Over the Easter weekend TV networks showed films that dramatize great Biblical events. One of the classics is “The Ten Commandments.” This epic film recounts the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. The younger generation has been reintroduced to this era of history through the animated film, “Moses, Prince of Egypt.”
Yet our knowledge of Moses should transcend the impact of computer-generated special effects and the acting skills of Charlton Heston! Who was this Moses, and what lessons does God want to teach us through his experiences?
Exodus 1-2:10 records the birth, rescue, adoption, and education of this man of God. He was called Moses because he was “drawn out” of the Nile River thanks to the faith and creativity of his parents (who made the little ark) and the compassion of the Egyptian princess (who discovered and protected the baby). As the adopted son of Pharoah’s daughter, Moses had the opportunities and training of royalty. As Stephen recalled in his sermon, Moses “was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds” (Acts 7:22). We would assume, “Now here is a fellow who could do a great service for God by delivering Israel!”
Moses believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was grateful for how God miraculously spared him from the infanticide campaign that took the lives of so many Hebrew boys who were drowned into the Nile river. The New Testament recalls his commitment: “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” (Heb. 11:24-26). Now we would be convinced that this Moses could lead Israel out of bondage; he had the education, credentials, faith, values and determination to lead God’s people!
Yet things did not proceed the way Moses expected. “Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian. For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand” (Acts 7:23-25).
Imagine how disillusioned Moses became when the Israelites rejected his attempt at helping them: “And when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the wrong, ‘Why are you striking your companion?’ Then he said, ‘Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’ So Moses feared and said, ‘Surely this thing is known!'”(Exodus 2:13,14).
You recall how Moses fled Egypt and became a shepherd in the land of Midian until God called him at the burning bush. A brief outline of Moses life, then is: 40 years growing up in Egypt, 40 years in exile, and 40 years of leading God’s people. It has been observed that during the years in Egypt, God made Moses a “somebody”; during the years in Midian, He made him into a “nobody”; then through the Exodus and following, God showed what He could do with a “nobody” who was yielded to Him!
Jessie Penn-Lewis wrote, “Israel would never have been delivered if deliverance depended upon Moses smiting the Egyptians one by one. God had a far better way than this. How small and narrow is our vision! If we would but give ourselves up to God, and seek first to know Him and His will, HE would then accomplish great things by us … let us first get into line with God, so as to work WITH Him, not APART from Him.”
May we so abide in Christ that He can “draw out” our potential. Let us learn from Moses’ experiences, so that our God may use us by His grace!
Prayer: “Our Father, we ask You to draw out our potential which You have graciously bestowed upon us in Christ. May we always serve with You, not just under You. Amen.”
Lessons from the life of Moses. Part 1 of 4
”Moses = taken out; drawn forth.” Hitchcock’s Bible Names Dictionary.
 Jessie Penn Lewis, Face to Face (Christian Literature Crusade).
Copyright 1999 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non-commercial use. Please credit GraceNotebook.com. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.