the Angel of God who was carrying the pillar of cloud in the front to go to the back of the Israelites, thereby giving light to Israelites and darkness to the Egyptians (vv. 19-20). At the bank of the Sea, Moses stretched out his hand over to the Sea as God instructed him, and God made a way for His people to pass. They walked on dry ground in the midst of mighty sea (vv. 21-22). Pharaoh also pursued them unto the Sea, but when his host was moving closer to the people, God removed the wheel of their chariots and movement became difficult for them (vv. 23-25). When the Israelites had gone out of the Sea, God commanded Moses to stretch his hand over the Sea again and the waters came together and the Egyptian army perished in the Sea (vv. 26-30). When the people saw this, they feared the Lord and believed the Lord and His servant Moses (v. 31). Moses also led the people to sing songs of praises and thanksgiving unto the Lord (Exo. 15).
Moses was a charismatic leader through whom the Lord proved His power over the Egyptians and positively for His chosen people Israel. In modern parlance, Moses was a great deliverance minister and his ministry in Egypt was successful as he submitted himself to God’s leading and not depending on his own human ability. This is a great lesson for all children of God today. You cannot imagine how mightily God can use you for His glory as you surrender your will and life to Him.
1. Why did Moses leave his comfort zone in Midian?
- How will you describe Jethro’s attitude to Moses’ leaving Midian?
- Mention some of the signs performed by Moses in Egypt.
- What can you learn from the story of the deliverance at the Red Sea?
- Mention some of the leadership qualities of Moses that you could observe from this lesson.