02.5 Moses 2, Day 5

God has already laid the foundation

I have a good friend and brother in Christ who is a builder.  Throughout the summer we met once a week for a bible study at a local coffee shop.  One morning we were having coffee and discussing the roadwork going on outside the restaurant.  I was commenting, in frustration, about how long it seemed to be taking.  He explained to me the need for concrete to cure.  He said that when his crews pour a driveway it takes about a week for the concrete to dry and cure all the way through.  The concrete the road crew was using was about 18″ thick and he explained it would take 4 full weeks for it to cure properly.  Like baking bread, the outside will harden first, but it takes time for the center to be finished as well.  Allowing traffic on it too soon, especially heavy trucks, could ruin it and they would have to tear it out and start over.

I was reminded of this as we read about the Hebrews calling out to God in their slavery.  Like my ability to see the road, they saw God and knew his promises, but their patience was thin.  But 80 years prior, God had poured the foundation of salvation for the hebrews in Egypt.  At the marriage of Amram and Jochebed, God had dug the footings and began to lay in the reinforcement iron.  At the birth of Moses, the path was poured.  80 years would be required for Moses to grow solid throughout and become the prophet God had designed him to be.

In the same way, when Jesus was born into this world, the foundation of salvation for us was poured.  Jesus is our “highway to heaven”.  We will and should groan out to God in our bondage to sin, but Jesus’ payment has set us free.  One day the waiting will be over and Jesus will come again.  One day, the hazard cones and detours will all be removed and we, either still living or asleep in the grave, will rise up and go out to meet his triumphant return.  One glad morning…

In the mean time, God does not forget.  When it says God remembered, it doesn’t mean He had forgotten and needed the Hebrews to remind Him.  It means, they called on Him to remember and He did, He had and He always would.  God does not forget His people.  God does not forget His promises.  God remembered then and He remembers now!

 

My Answers:

10.
a.
king of Egypt died, Israelites continued to be oppressed in slavery

b.
groaned in their slavery and cried out to God

11.
a.
Heard, Remembered, Looked on, was Concerned about

b.
Loving, engaged, true, consistent

c.
Yes, absolutely – IF I pray and wait for God, I have that assurance.  If I take it on my own and then run and hide, God waits for me.

02.4 Moses 2, Day 4

Become a Foreigner

Exodus 2:23 describes this time as a “long period”.  Things were not good no matter who you were or where you were.  It was a dark period of time.

The Hebrews continued to be oppressed.  The King of Egypt died, but things did not improve for them.  If anything, they probably got worse.  Relationships between the shepherds and Moses new family would not have improved.  Moses was no longer welcome in Egypt or by his people in bondage in Egypt.

But Moses had a son and in that son he was reminded of hope.

This long period of despair would pass.  This inability to do something meaningful with his life would not last forever.  Moses was not going to settle in this land of darkness and despair.  The birth of his son reminded him that he was a foreigner in this “long period”.  This was not where he belonged.  This was not how things were meant to be.  This was not the extent of God’s plan for Moses or the Hebrews or Egypt or the world.

When you go through a “long period” of darkness do you begin to accept and settle?  When you look around and feel powerless, do you give up hope and accept this is just how things are always going to be?  We, like Moses, must remind ourselves this is not the extent of God’s plan.  This broken, messed up world is not how things are always going to be.  God has promised much, much, much more.  We are called to become foreigners in a foreign land, not people who settle in darkness and despair.  We are walking through the valley of death, not moving in as permanent residents.

I believe that every time Moses called out the name of his son, he renewed his confidence in hope and confidence in God.  We can do the same each time we call out the name of God’s son, Jesus.

 

My Answers:

8.
He didn’t have anywhere else to go.  He was invited into a family.

9.
a.
It was not home – lived as a foreigner in a foreign land

b.
when I recognize how my views and life differ so significantly to those around me.  My practice of serving and honoring God as opposed to serving and honoring self.

c.
That I am to live as a missionary here on earth because my real home is in heaven

d.
Patience, shepherding, joined the family of a priest with 7 daughters. To learn that it was not about him – it is about God!

02.3 Moses 2, Day 3

Bold Compassion

When things went south at home, Moses went east.  Moses ran and hid.  But the person he was running and hiding from was no ordinary person.  This was Pharaoh and the reach of Pharaohs power was great.  From the research I did on maps, when Moses left his home on the Nile river and fled to Midian he would have traveled over 600 KM or 375 miles if he went a straight route.  Given that he was on the run and that a straight path would take him directly across vast deserts, it is unlikely he took anything resembling a straight path.  A direct path walking would have taken 2-3 weeks and a more circuitous route could have stretched to more than a month.

When he sits at the well in Midian he would have been tired, hungry, weary, lonely, weak and emotionally spent.  But when he saw injustice, he could not sit by and do nothing.  Fortunately, his weeks of travel had taught him some constraint and he didn’t seek to avenge the 7 girls, he only stepped in to the extent to remove them from imminent harm.  No one was killed.  More so, he had now taken on a spirit of not simply trying to “fix” the situation, but to serve those in need.  He didn’t stop with running off the shepherds, he drew the water, the cared for the women and their animals and he sought nothing in return (not even dinner).

There were so many excuses Moses could have given for avoiding the conflict.  He was tired, this was not his fight.  But despite all the possible excuses Moses burned with a fire of compassion for the oppressed and persecuted and that fire burning in him was creating a spirit of serving.

Do I burn with that same passion and spirit the way Moses did?  Am I bold in protecting others from immediate danger or do I hide behind my excuses?  When I am bold and step in to help, do I expect recognition and to be served as compensations or do I go the distance and share the water of life to those who are thirsty?

 

My Answers:

6.
Not Egypt, Outside of Pharaoh’s daily purview,  Desert, had wells with water (not totally barren), flocks lived there

7.
a.
Compassion, strength, hard work, bravery, boldness

b.
He still stepped in when he saw grievous wrongs of persecution and oppression, but he didn’t kill anyone

c.
To be bold.  To have the spirit of serving others burn in me.

02.2 Moses 2, Day 2

Tourist

Acts 7:23 says, “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites.”

I think one of the key words in that verse is the word “visit”.  He didn’t go to live.  He didn’t go to support or to serve.  He went to visit.  This may be one of the first recorded instances of what we often call “mission tourism”.

How often do we, as modern day Christians, fall into the same traps Moses did?  We go on a visit, either to the inner city or another country.  We go to be with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We go because we have been blessed with so much. We go to feel better about ourselves and what we possess.

Just like Moses.

And when we see the persecution and oppression, we, in our superior wisdom, take it upon ourselves to do something, to take action.  We decide we must fix things.  And, like Moses, we simply make things worse.

God does call us to reach out to our brothers and sisters wherever they are.  The examples set by the early church to go and make disciples are still relevant. The fellowship of support between churches in different areas and situations is documented throughout the epistles. But we must do it with respect and understanding.  If we swoop in, with an attitude of superiority and an expectation of gratitude, we too will be asked, “who are you?”

But if we come along side our “own people”, fellow believers in Christ, and we share in their burdens and support them and give them aid and encouragement and build long term lasting relationships and teach others and build influence for them, then, we won’t be asked “who are you?” because they will see Christ in us.

 

My Answers:

3.
a.
“He looked this way and that and seeing no one”

b.
40 years old.  Decided to visit his own people the Israelites.  Killed to avenge.  Thought his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not

c.
Prophecy, teaching by his parents – clearly Moses had education outside of what was taught in the Egyptian schools about God, His promises and covenants

4.
a.
Choice to identify with them.  He decided to visit his own people

b.
He grew to know that he was not Egyptian, that he was adopted, that his birth parents were Hebrew

c.
Choice to visit did not cost him, choice to act on his own and murder cost him his home, eduction, adopted family, power

d.
Would you rather have 1 marshmallow now or 2 marshmallows in 3 minutes?  how about 1 now and 20 in 3 minutes?  what if the one now was plain, but the ones to come were coated in chocolate and everything yummy?  That was moses choice.

5.
a.
Wanted to help, wanted to rescue, He was strong, brave, bold, not afraid to act, identified with an oppressed people

b.
lack of patience, eagerness to rely on his own strength, can’t go around killing people