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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”—Exodus 3:9–10 (NLT)
It’s been said that one moment can change your entire life. Sometimes, it’s a choice made for us by our family. Sometimes, it’s a massive mistake or poor decision that changes the course of our destiny and we’re forced to live with the consequences. Sometimes, it’s something like a conversation that sparks our career path and the direction of our future. And sometimes, it’s all of the above!
This was the case in the life of Moses. If you’re not familiar with Moses’ story, he was born 400 years after Joseph, who had ascended to power in Egypt following a few turning point moments of his own. After reconciling with his brothers and being reunited with his father, he brought his entire family to Egypt because of a devastating famine that had befallen the land—which he had helped Egypt prepare for. But over the next 400 years, something happened: The children of Israel became brutally treated slaves of the Egyptians.
Exodus 1:12 (NLT) tells us, “But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became.” So, Pharaoh enacted a new policy: “Throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River” (Exodus 1:22 NLT). This was the first major turning point for Moses as his mother refused to have him killed and placed him in a basket and sent him down the river, where he was found by Pharaoh’s daughter who eventually adopted him as her own son.
Years later, as an adult, he went out to visit his people and witnessed an Egyptian brutally beating a Hebrew. He intervened and ended up killing the Egyptian. This was the second major turning point for Moses. Though he tried to hide it, the news spread, and “sure enough, Pharaoh heard what had happened, and he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in the land of Midian” (Exodus 2:15 NLT).
It was the third major turning point, though, that truly rocked his world to the core and changed his eternal destiny. What was so special about this last one? It was a literal encounter with God! You see, by the time Moses encountered the burning bush, he had made a really solid life for himself. He married into a nice family and had a son. He had settled into his new life and new role, shepherding his father-in-law’s flocks. He was comfortable.
But God’s not interested in comfort; He’s interested in redemption. He doesn’t want us to settle; He wants to breathe new life into every person. Pastor Louie Giglio once wrote, “I have a deep conviction that the greatest regret any of us will ever know is that of standing before Jesus knowing we lived too safe, too comfortable, too short-sighted.”
God had something bigger, better, and more profound in mind for Moses. So, He called to Moses. He said, ““I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt . . . Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:7–8, 10 NLT).
Talk about breaking away from comfort, security, and settling. Moses is being sent back to the land he was once a fugitive to lead a people who didn’t really know him. So, he asks, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:11 NLT)? And God’s reply is all any of us would ever need to accomplish anything we’re called to: “I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12 NLT). God will never send us to do a work He won’t lead us through.
This is the promise He sent Moses to Egypt with, and it’s the promise Jesus gave to us in Matthew 28:19–20 as He commissioned us to go into the world to preach the gospel and make disciples. So, with these words, we can go out in confidence and security knowing that the God who delivered the people of Israel through Moses will be with us as He delivers people from their sins through us!