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Moses- A Man of Many Failures (Part A)

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August 25, 2022 6:00 am

Moses- A Man of Many Failures (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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August 25, 2022 6:00 am

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Moses, a man of many failures. That portion of scripture begins to announce the first failure that he was experiencing. All of this under the watchful eye of the Lord.

And so God allows his servants to fail or suppose that they have failed so that he can bring about a mightier work. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Genesis.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. And now here's Pastor Rick with a brand new message called Moses, a man of many failures in Exodus chapter 2. God's successful failures and of course with God there are only apparent failures and that's what we want to turn our attention to because that's what we go through as individuals, as servants of the Lord.

I want to just read a brief verse from Zephaniah, the prophet Zephaniah. In chapter 3 verse 5, just a portion of the verse, he says, he will do no unrighteousness. Speaking of God, he will do no unrighteousness. Every morning he brings his justice to light. He never fails.

He never fails. A critical feature of the Christian faith. Now, man has false successes.

I think that the Bible makes that very clear. They are apparent, they're on the surface, but they're not successes to God if God is not the cause of man's victories. And so, in contrast to the victories of the Lord, now this is just the introduction.

I'm going to be brief with this because I don't want to eat up my time all on the introduction. The quintessential failure, false success. The quintessential false success of scripture, and there are a few of them, but this one is right in the top, the top three. Of course, Judas Iscariot comes to mind right away, but this is the certain rich fool that Jesus spoke about in his parable in the Gospel of Luke in chapter 12. And there in verse 16, Jesus, it says, he spoke a parable to them saying, the ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. Now that's verse 16, but then in verse 20 he continues, but God said to him, fool, this night your soul will be required of you. Then whose will those things be which you have provided?

In other words, you can't hitch a U-Haul to a hearse and expect to benefit from what you've got in the U-Haul. Death is the end, and at that moment we find out whether a soul has been successful or not. Faith, time, and eternity straightens all these things out, and by faith we know that this is something we are not concerned with because, again, of our faith.

And so hopefully we'll appreciate these character studies. Moses will be the first one we will consider, and there will be others, Peter, David, and just quite a few others as we consider, again, God's successful failures, and hopefully the lessons will also glare off the pages at us and will contribute to our being stronger servants of the Lord. And so our verse is Exodus, our lead verse, the text that kind of sets the mood for everything else we're going to be discussing tonight is Exodus chapter 2 verse 15. And there I'm only going to take a portion of the verse with the understanding that you know the story, and if you don't know the story from the scripture, you've probably watched the movie, The Ten Commandments, and so you get an idea of Charlton Heston fighting off the shepherds at the well or something, but this, and that's where we're starting, it's just this part of the verse where it says, and he sat down by the well. In fact, let me back it up a little further. It says, but Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian, and he sat down by the well.

That's the mood. That begins the story of this man, Moses, a man of many failures. That portion of scripture begins to announce the first failure that he was experiencing, all of this under the watchful eye of the Lord. And so God allows his servants to fail or suppose that they have failed so that he can bring about a mightier work. Now Moses is the second most mentioned man, aside from Jesus Christ, in all of scripture.

That alone says something. The first, after the Lord, but before Moses, the first man, the most mentioned man in all of scripture is King David. I don't know why the Jewish people do not hold King David in higher esteem.

Oh, I do know why. They don't follow the scriptures. But we Christians, we understand that this is a great man of God, this King David, but so are many others. We'll get to David as the weeks come by, but Moses is right up there. And if I had to list the three most important men of the Old Testament, it would be Abraham, Moses, and David. Not necessarily in that order. It's too close.

It's a photo finish. But consider this. In the New Testament, Paul talks to us. He says, have these faith, hope, and love.

The greatest of these is love. Well, Abraham is the man that speaks to us of faith. You want to go to the headwaters of faith in the Old Testament, you go to Abraham. And then if you want to go to the headwaters of hope in the Old Testament, you go to Moses. If you were a slave in Egypt, you would be hoping for a deliverer. God said, I have heard my people. And he began to deliver them through Moses.

But if you want to go to love in the Old Testament, it is King David, the sweet psalmist of Israel. And these things are here for us to turn to, to learn from. We draw from character studies because in them we see ourselves. But I love character studies because I either see who I want to be, who I should have been, who I don't want to be. I learn, I always learn from the people of scripture, man, woman, children alike. I learn from them. When Jesus at 12 says, did you not know I'd be at my father's house?

How could you miss that? Mom, dad, come on, you know me. Put a hundred kids in a group and let them all cry. Each mom can pick out her child. You know me.

You should know I'd be right here. And so, this man Moses, the name means drawn out. Remember, with pitch and prayer, his mom put him in that little basket and set him on the Nile River, hoping that God would work it out. And he floated on water to old Pharaoh's daughter, and she fished him out of the Nile. And she named him Moses, drawn out, pulled out. And it speaks about his life. That indeed was his life. The condensed version of his life is found in Hebrews 11 verses 23 to 29. And also in Acts chapter 7, Stephen gives a magnificent sermon using Moses as a character study for the Jews.

To ultimately say, you don't get it. He belongs to a people who were chased into Egypt by the hounds of hunger. Famine.

Famine chased them into Egypt. And as the story goes, in the passage of time, as new Pharaohs, new kings came to the throne, they forgot kindness to the Jew, and Satan began to use them, and they began to persecute the Jew, until finally this man, Moses, was born into a deadly environment. He failed to be born, through no fault of his own, he failed to be born in a safe environment like our children are today, born into a relatively safe environment. But God chose this man and highly honored him. In spite of his many failures that we're going to cover in a minute, Moses became, in many ways, the greatest of them all. He can track his life through Exodus, from Exodus through Deuteronomy. And as a pastor, looking at how he handled the people, how God handled him, profound lessons. Lessons are greater than I can live up to, but without those lessons I would accomplish even less.

And so contrary to his rough start, we learn at the end of the story that he is anything but a failure, in spite of the setbacks, the many setbacks throughout his life. Now, of course he failed to die at Pharaoh's command. We look at verse 22 of chapter 1, Exodus chapter 1, verse 22, and we'll fill in some of the story as we move forward.

And there we read, so Pharaoh commanded all his people saying, every son who is born you shall cast into the river and every daughter you shall save alive. That genocide is what it was. They wanted to destroy the Hebrew race by getting rid of all the male children and have the women just sort of absorbed into the Egyptian culture. Now, they had good reason to do this according to the reason of godless men. The Jews had grown in number.

They lived in Goshen. That was the route from which the armies of the north would come. Egypt was a world power.

She wanted to maintain her power. And one day she lost her slaves, her army, and her status as a world power. And one day, because of the hand of God, bought a t-shirt in Israel. It says all the nations who came against Israel and our kingdoms no more. And it's like 14 of them. And it's so true. The hand that strikes the Jews is the hand that will pay. And the pharaoh, the kingdom of the pharaoh is the first one that says, the kingdom of the pharaoh, gone, checkbox next to that.

And it says something to the effect it's good to have friends in high places. But, back to our story. And understand this. If Israel is the line in the sand between Satan and God, people hate the Jew who are completely ignorant of the Jew. You say, why do you hate them? They can never come up with a good reason. And when they come up with a reason, it's built on lies. Well, the Palestinians, there are no Palestinian people.

There's no such thing. The Arabs are not Palestinians. The Roman Caesars gave the Jews, Hadrian gave them that name, to spite them as Philistines, the Latinized version of the word. And so Israel and many of the masses call Palestine. It's never been Palestine. And so these Palestinians, they are Arabs. They have a land. Jordan is their land. But the Jordanians don't want them. Because there's so much trouble.

Islam, again, has destroyed the people in that region of the world. So when you have someone attacking the Jew, they never have a good reason. But if they say they are a Christian, and they side against the Jew, understand they are siding against God's word and therefore God's will and therefore God himself. And so you want to mess around with the Jewish people.

Now this doesn't mean that they are individuals. As individuals, they are better than anyone else, that they're going to heaven. There'd be many a Jew in hell. But as a people, you have to understand God has singled them out and that is the battlefield. And so when you have somebody say that they are Christian and they side against the Jew, you should stand up and say, you are a fool to mess with God, because that's who you're messing with.

And so he failed to die at Pharaoh's command. The child was saved by womanly sentiment. Imagine moms without that womanly sentiment.

It'd be awful. Women have so much to offer. It's equal with men. It's just different. But it is equal.

It is profound. And no less than four groups and individuals are instrumental in the saving of the life of Moses. We start with the two midwives, Sephara and Puah by name. Verse 17, but the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but save the male children. Prior to that, Pharaoh had said, kill all the male children that are born to the Jews. Because these midwives, who were the leading midwives of the Jewish people, they refused to do it, because they feared God.

Verse 21, and so it was because the midwives feared God that he provided households for them. God blessed those women. He protected them.

They trusted him. They said, Pharaoh, hey, look, the Jewish women aren't like the Egyptian women. They have vigor. Boring.

What do you want us to do about it? And so because of that, Pharaoh says then that the moms kill the boys. And that brought about Jacobed, the mother of Moses. That's where she enters into the story. So first we have the fear of God and the midwives, and then we have the love of the mother.

There in Exodus chapter 2, verses, well, we'll take verses 1 through 3. And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. So the woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him there three months. It doesn't mean that if the child was ugly, that that would have been the end of it for Moses.

But it means, of course, the child has her heart. She saw this child like, no way I'm going to do this. Verse 3, but when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bull rushes for him, dabbed them with asphalt and pitch that's waterproofing them, and put the child in it and laid it in the reeds by the river's bank. Pitch in a prayer, God, protect this child, was what she was saying. She could no longer hide him.

Have you ever tried to hide a baby? That's why we don't allow them in the sanctuary during service. You can't shush. They go, shh, they don't speak English yet. And they cry louder. And so love them as we do.

You can't hide them. She found that. She found that out. And so the love of a mother was one of the next steps in the preservation of the life of this man, Moses. And then there was his older sister, Miriam, her watchful, careful eye. She followed that little ark as it floated on the Nile. She couldn't stop. She just had to know. She, too, was endeared to the child.

You don't have to be very old to have a child come to the home, and everybody just loves that little baby. Verse 4, and his sister stood afar off to know what would be done to him. Sister, you don't know the half of what will be done to this baby. This is a big story. Of course, it doesn't top the baby Jesus. We're considering the man, Moses, so that we can be influenced by the Holy Spirit to serve the Lord Jesus. That's what it's all about.

It's never about an interesting historical statement. Again, if you are in college or going to the college or universities, if you can avoid ever taking a course on scripture from them, do it. They have no right to teach scripture any more than I have right to teach physics from the pulpit.

How does that work? The second or the fourth person involved in the saving of this baby's life is in verses 5 and 6, and this is the pagan princess herself. And there we read, And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, and her maidens walked along the riverside, probably checking for crocs, crocodiles, not the little shoes. And when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept, so she had compassion on him, and said, this is one of the Hebrew children. Now the mom is going to be brought back into the picture, and she's going to be paid wages to nurse her own child in the midst of a flaming act of genocide by the pharaohs. And so the pagan princess also, through sentiment, all four of them, the midwives, the mom, the older sister, the pagan princess, all of their hearts went out for this child. These contributed to his survival and his ministry, and did not even know what kind of ministry he would have. The question that you and I have to ask ourselves when we read these stories is, where am I? What does God have for me?

Gold, if you are a prosperity teacher. But etched into the hearts of the servants are these words. Etched into the hearts of all of God's servants in circumstances like this are these words from Isaiah 55 verses 8 and 9. My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says Yahweh.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. We don't know what God is doing. We don't know why he allows this or that.

We don't have to know. Sometimes we find out, sometimes we don't. What we have to do is obey.

That which is too hard to cure, we must endure. But we do it righteously. The unbeliever does the same thing.

The person who doesn't care anything about God, they endure hardship. But it is meaningless. It is purposeless. We are to do it because we are children of eternity. We know what's going on.

We're supposed to live as though we do. And when the church lives beneath her calling, she is always an embarrassment to the kingdom. And so let's review some of his failures. This man Moses, he failed to deliver his people. Because when he was old enough, at age 40, Stephen tells us in the book of Acts, he took it upon himself to go visit his enslaved brothers, he being raised and reared and educated in the palace, and he went with the intent of delivering them. And it failed. Verse 11 of chapter 2 in Exodus, it says, Now it came to pass in those days when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens, and saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren.

Let me pause there for a moment. Again, the understatement, their burdens. These people were under slave drivers. This man was probably being beaten with a whip. And Moses, this is premeditated, what he's going to do. He takes time to look this way and that way. Verse 12, so he looked this way and that way. See, he told you. And when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hit him in the sand.

And nothing funny about that except, you know, looking this way and that way. It was all the flesh. It was good intention without God. And that's what a good intention without God leads to, murder.

And a botched job, a botched cover-up at that. And Moses had it settled in his heart that the treatment of his own people was not to be settled for. He had a heart for the weakling. It comes out in several parts of his life as we move through.

Here's the first one. It shows that he had a heart for his own people. We'll see it again when he gets to Midian, which is in modern-day Saudi Arabia, as opposed to the Sinai Peninsula, as it is called, which is right across the Sea of Aqaba. Moses will get to a well there and he'll fight off the shepherd men on behalf of the shepherdesses who are bullying the women. And then when it's time for him to circumcise his son, he just could not do it. I think that these things are related. I think he just had a heart for the weakling. And the thought of putting the knife to a child was unacceptable. In Israel, there are eucalyptus trees everywhere.

These have been brought in by the British. And in a Jewish cemetery where the mohel is the one that commits the act of, conducts the act of circumcision, where we were, I think, indeed Moses just didn't have a heart to do this, and I think that that was a soft spot. It shows up in his character. Moses had a heart which made him great, in other words.

That's the point. It's not trivial. It's not, oh, okay, you know, he had a heart for his brothers. He had a heart, you know, for the women who were being bullied. He had a heart for this little child that he was supposed to, you know, inflict pain upon for this very critical right with God because God took it very seriously nonetheless. And it's not trivial.

It's not, you know, a side dish to the story. It is the story. That's why the man was so great because of his heart. He had a great heart and great souls, a burden for other souls. That's what makes them heroes of the faith. It's scriptural. Ezekiel chapter 9, verse 4. And the Lord said to him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.

You see, these were men who were sensitive to the evil of the land. And their sigh and their cry was an emotional expression. It was an outburst. It was not rehearsed.

It was spontaneous. I pray to God that I could have a greater heart for his people and less for myself. You see, it shows up for yourself when you begin to defend yourself. And as a pastor, of course, being the victim of much, if I'm telling the story of falsity and hearsay and things that are just wrong, and from people who are often guilty, you know, the tendency is to defend yourself by maybe attacking them or pointing out things or just not having a burdened heart. And it has been my prayer that God would give me a shepherd's heart and that I would keep a shepherd's heart and not have such a response. Well, a story's like this where we get the notice to be this way. You're not going to find that in Islam.

You're not going to have one of them say, I need to have a heart for those who attack me, my enemies. You're not going to find it anywhere else properly balanced than in the scripture. There are other attempts at it, but it's always clumsy because it has fragmented itself from the scripture. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Pastor Rick is teaching from God's word each time you tune in.

As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, this teaching is available free of charge at our website. Just visit That's We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can do so at or search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app store. That's all for today. Join Pastor Rick next time for more character studies right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-06 00:37:46 / 2023-03-06 00:47:45 / 10

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