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March 6, 2021 12:01 am
Woven into Scripture are the biographies of great men and women of faith. Moses was just such a man. Today, R.C. Sproul reveals that the heroism of towering figure is seen primarily in Moses' day-to-day faithfulness and enduring dependence upon the Lord.
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Today on the Saturday edition of Renewing Your Mind.
There's a certain session which only a person of great strength can really be make because he's a person who has that strengths tempered by humility and he keeps that strengths in check and does not allow it to become an impetus for arrogance unless one of the things that I admire the most about Moses in Scripture.
Great men and women we read their strength, heroism, faith in this even there soon and dramatic failures today and over the next several Saturdays. We are pleased to bring you Dr. RC scroll series great men and women of the Bible. I'm convinced that we need heroes and heroines. I don't think we need them merely as children but even as adults we need to be inspired. We need to be encouraged.
We need to see examples of people who go beyond the ordinary to the level of the extraordinary and by their example. They inspire us. In fact, just last night we got the word. The sad news of the best of Francis Schaeffer and I can hardly contain the sense of admiration I felt toward him, particularly in these later years of his life where he has steadfastly continued a rigorous ministry in spite of the fact of a very serious debilitating illness. His courage spoke to me personally and continues to speak to me and we need to see people like that.
I don't know how you feel but I have to have somebody out there real and alive that is running way ahead of where I'm writing to keep me from playing games with my own head where I will say to myself, well, I've done all right and I'm committing my life to Christian service.
I'm doing this and did not do that and so on. Like the Pharisees in the Old Testament, and unless I see somebody out there who is a champion of godliness I become easily satisfied with where I am in my own growth and so I hope that what we will do in this time together is not be entertained but be inspired not in a superficial way. But in a lasting way by saying, people, real people, real men and real women who, by the grace of God and by the Holy Spirit of God have been authentic heroes and heroines in the first one I want to look at to kick off this series is Moses and when we think of Moses we think first of all of his function as mediator with now usually when we use this term mediator. We apply it to somebody else in biblical history. Who is it Christ. Christ is called our mediator is one of the titles of Jesus that he is our mediator. What is a mediator sleep, what does a mediator do stadiums between you and another party via some status square in the middle right. He stands between two parties or two groups as were and when we call Christ, the mediator, he is the one is the God man who stands for us and in our place. He's the one who stands between us and the father not as a barrier mediator is not an obstacle, but the purpose and the function of the mediator is to do what to intercede and to bring together the two parties that he is representing.
And when we think of Christ as mediator. We know that his work of atonement is a work of reconciliation. But again, our purpose this morning is not to speak about Christ as our mediator, but I've used that title now for Moses because we usually speak of Moses as being the mediator of the old covenant, the mediator of the old covenant. What was it that Cain according to the New Testament through Moses the law. The law came through Moses did it come from Moses know it came through Moses. The law is the law of God it wasn't Moses brainchild. It was an Moses invention Moses was the mediator God gave the law to Moses. Moses came down from the mountain and said here's the word of the Lord, and he spoke to the people and announced the terms of the covenant that was made on the holy mountain. When God made Israel a nation after the Exodus, so that Moses was the mediator of the law and is called the mediator of the old covenant or of the Old Testament and is Christ is the mediator of the new covenant, Moses as the mediator of the old covenant. Now course, the New Testament is so jealous to call attention to the fact that Jesus is a much greater mediator that the covenant that he brings is far superior to that which was brought by Moses and that might tend to make us disparage the role of Moses we think of Luther for example, in his zeal in the discovery of the gospel. He had been so depressed and discouraged and worn down by the law that he had no peace until he discovered the gospel in the announcement that our justification is through faith in Jesus Christ. And when he made that discovery to remember the outrageous comment that Luther made Luther was given to a kind of bombastic periods of outbursts. He was not Sudeten calm and soft-spoken like I am. For example, effects is a little bit influence on the how much was good but anyway Luther was so excited about his discovery of justification by faith and was so jealous to guard his discovery of the gospel that I one occasion he made this statement to the gallows with Moses, like all outrageous statements. Luther was given to hyperbole what he meant by that was that the gospel is so much greater than the law that let's take Moses and hanging a course I don't think that really reflected Luther's deepest appreciation for the function in redemptive history that was done and performed by Moses. He was a mediator and we think of his being at the mediator.
We normally think of his delivering the law at Sinai, but if you look in his life. There's a sense in which from his childhood.
He was prepared by God to be in a position to mediate the earliest stories apart from the dramatic story of his birth and the bulrushes and all that we see that the history of Moses life is skated over very quickly. He's we have the dramatic circumstances of his birth, and then the next thing you hear of him. He's a young man who has been educated in the court of Pharaoh's been polished. He's been treated as the son of Pharaoh as the son of Pharaoh's daughter right and he has been given access to the finest education and privilege that Egypt could offer their sons. His was a rearing of royalty in the most powerful nation in the world at that time, but he got in trouble and he lost his privileged position in the royal household of Pharaoh and was forced into exile banished ends and sentenced to live out his days as a fugitive in the wilderness.
What was it the cost that what made Moses lose all of his royal privilege.
He killed an Egyptian. Why did he kill Egyptian because he saw this Egyptian tormenting and beating mercilessly. One of his own people. A Hebrew slave and Moses went into the breach. Moses was a man. If you see and you watch the pattern of his life, who was on forever getting in trouble as a mediator in behalf of the underdog.
Don't you like the root for the underdog. I did not like the New York Yankees when I was I was always rooting for the underdog and that's the kind of person Moses was. He saw this defenseless slave being beaten any one of the breach and he struck the Egyptian Egyptian died and Moses was found out and he had to flee for his life was the first thing we read about him after he goes into the wilderness.
He wanders out of the Midianite wilderness is out there in the desert. He's lost all his privileged position here comes this prince really an Egyptian Prince into the middle of nowhere and he goes to a well but was even a well there were troughs of water and these Midianite women had come with their flocks to feed their flocks at these troughs of water and it was their turn at a bunch of roughneck shepherds coming from the desert and they tell the women to get away from the water and they push the women out of the way and start lording it over these women and usurping the water for their own tree. Moses sees what is most hold it right there like Sir Lancelot to the rescue. Moses jumps in and he takes on the shepherds and drives the shepherds away and lets the ladies have the war so gallant again in these very earthy stories that we read in the beginning of his life. What role is she performing the role of the mediator. The person who stands in the middle and he understood something very early that if he was going to participate in the function of mediator. He had to be a lightning rod because what happens if you step between two parties that are angry with each other and try to bring peace to try to bring reconciliation what normally happens is what do you have them both down on right and it's a very, very difficult position to be in. But that was the role to which Moses was called as mediator. We don't we know virtually nothing of his life from the time he was a young prince until the time that he was 80 years old. The great achievements of Moses, the Exodus, the leading of the will of the people through the wilderness.
The judging of Israel, the giving of the law. All of these formative tasks that establish the nation of Israel as a viable nation with a history that extends down to this day all of this Moses being the father of his country activity came well after that what we would consider to be the years of retirement at 65 Moses was still a shepherd out in the Midianite wilderness totally unknown. Living as a recluse and anonymity until the transforming experience that you all know about when God spoke to him in a burning bush that was not considered and called in now to the highest and most holy role of mediatorial service that have been accomplished in the face of this earth up to that time now when we see Moses call we see something else about the man that's important.
But before I get that. I just want to make one comparison was deeply impressed last summer when we visited North folk Virginia and we went to the Douglas MacArthur Museum never been to their is not an impressive place and the thing that made the biggest impression on me of the career of Douglas MacArthur was that all the things for which he is famous now World War II heroics there in the post-World War II occupation of Japan which he was virtually responsible for rewriting the Japanese Constitution and then after that the Korean conflict.
All of those things that have made Douglas MacArthur a national hero in the United States happened after he formally and officially retired and that should say something to a culture like ours that somehow has it in their heads. The people are finished when they're 65 years old, which is ridiculous from the perspective of history and certainly from the perspective of the word of God.
Moses is known for something else besides being a mediator. He's known in his character for being meek Harley sons make what is jumping in and then punching out the Egyptians instead of killing them and taking on these angry shepherds but weakness does not mean secessionists in the Bible.
There's a certain sense in which only a person of great strength can really be make because he's a person who in spite of his strengths has that strengths tempered by humility by authentic humility and he keeps that strengths in check and does not allow it to become an impetus for arrogance unless one of the things that I admire the most about Moses let's go back to the burning bush for just a second. Again, you all know the story, how that God calls them out of the bush and then explains the Moses that he has seen the affliction of his people.
Moses speaks in verse 11 of chapter 3 of Exodus after God is spoken to him and identified himself to him. Moses said to God, quote, who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt, you would think a man of this kind of strength who waited this many decades to have an active involvement in some significant task you would think it would God finally: the Moses was they were be been that what is to come and show up 50 years ago when I was in my prime. When I had been gone through all the training in Pharaoh's court that I was family qualified only prepared to take on the Egyptian nation.
I was jealous enough then to risk everything to stop the oppression of one single Hebrew at the hands of an Egyptian best investment by response in it where you been I been waiting and ready to go. For all these years. Not Moses. Moses said whom I why in the world. God would you call on me for this task.
There's no hint of megalomania in the personality of Moses and then he actually argues with God and God gets a little irritated. After a while I got a cyst look out on slow speech and he must've made a mistake, surely you've chosen the wrong way records go ahead review can say Moses said not all make mistakes like that you let me take care of. I prepared Aaron to spare your spokesman, you just obey me, and everything will be all right. So Moses a base and he takes on the test that God isn't God tells them to go back to the people of Israel and to tell them that Moses is going to lead them out of bondage in the freedom that God is going to deliver so he preaches this sermon to the people of Israel and they get all excited and what happens versus pay enough of this zeal we elect Valencia running around Israel were to put a stop to that is so from now on working to keep the same quota of the bricks that you're required to make but now you make them without the benefit of your daily supply straw if you want to build your bricks. You gonna go scavenge for yourself to find the straw or whatever you can find to meet those quotes.
So now the burden that was upon the Hebrew people was intensified as the direct result of Moses first stage of leadership Moses a base he goes okay I'll I didn't want this job. But I'll do it as soon as he takes one step forward to lead incurs the wrath of the whole multitude. So what does he say he rejoices chapter 5 the Moses returned to the Lord and said, oh Lord, why have you brought harm to this people. Why did you ever send me ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name. He has done harm to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all Gianni ministers experience that in their pastorate where they seek to be bold. They seek to be courageously sink to be faithful and the only results that they can see is destruction, pain, anger, and a turnaround is there. Would you sent me to do this. Is this what you had in mind and the fire goes out because one of the hardest things for any Christian weather is a minister or anonymous is to wait for God to accomplish his promise comforted by the fact that Moses struggles because at that point in his life. The Exodus was not an accomplished historical reality.
It was still would seem to be the Moses and unreachable dream. Why have you said and it gets worse. Miracle after miracle. The now is turned to blood. The hailstones fallen kill the cattle and the crux the plague of the frocks. The plague of the match. The plagues that the fall upon Egypt.
After each one of these miraculous events victory seems certain Pharaoh says Guidant go I had enough shares Moses say let's go.
Pharaoh's heart is hard and Pharaoh says don't you go until finally, after the death of the first Pharaoh said get out you can go and again his heart was hardened and after Moses obeys every step of the way he has 600,000 footmen willing children and they come to leave and they stand between McDonnell and the sea, and behind them comes the sophisticated armies of Pharaoh with their chariots and in front of them as the Red Sea is totally tracked and all this time it been following the Shekinah cloud of God. Remember, what happens when Moses is between McDonnell's first thing that happens is the cloud.
Whoops. And instead of the cloud being in front of the people of this review, it comes around behind and stands between Pharaoh and the children of his now who's the mediator, God himself stands between his people and the enemies of his people, and Moses raises is a and the seal's, and you know the story, a nation's poor and for another 40 years or so Moses abides Moses was faithful, and this is what were going to see through most of the people that we study over the long haul.
It's easy to be heroic when you're 21 years of year in year 10 years in 10 years, 40 years in 40 years. Moses was faithful to the day he died so that even in his death, God did the unbelievable thing of personally burying Moses that windows were Moses is very, we know that he was very he was buried by God.
Even God stooped down from heaven to care for the body of one would be faithful Moses. Moses put off thy shoes from off, I prefer the ground were investing in his God addressed person God anointed and coexisting. That's Dr. RC Sproul on the life and faith of Moses, glad you joined us for the Saturday addition of Renewing Your Mind. We are just beginning a series that that we will continue each week examining the lives of some of the great men and women of the Bible. I hope you make plans to return each Saturday with us as we make our way through this series we will see how God will be an incredible story of grace throughout the Bible, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. I think you'll enjoy studying that whole Bible perspective.
When you request our resource offer today it's doctors ProSeries – the glory, he examines every book of the Bible in 57 messages and helps us see the narrative of the entire Bible. With that, you will also receive an extra disc containing the study guides for the series. So for your financial gift of any amount we invite you to request just the glory you can do that firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 800-435-4343 will next week. RC will introduce us to the man God commissioned with these words. Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go look at the life and exemplary character of Joshua next sent here on Renewing Your Mind