Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Shepherd Who Led A Nation

The Old Testament is full of heroes. All through it, we come across a great man or woman of God who was provided to them at the right time.

When we read the story of Moses, it's obvious that the hand of God was on him all the way through his life. His first few months in Exodus are nothing short of miraculous. His mother was not going to let her son be killed by Pharaoh, so she hid him for 3 months. At this stage, it was getting too difficult to hide him any longer, so she sought God and then built him a crib that was made to float on the water.
Interesting how she trusted God to look after a helpless child so much, that she placed him in a river known for it's crocodiles!

Yet, God of course, could be trusted. He watched over Moses in such a way that he was attended to by his sister, nursed by his mother and then raised in a palace by the king's daughter. One act of trust in God made Moses a prince and it was this position that was going to make him a leader.

Moses as a young man, had now been raised in the palace. He knew about the one, true God and refused to worship the false gods of Egypt. He had been trained to be a prince, to live a life of authority and to see things as one who cared for those who were under his authority. This is why Moses was so angry when he saw a Hebrew man being mistreated by an Egyptian. The prince checked that the coast was clear and he killed the Egyptian, buried him in the sand and thought he got away from it.

Yet the next day, when he saw 2 Hebrews quarreling, the one who started the argument questioned Moses' motives, wondering if he was going to "Kill me as you did your fellow Egyptian?"
This must have really scared Moses as he fled the land and went to the land of Midian.

I was thinking about this and The Lord reminded me of a story a friend told me about something that happened to him on one continent, which he realised afterwards, was of the enemy.
He arrived back in Dublin, and a good while later (I seem to recall that it was a number of months), a similar situation came up when a person he was talking to, spoke of the incident in the other country, saying that he had no authority because of it.
This was in a different city, in a different land, on a different continent and in a different language, with different people, yet he was challenged by the enemy specifically.
He recognised this straight away and was able to deal with the situation, thanks to the Holy Spirit giving him wisdom to do it.
I wonder if this is what happened with Moses? Was the devil having a go at him directly? Did someone witness the fight or was it the enemy who was accusing him?

Our God is bigger than anything the enemy can throw at us, so even when the enemy tries to flex his muscles across different continents, you need to remind him that he has no authority over us, other than any that we give him (letting the enemy into situations gives him sway over how we act and react). Jesus defeated him on the cross and his victory is eternal. 
Jesus spoke in Matthew 28 v 18 saying:

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."

So if Jesus said He has all authority in heaven and on earth, then the devil has none!

But back to Moses, he had glanced to see that there was nobody watching him and then killed the Egyptian. If nobody saw him, how did this Hebrew know about it?
The enemy is known as the accuser of the brethren, he will throw your past failures at you in an attempt to stop you fulfilling your God given position that has full authority over him.
It was the Hebrew who started the fight that accused Moses, and Moses fled, knowing that he'd be in serious trouble for killing an Egyptian.

Moses had been trained to take care of those under him, and in doing that, he got into trouble. Moses had the mindset of a prince and that meant he had great concern for the people under him.
A prince takes responsibility and acts out of authority.

When Moses stopped running, he was thrown straight into another conflict. He stepped into the place where others were being bullied and stood up for them, only this time, he was rewarded for his deed, and got a wife and a family along with a job as a shepherd. (Exodus 2)

Moses, who had been stepping into situations and standing up for others, was now tasked with looking after a flock of sheep.

The man who was born a Levite, had married into a Levite family and was in the process of becoming one of the greatest men to walk this planet, who would soon see the Glory of God Ex 33 was watching sheep in the desert when he was called into his ministry at the burning bush.

Sometimes, God needs to take us back to basics before He will allow us to move into the place He has destined us to be. This time with Jethro would have been a time of real teaching for Moses, after all, Jethro was a priest and Moses would have sat with him, learning the ways of the Lord that he had missed out on while he was in Egypt.

Moses had moved from the palace where God wasn't honoured, to a desert where God was present. He had moved from a time of barrenness to a time of abundance.

The thing that amazes me is that Moses was around 80 years old when this happened. God is not concerned about our age. He looks at our heart (1 Sam 16v7) and will call us into where He wants us to be, when we are ready. It took Moses 80 years to be ready to lead the Israelites, so don't ever listen to the lie that you're too old!

The next part of Moses life centered around the Israelites leaving Egypt. God uses him mightily and sent plague after plague until Pharaoh relented and let them go. Then, when they left, he realised his mistake and chased them down.
Moses, by this stage, knew his God much better than he had as a younger man, and he just trusted Him to fulfill the prophecy that he had been given in Exodus 3v8

"So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites."

God had spoken, Moses knew God's promise had not been fulfilled so he knew God was going to help them out. God allowed them to cross the sea on dry land and they entered the desert and the first major step in the direction of the promised land.

God knew that everything that had happened in Moses' life was helping him to become the man God saw him to be. He became a prince, to speak up for the weak, he became a shepherd, to hear from the Lord, he became a leader, to rescue a nation and he became a man who saw the Glory of God.
God is the only one who can turn any situation around in your life. He is the only one who can bring about an outcome that even in your wildest dreams, you never could have seen.
He can use a child who was condemned to death before he was born, to stand before a king as an 80 year old man, tell him to let his slaves be freed- and by the way, why not give us a load of gifts too while you're at it.

Whatever is going on in your life, God can help you. Moses demonstrated the relationship that could be attained with God in the old testament. Jesus allows all of us to step into that right now, and the situation, whatever it is, is never too big for God to intervene in.

Roger C.

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