Sunday, 16 October 2011

MOSES WHO SERVED WITH EAGERNESS


MOSES
Eagerness to what causes us to do anything.
Scripture reading: Exodus 3:1-12
Background
Midian was  land named after a man. After Sarah died, Abraham married a woman called Keturah and she had a son named Midian. Moses used to tend Midian’s herds.
Horeb was mountain range about 3 and a half kms long. When such mountains are seen in moonlight, the sand on it would cause it to shine. As a result of this, people named it Horeb which mean the Moon God. One of the peaks of this mountain range is known as Sinai.
Israelites are in Egypt as a result of the Word of God. When one is in such a situation, God expects you to self-reflect. God blessed Abraham. When he made a covenant with Abraham, he ask Abraham to cut animals and birds into two pieces and place them. He would make his covenant in this manner. We understand that covenant is meeting God’s need. It’s not just an exchange. Sometimes we feel that covenant is exchange pieces of bread but that is not so. Covenant is meeting God’s need. Doing what God requires of us to do. To do what God wills. God told Abraham, “I want this. Take these animals and birds and stand before me.” But, we see that Abraham fell asleep. That was his mistake. God had asked him to wait. That didn’t mean he could sleep. Waiting is standing with patience and suffering. But Abraham fell asleep and wild animals came and attacked the sacrifice thus, making claim over what God had deemed his. Yet, we see that the smoking oven and the flaming torch came.
Sometimes we make the mistake of looking at Abraham and Moses as superheroes. But they were also normal human beings, ordinary men like us. God is the God righteousness and the God of justice. He is a Judge. As a result, God made a covenant, but also gave the judgment that his descendants would suffer in a foreign land for four hundred year. God is a God who blesses but also one who judges. For eg. The ill treatment of Joseph might be looked upon as something wrong happening towards him or a judgment being pronounced upon him.
360 years have now passed after this incident with Abraham. Moses is 40 years old. Again, God chose a man and began to take his purpose forward. His purpose was to increase the descendants of Abraham. Moses has grown up In the palace. He knows that in spite of being brought up in the palace, he is Hebrew. Being brought up in the palace, means he got the best training but Moses was not of the palace. He was in the palace but not of it. Just that we are in this world but we are not of this world. That was the challenge.
But a fire burns within him that the palace wasn’t Moses’s ultimate destination. This burning passion plays a very important role. The palace was not for him. This is a big pitfall for us, to settle compromise and just agree with the circumstances but Moses didn’t do so. He left the palace and went to meet his brothers. He knew that it was his destiny. He belonged to this people. Many a times in life, we don’t remain where we belong. It might be for a selfish reason or a benefit. But Moses teaches us. His stand was clear. And that’s why he went amongst the Hebrew.
As a result, he couldn’t bear the wrong happening to his people and he killed an Egyptian. When he went to comfort his people, who were fighting, they turned against him so he ran away. In spite of it, the fire was burning within him. 40 years had past since that time. To keep that fire burning was challenge. He continued in that same passion.
Now we see that God’s timing has ripened. He is tending the flock and now, he sees the burning bush.
Exodus 3:1-12
1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
Now, Midian is the present Saudi Arabia. There is a small gulf where two countries divide. This mountain is placed there. It decided their boundary and context. The first unprecedented action that Moses did was to take a step and go beyond the general boundary of the common people. God’s people are adventurous people. God looks for warriors, he is a God of warriors not cowards. Here, Moses emerges as a warrior. Nobody took their sheep to the far side but he did.
2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
Moses decided that he would take a closer look at this supernatural event. He had willingness. Therefore, he did it. Warriors step forward with courage. They want to go beyond their limits. They are not compromising. He didn’t step back because of the glories he had. And now, we see that he saw a big fire around the bush. Moses spotted it. He wasn’t simply awestruck but he looked at it. He recognized that it was a miracle. Warriors are created for miracles. They always expect one. Moses knows this picture. He knew the shackles his people were in. His heart is still burning with this passion. He knows that his people are not made for slavery. That is not their destiny. They are destined for something better. And that was his passion. We face a major problem in the area of what we can do and our ability. We don’t hear God nor do we meet him. There are people who think what they can do for God but the point is what God wants to do with you. That is what matters. Moses’ position is similar. He knows he cant save his people. Pharoah and his rule is too strong and powerful. He killed the Egyptian because of his passion but suddenly, he realizes the reality. But this miracle captures his heart. He doesn’t know much of this God. He has the history but he doesn’t know him. Abraham also knew only the all-powerful God but this intimacy wasn’t there. For the first time, God meets in this way and introduces his purpose.
Moses isn’t simply overwhelmed. He decides to take a closer look. Many simply get overwhelmed. But Moses didn’t do that. He decided to check it himself. He wanted to become a part of it. He who believes will fashion miracles. When God wants to do something, he sends people. But instead, we pray for our needs. We don’t walk in his miracles. Moses went himself. He wanted to experience this reality. Christian life is recognizing reality through experience not just talking about it.
 4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
It is interesting that when Moses steps forward, God takes greater strides towards him. Our calling is like this. It is not one-sided. When Moses moved, God responded.
   And Moses said, “Here I am.”
This is the message for us today. God invited Moses into this miracle. And Moses displayed his readiness.  Our problem is that we many times we think about what we want to do for God. But we need to find what God wants us to do and where he wants us to be. Moses was there with his sheep. In this position, God called him and he responded to it.
Moses led lakhs of people through the wilderness. He is an amazing example in the Bible. He faced Pharoah. He took care of his people through that time. The key is here. He said, “Here I am.” We can translate it as “God, I am yours.” And God is looking for such people.
God wants to drag this world into miracles and for this, he is looking for such people. God doesn’t need our alms. That has been the issue in the Scripture. Man looks at God as a part of his life and God looks at Man as His. Man, therefore, thinks of following rituals but God just wants to make us His. He expects the same from us.
Moses responds in this way. God expects the same for us. He is not interested in how much we give him but how much we keep for ourselves. This exhibits how much we belong to God. Tithe is God’s and the rest is mine. There something wrong in that thinking.  It shows whose you are, yours or God’s. God wont come and stand in front of us like we doesn’t expect. He will place a man instead of him and will place him in God’s place. Moses was placed in God’s place for Aaron and for the people of God. His weaknesses didn’t matter. He was placed in God’s place for by God himself. He was the Almighty God for Aaron and for Pharaoh.
Many times people say that we will do as God directs us. God clarifies his strategy in this way. We cant ignore those that God places in His place in our lives. That is his strategy. God is asking us to leave our plans and seek Him. Moses didn’t make excuses or didn’t seek his way. God saved Him and Moses became His. God works according to his pattern. And Moses gave himself to it. God wants to deal with us in this way.
God hasn’t changed. It is His revelation that will move us. The way we view God, will make the difference. Here is Moses. Not even his sheep are his. He simply had a staff and that was it. All of Moses’ plans are done with now and he makes himself available to God. The single miracle was enough to change the direction of his life. A single Word transformed him. He became available for God. It captured his total life.
This is what God wants from us. He want to move us with a single Word and revelation.  God is looking for our response. God is looking for such people. God wanted to convey to Moses that he is a miraculous God.
Today, we need to check if we believe in this miraculous God, that we don’t simply talk about it. If we do, we will walk in it with our faith. All will be provided through Him. The things of this world are not our destiny. What we want to do for God is not our destiny. What God wants of us is our destiny.
Moses gave us his sheep for the miracle. The miraculous God gives us a miraculous beginning. David says the same. God is my shepherd, therefore I shall not want. He makes me lie beside silent waters.
We need to check what we are doing. Have we formulated our own plans. If we belong to God, He will decide. The meaning of Lordship is that God decides. Our role is to accept or reject. God is our Lord, our Owner. Either we ignore or we embrace His Word.
That is what our miraculous God is all about. Moses made excuses later but God didn’t register all that. That wasn’t an issue because Moses had declared his belongingness to God. No weakness or shortcoming was big enough.
 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
God takes names here. He presents himself as a God of individuals. He works individually. We need to examine how we can work individually with God. Do we check what God wants us to do on a daily basis. If we are God, we simply inform him but if He is God, we ask him what we are to do. We do not need to dare to go against and compromise in front of God. We cant become lazy when it comes to God. Moses immediately responded. He declared God’s ownership over himself. God works according to His timings.
If we want to become successful in life, if we want to please God and fulfill his purpose, then we need to be miraculous. We need to become like Him. Therefore, 2 Cor 5:12 says that no one discerns a righteous man. We are foolish if we think that our life will turn out according to our plans.
We need to respond when God calls. We cant decide when to follow God. Moses is remarkable example in history. He was a man with empty hands. He led six million people and provided for them for forty years. He became a pastor and counseled six million people. He cared for them, met their needs, disciplined them and brought them to the where God wanted them. This was because one man declared God’s ownership.
The miraculous God is waiting to hear the same. All we need to do is respond like Moses.
7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
God then, declares his covenant and says that he works according to his covenant.
 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

 12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you[b] will worship God on this mountain.”
God later talks to him about a destiny he has for him and Moses responds in the same way. There would be challenges but when God decides to use us, he will work the miracles. He is the God of time. We need to fulfill His purpose in His timing.
Let’s not focus on ourselves, our plans and our timings. Let’s focus our eyes on our Lord. Let’s not rebel against God but let us respond to Him. Let us surrender to His Will and walk in His miracles.

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