Theme: God s dealings with Moses gives hope to leaders and to oppressed

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1 Title: MOSES: A PROPHET BECOMES A GREAT LEADER Space for Notes (Yours and ours) Theme: God s dealings with Moses gives hope to leaders and to oppressed people Bible Basis: Deuteronomy 34:10-12 NLT; Exodus 2 CEV; Acts 7:17-36 CEV; Hebrews 11:23-26 CEV* Introduction: God made Joseph a great leader in Egypt. Joseph brought his father Jacob s family to Egypt to care for them. Jacob s descendants were called Israelites. Now we will learn about the hardships of God s people, the Israelites, in Egypt. We will also learn about Moses, the great religious leader of Israel. Moses story is found in the book of Exodus in the Bible. He is considered one of the greatest people in the world. Listen to what the Bible says about Moses: *Producers: Exodus 2 is where the story of Moses birth and flight from Egypt is found. We have used Acts 7:17-36 as a summary of Exodus 2 in the message. The passages from Hebrews 11 and Deuteronomy 34 are included in the message because they add to our understanding of Moses. There has never been another prophet like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face. The LORD sent Moses to perform all the miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants, and his entire land. And it was through Moses that the LORD demonstrated his mighty power and terrifying acts in the sight of all Israel. Deuteronomy 34:10-12, NLT What powerful words the Bible uses to describe Moses! This is his story. The descendants of Jacob and Joseph greatly increased in numbers in Egypt. Many years after Joseph died a new king began to rule Egypt. He had never heard of Joseph. He mistreated the Israelites and forced them into slavery under the Egyptians. The king made them do very hard labor, but they kept increasing in numbers. So the king was full of fear. He thought so many Israelites would take over Egypt. He decided to stop them. He ordered the Israelites to throw every newborn baby boy into the Nile river. This would create panic and eliminate men to oppose the king. Listen to this true story from the Bible: During this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got Page 1

2 married. The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw what a beautiful baby he was and kept him hidden for three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she got a little basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the edge of the Nile River. The baby s sister then stood at a distance, watching to see what would happen to him. Soon after this, one of Pharaoh s daughters came down to bathe in the river, and her servant girls walked along the riverbank. When the princess saw the little basket among the reeds, she told one of her servant girls to get it for her. As the princess opened it, she found the baby boy. His helpless cries touched her heart. He must be one of the Hebrew* children, she said. Then the baby s sister approached the princess. Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you? she asked. Yes, do! the princess replied. So the girl rushed home and called the baby s mother. Take this child home and nurse him for me, the princess told her. I will pay you for your help. So the baby s mother took her baby home and nursed him. Later, when he was older, the child s mother brought him back to the princess, who adopted him as her son. The princess named him Moses, for she said, I drew him out of the water. * Hebrew is the word for the larger ethnic group to which the Israelites belonged. The Bible uses the words Hebrew and Israelite to refer to the same people. Exodus 2, NLT So Moses became the king s adopted grandson. The Bible says Moses was given the best education in Egypt. He was a strong man and a powerful speaker. Moses saw how the king treated his fellow Israelites. He was forced to make an important choice: Would he identify with his people, the Hebrews, and oppose the injustice of the king? Or would he ignore the oppression of his people and continue to enjoy the security, comforts and riches of the Egyptian palace? The Bible says this: Then after Moses grew up, his faith made him refuse to be called the king s grandson. He chose to be mistreated with God s people instead of having the good time that sin could bring for a little while. Moses Page 2

3 knew that the treasures of Egypt were not as wonderful as what he would receive from suffering for the Messiah, and he looked forward to his reward. Hebrews 11:24-26, CEV This is what Moses did to resist the king: When Moses was forty years old, he wanted to help the Israelites because they were his own people. One day he saw an Egyptian mistreating one of them. So he rescued the man and killed the Egyptian. Moses thought the rest of his people would realize that God was going to use him to set them free. But they didn t understand. The next day Moses saw two of his own people fighting, and he tried to make them stop. He said, Men, you are both Israelites. Why are you so cruel to each other? But the man who had started the fight pushed Moses aside and asked, Who made you our ruler and judge? Are you going to kill me, just as you killed that Egyptian yesterday? Acts 7:23-28, CEV Moses was afraid when he heard this. He ran away from Egypt alone. His attempt to liberate his people ended in fear. He fled to the distant land of Midian.* Moses married a Midianite woman and lived there. Forty years later Moses was watching his flocks one day when God appeared to him in a bush. The bush burned with fire but did not burn up completely! God told Moses, I am the God who was worshiped by your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. ** The Lord said to him, Take off your sandals. The place where you are standing is holy. With my own eyes I have seen the suffering of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groans and have come down to rescue them. Now I am sending you back to Egypt. Acts 7:33-34, CEV * The land of Midian was in what is now called the Arabian desert. Mount Sinai is found there also. ** Exodus 3:6 Moses was afraid to return. He begged God to send someone else. He made many excuses and told God he could not go. God became angry with Moses. Moses was looking at his own weaknesses when he should have been concentrating on God s great power and authority. Page 3

4 But God did not give up on Moses. He told him to return to Egypt. God would give Moses power to do great miracles. God himself would demonstrate his great power by sending plagues to hurt the Egyptians. God reminded Moses that Moses was not the true leader of Israel. God is. This story teaches us some important truths. 1. God cares for people who are oppressed. God raises up leaders to deliver them. The Israelites were slaves for 400 years. But God did not forget them. He told Moses, I have seen how my people are suffering as slaves in Egypt, and I have heard them beg for my help because of the way they are being mistreated. I feel sorry for them, and I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians. * * Exodus 3: Brash human attempts at leadership fail. Moses learned that. He was in a position to be an ideal leader. The Bible says he was a beautiful child. He was given the best education in the great nation of Egypt. His cause was noble the liberation of his oppressed people. If anyone should have been a great leader, it was Moses. But he did not wait for God. He tried to free the Hebrews in his own way instead of depending on God. 3. God supports and prepares the leaders whom he calls. God later called Moses to lead the Hebrews to freedom. God is the true leader. Moses learned patience and wisdom from God. Moses couldn t liberate one Israelite by himself. But with God s power and support he freed all of them! Conclusion: Are you experiencing oppression? If you are, be strong! Know that God sees your tears and hears your cries for help. He will not forget you. Know that God cares for you. He has a plan to deliver you. But you must wait for his wise and perfect timing. Do you wish to be a leader? You must first learn humility and patience. Ask God to call and prepare you for his service. If you are faithful in the tasks he gives you, he will make a strong and wise leader out of you. I will pray now. I hope you will also say this prayer to God. Page 4

5 Prayer Suggestion: Lord God, you are the real leader of all people. You want them to experience freedom to worship and serve you. You do not like to see innocent people suffer. Help me today. I am willing to obey you as Moses did. In Jesus name, Amen. Page 5

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