Share This Episode
Running to Win Erwin Lutzer Logo

Life In The Penalty Box Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
July 5, 2021 1:00 am

Life In The Penalty Box Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 780 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

July 5, 2021 1:00 am

Most of us know Moses for parting the Red Sea, and for telling Egypt’s Pharaoh to “let my people go.” Lesser known is how Moses got there. The race of life for Moses led him through valleys as well as mountains. In this message we begin a series that explains how, over many years, Moses got closer to God.

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)


One reason for us. Jesus phone number for most of the snow Moses parting the Red Sea is Egypt's Pharaoh's people go lesser-known is how Moses got there the race of life for Moses led him through valleys as well as mountain. Today we begin a series that details how over many years.

Moses got closer to God. Moody Church in Chicago this with Erwin Blitzer was clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line set the stage for us as we begin this monumental journey. Dave, one of the most remarkable things about the Bible is the way in which it paints its heroes. We must understand that there are many earmarks to show us that the Bible is God's word but one of the most remarkable ways in which we can see the humanists of the Bible and in that sense even its accuracy is the fact that when it tells us about God's people. It mentions their flaws and describes them as much as it mentions their successes. That's why we can learn from Moses we put them in a separate category, but the fact is, he was just like us, particularly when he was in that desert and today we are beginning that series entitled getting closer to God. It's from the life of Moses.

It helps us understand ourselves and our relationship with God. I want all those who are listening to this to just sit back now and let's consider Moses as he is so discouraged with no hope in his future because maybe you're like that. And yet, as we shall discover eventually God surprised him, and God has some surprises for us as well.

Be encouraged as we begin a brand-new series today entitled getting closer to God like to begin today by reading a letter that I received from a radio listener. I'm a man 31 years old and divorced though. I thought the divorce bitterly. I feel badly because I have no hope for the future. I often go home from church and cry, but there is no one to hold me when I cry. No one cares what hurts me most is that I begged God for the grace to be single for his glory and to fix my eyes on Jesus, but nothing changes. I continue to fail. I'm a basket case emotionally and on the verge of collapse. Something is very wrong. I'm so crippled and embittered that I can scarcely relate to others anymore.

I feel I will have to sit out the rest of my life in the penalty box. Never been in the penalty box. You know what that's like, you can relate. Maybe because of a bankruptcy. Maybe because of a failed marriage. Maybe because of some bad financial investment opportunities that you thought you were taking advantage of. Maybe because of health reasons you're in the penalty box and you wonder if you're going to have to be there for the rest of your life. I want you to know that you have a friend in Moses. Moses was in the penalty box 14 years for manslaughter. Who was this Moses Stephen says that he was educated in all wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in word and that means that he was educated in mathematics and astronomy chemistry in hieroglyphics. He had the best education that Egypt could offer when he floated down the Nile River. It was to strains of beautiful music. And when he went down the streets of Egypt. Soldiers ran ahead, shouting bow.

The bow the knee bow the knee.

Moses is man. Josephus says that Moses was a warrior and when the Ethiopians attacked Egypt, he led troops to victory. Josephus also said that he was scheduled to be the next Pharaoh of Egypt, but there was something in Moses because of his upbringing. You remember he was a Hebrew. There was something within him that that told him that his destiny did not lie within the palace. On days when perhaps he had nothing to do, he would wander around and he would see his own people being harassed being beaten and being used as slaves in the script. His heart one day. The Bible says that this child of luxury and fashion who had the cream of the Egypt poured into his cup went out in a notice that there was an Egyptian and a Hebrew and they were they were arguing they were having a rumble of some sort. And Moses intervened and he killed the Egyptian and he hit them in the sand.

A talkative word ever got out about it that that the Hebrews would say great, this man came out of the palace to deliver us next day he walks out into Hebrews are arguing and tries to bring peace to them and one says to Moses that are you going to kill me like you killed the Egyptian Moses thought that he had killed the Egyptian and hid them in the sand. He thought that it was secret, and now it was out in the rumor began to spread that Moses killed an Egyptian and Pharaoh was not amused and sought to kill Moses in the book of Hebrews we read that that Moses went out and that when he became of age, and he looked on his brother, and then he was willing to turn his back on the treasures of Egypt and to esteem a different kind of reward. Stephen tells us that when Moses went out there to identify with his people and he probably did so on a regular basis walking out and seeing what was happening. He he supposed his brother and would understand how that God did by his hand that would deliver them, but they understood not ever suppose that brethren would understand, only to discover that they don't. I sometimes say a pastors conferences don't take it for granted that the brethren will understand how that God by your hand will experience deliverance in the church because sometimes our brethren and our sisters do not understand and Moses was deeply deeply wounded, so wounded that 40 years later there's no doubt in my mind, the hurt is still there. So it Moses does as he runs he runs from Midian because now he's a wanted man and he goes to Midian and the text of Scripture.

I'm in Exodus chapter 2.

The text of Scripture tells us that verse 15 of chapter 2 when Pharaoh heard what Moses had done.

He saw kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. He's running now as a fugitive and he sits down beside a well and if I may be a little informal here.

We could say yeah on ending gravel, sand, burning heat, isolation, you're suddenly all alone and the whole thing is lost everything is gone. Your fame, your fortune, your admirers there are out there for you anymore. And he sits down beside a well bucket of metals, but nobody to congratulate you the call a party. There's nobody there to come but we should know that it is when he was in the desert that he learned lessons that the palace could never possibly teach them success at the end of the day is a very poor teacher.

Failure is a much better teacher.

Believe me when I tell you that you'll learn a lot more when your stocks fall in value then when they rise in value you learn a lot more when you're sick than you ever will.

When you are well.

The palace is a poor teacher, but the desert does wonders what would like to do is to look at the three lessons that Moses learned in the desert that he could never have learned in the palace.

First of all, you have the lesson of servant hood were still in Ephesians 2 where there it says in verse 16. Now the priest of Midian at seven dollars and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them in water their flock when they came home to their father Reuel, he is it that you've come home so soon.

Today they said an Egyptian delivered us out of the hands of the shepherd and even drew water for us and watered the flock. He said to his daughters then where is he, why have you left the man: that he may eat bread and Moses was content to dwell with the man and he even gave Moses his daughter's zipper or a Sapporo depending on where you put the impasses he gave Moses his daughter as a wife. The lesson of servant hood.

What you to see that Moses served Moses served first of all, in obscurity in obscurity there beside the well, nobody knew that he was next in line to be the next Pharaoh of Egypt later on when he marries into the family and spends 14 years in the desert. Nobody no, that they are in the presence of greatness. The others shepherds don't realize the history of this man. They don't understand his resume.

They don't understand where he came from what he was destined for. He is an ordinary person serving in obscurity were nobody knew him, and worse, nobody cared. Not only did he served in obscurity also served in humility will never understand this until we realize that the Bible says in the book of Genesis. Now shepherds where an abomination unto the Egyptians, the Egyptians believed that if you were a shepherd. It was at the bottom of the totem pole. In fact, they weren't shepherds they would use slaves to the shepherds we think about being a shepherd today is a wonderful thing. Well, you ask a shepherd and you realize that they are remarkable people you go to the Middle East and you see a goat coming out of the same tent as a Bedouin somebody said to the Bedouin. How in the world can that possibly working said no problem. The goats get used to it. Moses was destined for the most humiliating just five days to vocation, that there was available. In fact what he was doing was an abomination in the culture in which he was reared 40 long years his aptitude and desire and training was in one direction.

Have you ever had a vocation that you just absolutely hated to get out of bed because it was so inconsistent with who you were and what you wanted to do.

Here's Moses with all of his aptitudes in one direction and he is forced, day after day after day to work in something that was considered to be the lowest of the low 40 years talk about somebody who was overqualified for his position serving in obscurity serving in humility.

It's so easy to serve the Lord in the limelight.

Years ago I used to quote a poem and I didn't have it this morning and you know just so that you know I was able to remember it. Lord you know how I serve you with great emotional fervor in the limelight.

You know how I effervescent Bible study groups and fellowships, but how would I react. I wonder if I had to wash the callused feet to the bend and old woman day after day were nobody saw nobody knew the palace will never teach you to be a servant in the palace you are served in the desert you learn to serve others.

I'm so glad that God has called me to Chicago. It's a wonderful city when you're in Chicago you feel as if you're in the middle of things. Sometimes when I drive out to the country like one summer when we went to a state in these great United States called Montana ain't much going on in Montana I can figure came to a little town called plenty would Montana entirely different to different understanding of time there. Things are so laid-back.

Some of those folks out there. Bless them. I think it would take them an hour and 1/2 just to watch 60 minutes whole different way.

But I had to ask myself what I'd been cold to obscurity. Moses was called to obscurity for 40 long years is most intelligent conversation was and he believed that that's what it would be for the rest of his life, but it's in the desert that you learn servant hood, not in the palace as a second lesson and that is the lesson of trust lesson of trust. Now we're in verse 23, it says that during those many days the king of Egypt died and the people of Israel grown because of their slavery and cried out for help.

Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. I love to underline these verbs and you can underline them in your Bible. As I've underline them in mind. God heard their groaning, he wasn't deaf. After all, God remembered his covenant God remembered he doesn't have a bad memory and he doesn't have bad eyesight. Verse 25 God saw the people of Israel. He saw the people of Israel when nothing was happening. When they were there in bondage and in slavery he saw them in their monotony.

He saw them in their despair.

God was there and God was with Moses. I believe that God allows everyone of us to go through a desert experience you've never been through a desert experience. There probably is one in your future.

Israel was in the desert for 40 years and what was God doing during those 40 years that Israel was in the desert. We find that the Lord says this he found him that his Jacob or the children of Jacob in a desert land and in the howling waste of a wilderness. He encircled them. He cared for them. He kept them as the apple of his eye like an eagle that stirs up its nest that flutters over its young spreading out its wings catching them bearing them on opinion illegals do eagles build nice nests and make them very comfy. First of all they put in a sharp rock send pieces of which way and an even sharp objects that they might be able to find if they can pick up a piece of glass or something. They put that and then they they they fill out the nest and make it very very comfortable with all kinds of others, and everything in those little eaglets absolutely love it but problem is the little eaglets won't go out of the nest to test their wing so it mom eaglets does.

She begins to take away the feathers begins to pull out down in these little little things find themselves on a sharp edge of rock and they say you know things are so bad we better learn to fly. And then, if anything, the mother eagle will come and push them out of the nest and then sweep under them, catch them when they're in flight.

God says that's what I was doing for you when you are there in the desert. They were in the desert because of their own disobedience and the disobedience of those before them. But God says I'm with you there in the desert. I am working there in the desert with you know it's easy to trust God when the bushes burning when the waters are parking when that mountain is shaking and when money is flowing and when the board is glowing. It's easy to trust God. But it's hard to trust God when you're in transition when you've been unfairly fired from a job. It's hard to trust God when your optimistic dreams and hopes in a relationship. Suddenly, suddenly end in in bitterness and in disaster. It's difficult to see God there but blessed is the person who knows that God is not with us only in our ops but also in our downs, not only when we are there in the palace but also when were they are in on ending monotonous desert day after day week after week, month after month.

It says it came to pass after these many days that God intervened, how many days multiply 40365.

Thank God for pocket calculators, as some of you have heard me say when it comes to math.

I've always said as long as I'm right 90% of the time.

I mean who cares about the other 5% 14,600 days of monotony of boredom of hopelessness. Moses had to learn to trust my friend today. This is pastor Sir. And even as I listen to this message my own harvester because I can't help but think that there are many of you who are in that desert boredom day after day after day hopeless, but I sure hope that you listen next time because were going to discover that God has a surprise for Moses, and God has surprises for us as well.

I've written a book on this series of messages entitled getting closer to God love for you to have a copy and I'll tell you why it will bless you, it will challenge your life and it will help you to see that the same God who worked in the life of Moses is indeed the same God who works in our lives as well. Oh yes were very different from Moses.

Indeed, he seems to be in a different category, but the same God meets us in the desert. Now you can get a copy of getting closer to God for a gift of any amount. Here's what you do go to RTW now that's all one word RTW and for a gift of any amount. As I've mentioned, this book can be yours, or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 now let me give you that phone number again 1-888-218-9337 and thanks in advance for praying for us. Thank you so much for your support because together here on running to win were making a difference is time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor lutes or a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Anthony listens to running to win and has a question taken from what many feel is the oldest book in the Bible.

He asks do we know the length of time during which Job faced his trials.

No Anthony I don't think that we have any clues as to how long Job's trial lasted but if you read the end of the book. You do discover that that ending was put on the book to help us to see that in the end Joe prospered again. If I recall correctly, he ended up with double the number of camels and animals and even ended up with 10 more children, of all things. He lost 10 and he still has 10 in this life, so that gives us some kind of a timeframe, but we don't know how long he sat in the ash heap. We don't know how long he was there before God began to restore him all that we have is the story as it stands.

Thank you Anthony for your question. Thank you Pastor lutes or for your answer.

If you'd like to hear your question answered.

You can just go to our and click on ask Pastor lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us have run into when 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. Today when Luther spoke on life in the penalty box. The first in a series of 12 messages about Moses getting closer to God. If life were a bed of roses never appreciate how good roses smell for 40 years of Moses life herding sheep was his lot of time during which God prepared him for leadership beyond his wildest dreams. Next time, the story of Moses continues for Dr. Erwin lutes or this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the teacher

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime