Exodus 1-3, Psalm 17
Dwight L. Moody said concerning the life of Moses, “Moses spent his first forty years thinking he was a somebody, the next forty years learning he was a nobody, and his last forty years discovering what God can do with a nobody.” Like, Moses we as a whole suffer from prideful self-centeredness. Francis Chan in “Crazy Love”, describes our selfishly putting ourselves in the center of the universe with an analogy to a movie. Frances Chan gives the example that you are an extra in this movie, and in the film we get to see the back of your head for two-fifths of a second. But you are so excited about your appearance in the movie that you rent out the local movie theater and invite everyone you know to see the movie about you. Frances Chan concludes with we simply have to get over ourselves. Rather than ourselves being the center of the universe, we are all part of God’s story. God, who is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, is always in control as things progress according to His will. We tend to focus on our own little bubble and miss the big picture.
While Genesis is a book of beginnings, Exodus is a book of redemption, a release from bondage. There are three main groups involved in this portion of Biblical history. The Egyptians were the world power. The Amorites who were living in Canaan were quietly leading their very sinful lives seemingly unnoticed by the world. The Israelites were being persecuted in slavery under the Egyptians. Prophetically we read of this in Genesis 15:13-16, “Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions…But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” Like the three groups, Moses spends his earlier years in royalty. We read in Exodus 2:10, “And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharoah’s daughter, and he became her son…”. He spent his first forty years a prince in Egypt. Then trying to do God’s will, his way and murdering an Egyptian he flees to Midian. We read in Exodus 3:1, “Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian…”. From one of the most powerful men in the world he is reduced to not only being a shepherd, but the flock is not even his. Now, Moses can be used as we see his humility to God’s calling in Exodus 3:11, “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharoah, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:1-2, “But know this, in the last day’s perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves…”. If we honestly look around, with selfies, YouTube videos about ourselves, Facebook pictures of every segment of our lives, we probably live in the most narcissistic society ever. When Moses was humbled those forty years in the desert, the answer was not to boost his self-esteem and self-image. God’s answer to Moses is the same as it is to us now, in Exodus 3:12, “So He said, “I will certainly be with you…”. Who and what we are doesn’t matter as long as God is with us. So as we see this story unfold where do we fit in. Do we consider ourselves in the drivers seat of our lives part of the most powerful nation in the world, like the Egyptians, trying to figure out how and if we can fit God into our important lives. Or are we like the Amorites, quietly leading our lives in sin, thinking no one notices, living only to please ourselves. Or do we realize that sin is bondage and like the Israelites, we all need to be freed from this. The Israelites depended on God’s miracles, we depend on the finished work on the cross that Jesus provided for us to free us from the bondage of sin and death. Once we realize that we get to be part of His story, rather than the other way around, then we can truly be used.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: