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Learning from Moses - Part 1

Turning Point / David Jeremiah
The Truth Network Radio
January 10, 2021 12:27 pm

Learning from Moses - Part 1

Turning Point / David Jeremiah

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January 10, 2021 12:27 pm

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Thanks to the generosity of our supporters. Your donation today means great podcasts like this remain available to help people look to God daily. Please make your donation today at Dr. Jeremiah profiles this figure the Bible calls the man of God, the servant of the Lord, a friend of God, and a great leader. Clearly there's a great deal that Moses can teach you. So let's listen as David introduces today's message, learning from Moses. Well you know every Bible character has something to teach us or their story wouldn't be in the Bible. And Moses, he is full of lessons.

Not only in the Old Testament but in the commentary on Moses in the New Testament in Hebrews 11 and today Hebrews chapter 1. There's just nothing out there that can compare to the lessons that you learn from the characters of the Bible. Now let's begin learning from Moses. For some reason when I started to preach the gospel I got enamored with the people of the Bible. I can't tell you exactly why that's true except that for me personally spiritual truth is easier to comprehend when it's embodied in flesh and blood. For instance, it's one thing for me to know the principles of walking in fellowship with God and the penalty for failure to do so.

Those can be listed in any list you want to make. But it's something else altogether to see those principles come alive in the life of someone like David or Joshua or Joseph of the Old Testament or someone like Peter in the New Testament. And so I get excited about the people of the Bible. In fact, I one day took a long sheet of paper and I figured out if I was careful I could almost preach through the whole Bible just by preaching on the people in the Bible. You can start in the Old Testament one hinges on another and you know you have a few little blank places but most of the Bible is built around flesh and blood people just like you and me. And the Lord has done that so that we can take these great spiritual truths and we can respond to them and understand them. Moses is probably the most important Old Testament figure.

The only close rival would probably be Abraham. But we're going to learn how very important he was to Old Testament scripture and still is to us today. Now as you learn about him, you will discover that he is described in numerous ways. First of all, the Bible says in Deuteronomy 33 that Moses was the man of God. Now this is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the children of Israel before his death. Ezra chapter 3 also describes Moses as the man of God.

That's a great title, isn't it? Not a man of God but the man of God. And in the Old Testament during this particular period of time there was no rival, there was no one even close. He was the man of God. And we get a macho idea about that until we read on in Deuteronomy chapter 34 and verse 5 that Moses wasn't just the man of God. Deuteronomy 34 and verse 5 says that Moses was the servant of the Lord.

Some of you probably find it very difficult to put those two thoughts together. The man of God, the servant of the Lord. But if you realize the principles of the Bible, you know that anybody who is a man of God also has to be a servant of the Lord. Those two terms help me get interested in this man but there's another term that's found in Exodus chapter 33 that I want you to see that is even more intriguing. Moses was not only the man of God and the servant of God but the Scripture says something else about him that I want you to notice in Exodus chapter 33 and verse 11. So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend and he would return to the camp but his servant Joshua the son of Nun a young man did not depart from the tabernacle. Now the phrase that we've underlined in our thinking is that God spoke to Moses face to face as a man talks to his friend.

Isn't that an incredible thought? Having a face to face conversation with God. Now you say the Bible says no man has ever seen God and lived. Well I don't know how Moses did this but the Scripture describes his relationship with God as a friend face to face encounter. Now God does not ever force his intimacy upon us.

He grants that intimacy to us as we desire it. So what we know about Moses is that Moses had a great heart for God and Moses wanted to know God and in drawing near to God, God drew near to him. He belonged to a very wonderful inner circle of people who had an intimate relationship with the Almighty. Now the fact that Moses was an incredible person is given to us in a summary statement again in Deuteronomy chapter 34 and verse 7 and verses 10 through 12. So turn back to Deuteronomy for a moment and let me read to you what the Bible says about this man and this is sort of the dossier on this guy.

Deuteronomy chapter 34 and verse 7. Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.

Now that's something to think about. Here's a guy 120 years old. He doesn't have glasses and his eyes are just as good as when he was 40 and he's got as much strength as he had when he was a young man.

I wonder how he did that. Notice verse 10. Here is the description of Moses. Since Moses there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like him whom the Lord knew face to face in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt before Pharaoh, before all his servants and all his land and by all that mighty power and all that great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel. Now the Bible says that there was nobody like Moses. Not after him did anyone ever come to leadership in Israel like Moses. I told you he was the great personality of the Old Testament.

This is where I got that. God says in his book that after Moses left leadership that nobody ever rivaled him again. He was the greatest leader ever to lead the people of God. Someone has written this description about him that helps you to understand the vast nature of his personality.

The life of Moses presents a series of striking antitheses. He was a child of a slave and the son of a queen. He was born in a hut and he lived in a palace.

He inherited poverty and enjoyed unlimited wealth. He was the leader of armies and the keeper of flocks. He was the mightiest of warriors and the meekest of men. He was educated in the court and he lived in the desert. He had the wisdom of Egypt and the faith of a child.

He was fitted for the city and wandered in the wilderness. He was tempted with the pleasures of sin and endured the hardships of virtue. He was backward in his speech, yet he talked with God. He had the rod of a shepherd and the power of the infinite. He was a fugitive from Pharaoh and an ambassador from heaven. He was the giver of the law and the forerunner of grace.

He died alone on Mount Moab and appeared with Christ in Judea. No man assisted at his funeral, but God buried him, the man Moses. Everything that I read in that statement is true of Moses. Now, if you have your Bibles, turn with me to Hebrews chapter 11. For in Hebrews chapter 11, we get an outline of Moses' life that is very easy for us to follow. Moses, remember, lived to be how long?

Did anybody remember that? How old was he when he died? 120 years. Now, divide 120 by three and what do you have? You have what? 40.

All right? Interestingly enough, this doesn't always happen with great people. Moses' life is divided into three separate sections, 40, 40, and 40. Now, in Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 23, his life is given to us by division. And you will notice that when you have the words by faith, you are introduced to another section of his life. This is a great summary of all that happened in the life of Moses.

Let's follow in your Bible as I read from mine. By faith, Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents because they saw he was a beautiful child and they were not afraid of the king's command. By faith, Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, for he looked to the reward. By faith, he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith, he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

By faith, they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned. Now, in this summary, you learn what a vast career he enjoyed. In fact, if you want to learn about Moses, you have to start in Exodus chapter 2 and read all the way through to Deuteronomy chapter 34. Four out of the five books of the Pentateuch are about Moses, telling the story of his life and of his deeds and of his acts. Now, to outline his life, what you discover is that the first 40 years that he lived, basically he spent in Pharaoh's court. He was taken out of the bulrushes and taken into the palace and raised by this wonderful woman who belonged to Pharaoh. He was brought up the first 40 years of his life in the palace. The next 40 years of his life, he ended up out in the desert, 40 years wandering around.

You know what he was doing? He was taking care of his father-in-law's sheep from the palace to the desert. And so the first 40 years, he lived in the lap of luxury. The second 40 years, he was a ragtag shepherd out in the wilderness. And then the last 40 years, from the time he was 80 until the time he was 120, that was the major ministry of his career.

Now, listen up, those of you who are aging and whose hair is getting gray like mine. Moses got started in his major ministry at the age of 80, and his greatest deeds were done from age 80 to age 120. There's hope for all of us.

We can just hang in there long enough. Now, each of these three periods in Moses' life began with a crisis which was met by faith, and God used these crises to encourage the life of Moses. One of the things that I have written down in my notes is this, and God often does this for all of us. God spent the first 40 years in Moses' life letting him find out what it was like to be somebody.

I mean, he was in Pharaoh's court. Then the next 40 years, God taught him how to be a nobody out in the desert. Then the last 40 years, God taught him what happens when he takes a nobody and makes him into a somebody. You know, isn't that the way God works with us sometimes?

You know, we get all high and mighty about what we've accomplished. Maybe we've had a great education, we've had great opportunities, and we get all caught up with who we are, and God has to show us that our wisdom and our strength and our abilities and our gifts are really useless to him unless we're willing to totally yield ourself to him. So he puts us through a desert experience.

Anybody been in a desert experience? You know what it's like to be in the wilderness? So you come out of the wilderness now, and you realize that it's not enough just to be a somebody in the world's eyes, and you surely don't want to be a nobody, but if you yield yourself to God, he can take a nobody and make him a somebody, and that's what he did in the life of Moses. Now, Moses had an incredible opportunity to prepare himself to serve God. Isn't it amusing that God needed to get Moses ready to be the leader of four million Jews through the Exodus? And here Moses is, born in this humble place.

So God just works it all out, gets him taken out of that humble place, and takes him for the first 40 years of his life to the educational center of the world and puts him at the very hub of learning. Turn in your Bibles to the book of Acts. You probably didn't know there was this much about Moses in the New Testament, but these are summary statements that are very helpful as we try to get a fix and a picture on his life.

Acts chapter 7 and verse 20. And this time Moses was born and was well pleasing to God, and he was brought up in his father's house for three months. But when he was set out, Pharaoh's daughter took him away and brought him up as her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and deeds, and when he was 40 years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.

Now, I want you to notice three things that God did to prepare Moses. First of all, he made him a student. The Scripture says Moses was learned.

That means he studied kids, young people, students. He put his nose in the book or in the parchment or the scroll or whatever it was, and he learned. He went to school and he prepared himself and he gained knowledge.

And the Scripture tells us of that. He was versed in the wisdom of the Egyptians and in all of their science. But he was not only a student. While he was there in the palace, he learned also how to be a statesman because the Scripture says he was endowed with unique oratorical powers. While there, he learned how to use these gifts which God had given to him. But also, while in the palace of Pharaoh, he learned how to be a soldier.

The Scripture and tradition records that while he was in the Egyptian employ, secular tradition says Moses was a great general and a great leader and he gained many wonderful victories having been trained by the Egyptian. He learned military training and discipline and patience and quick decisions. Boy, was he going to need that when he had all these cantankerous Jews in the wilderness. I mean, he really needed this training. His classmates in the Egyptian university would have been from all parts of the world so he would have gained an understanding of the world system and what goes on.

And he had a liberal education and would have certainly traveled to many parts of the world. And tradition says that when the Ethiopians invaded the land, Moses was at the head of the army and routed the enemy. Moses, for 40 years, was getting ready. Now, I want to stop there for just a moment.

I don't think there's anything more frustrating when you really want to do something with your life than to feel like you're caught in the parentheses of getting ready. I remember when my wife and I were in Dallas and I was in seminary and I had this heart to want to serve God. And sometimes when we would go over to our little church in Fort Worth where we worked as interns and we'd drive home after the evening service, I remember this like it happened yesterday. I'd turn on the radio and on the radio every night for some reason at that particular time when we came home was a preacher by the name of C.M. Ward.

It was revival time and they had a great choir and C.M. Ward would preach and he'd give this invitation over the radio and I would think to myself, driving back from Fort Worth, going back to seminary, back to the books, back to Hebrew, back to Greek, back to all these irrelevant things at least at that point in time in my life. What am I doing here? And I would say to Donna, you know, sometimes I feel like I ought to just get out of here and go find a church someplace and pastor it because I want to serve God. But I want to tell you something.

I'm glad I didn't do that. Because it was the discipline of being in school and being prepared and I know that I could not do what I do today in the human realm if I had not prepared myself and been willing to stay under the discipline of learning. I want to let you know, if Moses could spend the first 40 years in school and the next 40 years out in the desert trying to review what he already learned and then get involved in serving God, what that said about him was he spent two-thirds of his life getting ready to serve in the last third. No wonder he is recorded in the Scripture as the great emancipator and the great lawgiver. He was a man of great principle. In fact, the honorable D.J. Brewer, who was associate judge of the Supreme Court of the USA at one time, viewed Moses as a lawgiver and he wrote these words, He who on Sinai's summit received the Decalogue from the hand of Jehovah was gifted with a power enabling him to fashion a body of law which has been the code of a race in some respects the most unique in human history.

A code which is also a mighty force in the wondrous civilization of today. Moses does not fall short when placed alongside of the great lawgivers of the entire human race. Did you know that much of what we observe in jurisprudence today in this country finds its roots in the law of Moses. He was an incredible man, but listen up. He was an incredible man because he was willing for God to prepare him. How all of this preparation was fleshed out in the things that he was allowed to do in his encounters with God. He was a man who was prepared. Now, we're going to see some major themes that go through the entire story of Moses' life and they're themes that God often uses in our lives. What were the things that God used to make him what he was?

And the first thing that I wrote down was the priority or the principle of isolation. When Moses was in the palace of Pharaoh for the first 40 years of his life, he learned and had an opportunity for training his intellect. He was learning how to think, how to react to situations. But in the second phase of his life, that second 40 years, he got a different kind of education.

An education that took him away from all the excitement of the university, that took him away from all of the influences that could have touched his life, that isolated him with God so that he had to learn how to listen to the voice of God. Well, you know, God does that, doesn't he? If we won't do it naturally and normally, as we should, God will put us in places where it happens anyway. And God wants us to listen and hear his voice, and Moses teaches us how that sometimes happens. We'll have more from Moses tomorrow, and then studying the manual on Wednesday and Thursday and obeying the Father on Friday. This series of messages is called The Life God Blesses, and we'll see you right here tomorrow. For more information on Dr. Jeremiah's current series, The Life God Blesses, please visit our website, where you'll also find two free ways to help you stay connected, our monthly magazine Turning Points and our daily email devotional. Sign up today at forward slash radio.

That's forward slash radio. And when you do, please ask for your copy of Jack Countryman's new book, God's Blessings Just for You. It features 100 inspirational readings and reflections, and it's yours for a gift of any amount. And if you still haven't requested David's new daily devotional for 2021, called Strength for Today, there are still copies available. It's a great way to get a dose of biblical truth every day. Ask for your copy when you visit us at forward slash radio. I'm Gary Hooke Fleet. Join us tomorrow as we continue the series, The Life God Blesses. That's here on Turning Point with Dr David Jeremiah.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-06 11:50:16 / 2024-01-06 11:58:50 / 9

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