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In 1979 Dr. Larry Reynolds moved to Denton, Texas, to become the founding pastor of Southmont Baptist Church. During his twenty-eight year ministry at Southmont, the church grew to a membership of more than 1800. The church, which began in a small storefront, now meets on a campus that includes three educational buildings, a fellowship hall, an activities center, and sanctuary. After retiring as the Senior Pastor of Southmont in December, 2006, Pastor Reynolds has remained active in the Denton area conducting weddings, funerals, and leading Bible studies. He and his wife, Carol, have traveled extensively. In addition to five trips to Israel, they have visited Jordan, Greece, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Peru, Canada, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Moses - Part 1

MOSES – Exodus 2:1-10
                                                        
1.      Want to begin by reading to you a statement about a biblical character...as I read, see if you can guess the person being described...
            "He was the child of a slave, and the son of a queen.  He was born in a hut, and 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 dwelt 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 speech, and 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, yet God buried him."
            [Dr. I.M. Haldeman, quoted by Arthur Pink, p.16]
      Of course, that statement is a description of the life of Moses.

2.   Except for Jesus, Himself, there is no person in the Scripture more important than Moses...
·         He is one of the few people in the Bible whose life-story is given from birth to death...
·         He was the one through whom God communicated the law to the nation Israel...
·         He was prophet, priest, and king all wrapped up in a single person...
·         His life previews the life of Christ from the unusual events surrounding His birth, to his leading the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt as Jesus has led us from the bondage of sin, to his unusual departure from this world, to his appearance with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration…
The importance of Moses in God’s redemptive plan for humanity cannot be over-emphasized.  While Abraham is often described as the father of faith, in Moses we see an beautiful picture of a life lived in faith.

3.   In Hebrews 11, the great faith chapter, the writer of Hebrews highlights five (5) times when faith played a significant role in the life of Moses...
--v.23 - When he was born and hidden by his parents from the Pharaoh who wanted him dead...
--vv.24-26 - When he chose to identify with the Israelites rather than the Egyptians...
--v.27 - When he fled Egypt fearing the wrath of the Pharaoh...
--v.28 - When he led the Israelites in observing the first Passover...
--v.29 - When he led the Israelites through the Red Sea to safety...

4.   Over the next few weeks we're going to explore some things that each of these five events in the life of Moses to see what they can teach us about living by faith...Hebrews 11:23 simply says “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”  The story is told in more detail in Exodus 1 & 2.

T.S.- The faith being highlighted in this story is not the faith of Moses but of his parents --his mother, Jochebed, and his father, Amram.  Verse 1 kind of glosses over Moses’ ancestry.  Interestingly, Exodus 6:20 tells us that Jochebed was Amram’s father’s sister.  Therefore, Moses’ father actually married his aunt.  While such activity would certainly be frowned upon today, it was a rather common practice in some ancient cultures.  As God began to reveal to the Israelites His will, such practices were specifically forbidden (cf. Lev. 18:12).  However, at the time of Amram’s and Jochebed’s marriage, it was not forbidden.  The focus of Exodus 2:1-10 is on the actions of Moses’ mother, Jochebed.  From her actions, we can learn some significant things about faith.

I.  Faith causes a person to see what others don't see
1.   There's an interesting statement in v.2 about the mother of Moses...middle part of the verse tells us that when she looked at her baby "...she saw the that he was beautiful..."...now that doesn't sound very unusual because all mothers and fathers think their babies are beautiful...truth is new parents aren't very objective about the appearance of their babies...when our children were born I thought at the time they were the most beautiful babies in all the world...but now when I look back at those pictures of them when they were just a few minutes old and see their bald heads, wrinkled skin, and spotted complexion I realize they weren't all that beautiful...
2.   But when Bible says that mother of Moses "saw that he was beautiful" it means more than just that she thought he was physically beautiful...the word translated "beautiful" literally means "not ordinary"...it implies that she saw that Moses' was not merely a handsome or physically beautiful child, but that he was a gifted or unusually promising child...
3.   The Jewish historian Josephus, in his Antiquities, suggests this means that Moses' parents received a revelation from God concerning their son's destiny...and this revelation, which they accepted by faith, caused them to see things others didn't see...

1.      And that's certainly one thing faith should do in our lives...
·         Our faith will invariably impact how we view people…instead of seeing merely what they have been or what they are, faith should cause us to see what they can become in Christ…faith should remind us that no person is outside the scope of God’s love and grace…
·         Our faith will invariably impact how we view situations…for those who view life through the eyes of faith, there is no situation that can utterly defeat us...I think that is something of what Paul meant when he penned the amazing words of Romans 8:37-39 – But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor power,  nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
2.      A famous politician of several decades ago said, "Most people see things as they are and ask why.   I see things as they could be and ask why not."  That is how people of faith view life in general.

II.  Faith causes a person to do what others don't do
1.   One of the principles which permeates the Scripture is that real faith, genuine faith always results in action...right belief leads to right living...if we don't live right, if we don't do right, that is strong evidence that, regardless of our claims to the contrary, we don't really believe right...
2.   Because Moses' parents had faith in God, they did some things that others were afraid to do...
·         First, they defied the edict of the Pharaoh...Exodus 1 tells us because the Pharaoh was concerned about the swelling population of Hebrews in Egypt, he had ordered all male babies thrown into the Nile River...while other parents apparently obeyed this hideous command out of fear of the Pharaoh, the writer of Hebrews tells us that Moses' parents "were not afraid of the king's edict"...
·         Then, their faith caused them to do very strange thing... instead of taking the baby and getting as far away from the Pharaoh as possible...they placed him in a basket on the very river in which the children were to be thrown...and even more incredibly, at the very place the daughter of the Pharaoh who had given the decree would be sure to see the child...
3.      That was something no-one else would dare do...but they clear implication of the story is that they did those things at the direction of God and as result of their faith in God...

1.   Sometimes faith results in our doing things which seem foolish in the eyes of the world...for example--
--for Abraham to leave his homeland and began to journey toward some unspecified place...
--for Moses to have the audacity to stand before Pharaoh and demand freedom for the Hebrews...
--for young David to do battle with Goliath...
--for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to go into the fiery furnace...
--for Daniel to go into the lion's den...
--for Peter and John to defy the powerful Sanhedrin court...
--for the early church to attempt to evangelize the entire world...
--for Jesus to go to the cross for the sins of the world...
      was foolish, unless viewed through the eyes of faith...

1.   And what was true for Moses' parents and many other biblical characters should be true in our lives as well...faith causes us to do things other people don't do...the Bible tells us in Romans 12:1 that we are not to be conformed to this world... people of faith should have different priorities from the rest of the world...we should use our time differently...we should use our financial resources differently...we should have different values...
2.   Often, as a result of our faith, God's people are called to live in a way which cuts across the grain of our culture...in addition to causing us to see things others don't see and do things others don't do, there's third thing we can learn about faith from Moses' parents...

III.  Faith causes a person to experience things others don't experience
1.   Because of faith, Jochebed, Moses' mother, and Moses were privileged to experience things other people did not experience...
      --in one of those twists of irony in which God seems to delight, Jochebed got to rear her own child...she got to instill in Him a strong sense of his Hebrew heritage and teach him about God's plan for Israel...
      --Moses got to be raised in the court of Pharaoh and had access to all the learning of the Egyptians...he was the foster son of the king and all the privileges of royalty were his...
      And, of course, in all that God was preparing Moses for his future mission of leading the Israelites out of Egypt...
2.   That is a reminder that God has a plan, a purpose for our lives ...and as one writer put it, "Trying to improve on God's plan is more pretentious than taking a felt-tipped pen and trying to improve the Mona Lisa.  Our scribbling would do nothing than ruin the masterpiece." [MacArthur, p.349]
3.   God's plan for us is that we live by faith in Him...and as we do we--
--see things others don't see...
--do things others don't do...

--experience things others don't experience...