Heroes of the FaithJanuary 31–February 4
Moses: A Beautiful Child
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. – Hebrews 11:23-25 (ESV)
Once a little boy asked his father what a Christian was. For a long time, the father sat with the son explaining in great detail exactly what a Christian was supposed to be. When he was finished, he felt like he had done a pretty good job of describing a Christian, as well as himself. His illusions, however, were shattered when his son asked, “Dad, have I ever met one?”
God gave Moses parents of faith who did what they could to prepare him for God’s call on his life. Moses’ parents saw that Moses was a “beautiful child.” This phrase literally means “lovely in the sight of God.” They believed Moses had that ‘something’ in him that would bring change to a nation from 400 years of slavery. They saw God had a plan for Moses. Their faith was bigger than their fear of Pharaoh’s command to kill all Hebrew boys. Instead they hid him as long as they could and then he eventually ended up “adopted” into Pharaoh’s household.
When we are born we have no choice in the circumstances we are exposed to. Sometimes it is no fault of ours as to why situations are either so difficult or challenging. Some of us have good families that we are born into, but others are not so fortunate. This actually does not matter at all. Why? Simply because God is fully in control at all times!
God is the Chief Orchestrator of everything that goes on in our lives. All we must do is submit to His plans and understand our season and time. Then we can rest assured that He will make all things beautiful in His time!
In 1 John 4:4, the Bible says, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” You must know that God is not only with you but lives in you, and today you have the authority to “see” your future in God. You have the ability to overcome the enemy. You have the victory inside you.
Moses: God’s Call
And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. – Exodus 3:2 (ESV)
A preacher asked his wife, “Should I have put more fire into my sermon?” His wife replied: “You should have put more of your sermon in the fire.”
In Exodus 3 God preached a sermon from a fire. The next major incident in Moses’ life is his encounter with God at the burning bush, where God calls Moses to go to Egypt and bring His people out. Moses was now about 80 years old. Moses had fled to the land of Midian, after killing the Egyptian. In the story of the burning bush, we see God’s grace and divine favor in the life of an undeserving man. For years he had been hiding in the desert, living outside of any real earthly impact. But God called Moses out of the wilderness into a life of deep, eternal impact.
Encounters with God change our lives completely. A true encounter will impact our lives in such a way that we will never be the same again. Here are two things we need to look at closely. God reminded Moses of His holiness and the holiness of His calling. And secondly, it is never too late to discover God’s calling on your life. At 80 years it seems most of us have been retired and have found something very sedentary to do. But not with Moses, or anybody for that matter who has a desire to do something for God.
When are a few times you have strongly sensed God’s calling on your life? Were they holy moments?
Take time in prayer to see the face of God and allow Him to transform you into the likeness of Jesus. Ask God to make His call clear in your life.
Moses: The Exodus
Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’” But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.” – Exodus 5:1-2 (ESV)
Pastor Ken Pell writes, I found myself reading William Wilberforce’s speeches to the British Parliament the other day, particularly his speeches to abolish the slave trade. I was struck by the tenacity, patience, and confidence that he showed. He was convinced that this evil would eventually be halted and refused to give up. He was convinced that it had an expiration date.
Wilberforce, over a period of years and amidst much opposition, fought to have slavery abolished by presenting a number of bills to the British Parliament. He began his quest in 1791. Wilberforce continued his push for full abolition until the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833 declared slavery illegal and ensured slaves would be freed, or paid and later completely freed. The final abolition did not occur until a month after his death. 40 years. That reminds me of another slave abolitionist’s struggle … Moses.
Forty years after Moses kills an Egyptian, God gives him the mission to go rescue His people from the oppression of Pharaoh. God sends Moses and Aaron to confront Pharaoh. God’s message to Pharaoh was very short, terse and clear. “Let My people go!” Eventually, God would use Moses to lead His people out of slavery and into freedom.
The exodus is a picture of what Jesus did for us when He died to set us free from our sins. In what ways does sin make people slaves? What should change if Jesus has set us free from sin?
Praise God for the promise of John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Thank God for giving us the weapons we need to win our spiritual battles.
Moses: The Passover Lamb
“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. – Exodus 12:7 (ESV)
During World War II, a young paratrooper, David Webster of E Company, 101st Airborne wrote to his mother, “Stop worrying about me. I joined the parachutists to fight. I intend to fight. If necessary, I shall die fighting, but don’t worry about this because no war can be won without young men dying. Those things which are precious are saved only by sacrifice.”
The Passover lamb was sacrificed to save lives. After the ten plagues came upon Egypt, their fortunes changed. The final plague was against the eldest sons in Egypt, who were also worshiped as gods. But God Himself had a plan for the Israelites. God told Moses, who in turn had to tell the nation, to sacrifice an unblemished lamb and apply the blood on the doorposts of their homes. Then when the plague hit Egypt, the angel of death would ‘Passover’ the blood of the lamb and keep the household safe. This was at this time God began their calendar and their Feasts. The Israelites were to observe this calendar all their lives, and they still do even today.
Thousands of years later, at the time of John the Baptist, when Jesus appeared in their midst, John’s cry was, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). Jesus became that Lamb for the entire world. Therefore His blood can release us from all bondage even as the sacrificed lamb in Egypt did on that awesome day releasing the Israelites from the bondage in Egypt.
In the homes where the blood was applied, there was salvation. In the homes where the blood was not applied, there was death. In what ways has the Passover lamb’s blood been applied to your household? In what ways would you like to see it applied?
Praise Jesus for being the sacrificial Lamb of God.
Moses: A Friend of God
“Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” – Exodus 33:11 (ESV)
A story is told about Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton who become friends. Darnay, a young Frenchman, is thrown into a dungeon and faces the guillotine. Carton, a wasted lawyer, is finishing his life as a loose-living individual in England. Carton hears of Darnay’s imprisonment and through a chain of events gets into the dungeon and changes garments with Darnay who escapes. The next morning Sydney Carton makes his way up the steps that lead to the guillotine. As the writer tells his story he says, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friend” (John 15:13). A classic example of the ultimate in Friendship. (Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities).
The story of Moses is of someone who was a friend of God. His life is marked by powerful encounters with the presence of God. Moses was a man anointed by God to fulfill God’s heart for his children to be free from captivity and safe under his lordship. From birth, Moses was divinely set apart to lead God’s people back into a right relationship with God. And this calling was fulfilled because of God’s desire to consistently meet with Moses and show up through his life in miraculous ways. How incredible is the heart of our God that he would meet with Moses “face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” Jesus was called a “friend of sinners” and said there is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend and He has called us friends.
You and I have access to an intimate relationship with God. We have God’s Spirit within us fellowshipping with our Spirit. Having a consistent time and place to meet with God allows us to develop a rhythm by which we grow in experiencing God’s presence. Choose a place and time that won’t get disrupted and will help you center your life around meeting with your heavenly Father. There is absolutely nothing more important or pressing than seeing the face of God and being transformed by His love and nearness every day.
Praise God for His gift of friendship.