The Life of Moses – Moses Grows in Faith
We have seen Moses struggle in having strong faith. Moses struggled in believing that God would use him. He struggled with having faith that God would tell him what to say. He struggled in having faith that the Israelites would listen to him. Once he started the journey we see that Moses had struggled to stand up for the faith and have his boy circumcised. His wife wanted no part of that. Strong faith would obey God anyway and trust that God would bless your obedience and that He would deal with the situation.
It really is an act of faith to be totally submitted to all of God’s commands. Faith that God’s commands are right. Faith that God will protect us from those who disagree or are hostile towards what God commands. In Moses’ case his wife.
And we saw that the Moses went no further with God until the issue of disobedience was dealt with and yes hypocrisy. God could not have Moses telling others to do what he was not willing to do himself.
Moses has now taken care of the issue of disobedience. And he is now in a position to move forward.
So in faith he marches on toward Pharaoh and the great task ahead of him.
The first stop once they got to Egypt was to see the elders of Israel and tell the great news that God was going to deliver them.
Exo 4:28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.
Exo 4:29 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel:
Exo 4:30 And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.
Exo 4:31 And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.
You have to watch closely or you are going to miss the growth of Moses’ faith during his time in Egypt. In verse 30 who did the speaking and the signs in the sight of the people?
Aaron Did. If you remember it was God’s plan for Moses to do the speaking and the signs. Moses was making excuses so God gave to Moses Aaron to speak for him. But Moses was still to do the signs.
Exo 4:16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.
Exo 4:17 And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.
So God told Moses, Aaron will speak and you shalt take this rod in thine hand. Moses was to take the rod, and Moses was to do the signs. Moses’ excuse was his mouth and not his hands.
So when they got to Egypt Aaron should have spoke and Moses should have done the signs. But Aaron is doing it all. At this point Moses is being, well not very bold. But Moses is moving. He is there. By faith he went to Egypt. He is not running away. He is keeping himself in a position where God can work.
After seeing the Israelites it is time for the first interview with Pharaoh.
Exo 5:1 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.
Exo 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.
Exo 5:3 And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.
Exo 5:4 And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens.
It did not go well. This should not be a shock. Think about it from how the Egyptian society was set up. Without Pharaoh no man could lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. For Pharaoh great Egypt existed. For him all other men lived, suffered, and died. For him the mighty Nile flowed. For Pharaoh vast numbers of priests and magicians and courtiers worked and ministered. From his throne he looked down on the wretched crowds careless of their miseries. The tears, cries and suffering of people meant nothing to him.
This first response was to be expected. God had not got to work yet. This was just the introductory announcement.
A bump in the road
Exo 5:20 And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh:
Exo 5:21 And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.
Exo 5:22 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me?
Exo 5:23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.
Remember Moses just got there. He has had only one meeting with Pharaoh. Not one plague has happened yet. He meets resistance. Pharaoh responds with increasing the burden on the people. The people react badly towards Moses.
And Moses accuses God of treating the people evil.
And Moses accuses God of not acting.
This is not great faith we see here. Moses’ faith still has some growing to do.
What happens next is really amazing. It is a testimony to Gods great love and patience and longsuffering. God does not knock Moses off his feet. Instead God reassures Moses that He is about to do great and mighty things. He reaffirms the promise that He is going to deliver them with a strong hand. And God reminds Moses that He made a promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph. We are not going to read all of that (chapter 6) because we need to get thru this lesson today. But during all of that exchange. Moses speaks two times. Neither of them good.
Exo 6:12 And Moses spake before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?
Exo 6:29 That the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I am the LORD: speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee.
Exo 6:30 And Moses said before the LORD, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?
Here is a great example of love and longsuffering of God in the Old Testament. Moses is still not knocked to the floor. I mean by this point I dare say we would have lost it.
Moses’ focus is still on himself. They did not listen to me so Pharaoh will not listen to me.
Some of you are starting to think. Where is the Moses that I remember? He is almost here. This is all about to start changing.
Something changes – Moses given time to grow.
Several things are about to happen that changes Moses attitude and greatly grows his faith. We will soon see a Moses who will stand at the Red Sea and boldly declare see the salvation of the Lord. Exo 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
And Moses is going to go from being the timid man we have been reading about to a man who has bold faith and in a fairly short time.
The first thing that happens to make this change is something very simple. Moses does not quit; he does not run. Even though he has doubts and is timid he sticks it out. This is critical. Many people will start some area of service that takes some faith, hit a snag, have doubts, and run for the hills. People who do that will never have their faith grow. If you want your faith to grow, step out, and then stick it out.
God gives Moses some more information about what is going to happen and why.
Exo 7:3 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.
Exo 7:4 But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.
Now Moses knows why Pharaoh will not hearken unto them. He also now knows that it is not because of Moses, but because it is in God’s plan.
The Bible teaches us that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. This is important. Moses keeps listening to the Word of God. This is another thing that helps Moses’ faith grow.
So Moses is sticking it out, and Moses is listening to the Word of God. Two very basic, fundamental, critical things we all must do to have our faith grow.
The next thing we see is God letting Moses take a few baby steps.
Exo 7:9 When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.
Exo 7:10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
God saw that Moses was not yet comfortable and bold enough to use the Rod. Instead of Chastisement. God tells Moses to have Aaron use the rod. And Aaron uses the rod again when the water is turned to blood, and again during the plague of frogs.
So God said the river would be turned to blood, and it was. And God said there would be a plague of frogs and there was. And Moses is right there seeing this. When you see the Word of God is true, and then you see it again, and again. It will have an effect upon your faith.
Exo 8:8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD.
Exo 8:9 And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only?
Exo 8:10 And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God.
Look who is talking now!
Moses said unto Pharaoh. Moses’ faith is growing and we see him getting more bold.
Moses then goes out and prays.
Exo 8:11 And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only.
Exo 8:12 And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh.
Exo 8:13 And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields.
Exo 8:14 And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank.
And God answers the prayer of Moses.
What happens to your faith when God answers your prayers?
Next comes the plague of lice and again Aaron uses the rod.
Then comes the plague of flies. Pharaoh calls for Moses and it is Moses once again who speaks. Moses prays that the plague of flies would end.
Exo 8:30 And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the LORD.
Exo 8:31 And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one.
Another answer to prayer. And what an answer. Not one fly remained. Not one. Out of the millions of flies it would have took to fill Egypt there remained not one. This is a total, complete, perfect answer to prayer. And faith grows.
Then comes the plague on the cattle. And after that comes the boils.
The Moses you remember is now here
Exo 9:8 And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh.
Exo 9:9 And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.
Exo 9:10 And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.
Look who is now actively involved in bringing the plagues. Moses took the ashes and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven. The man who was timid and would not use the rod is now boldly standing up and acting on behalf of His great God for all to see.
Exo 9:11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.
Can you see the faith growing?
Now it is time for the hail to come. Watch Moses close during this one.
Exo 9:22 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.
Exo 9:23 And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
Moses is now using the rod. Moses is the one speaking now and Moses is the one using the rod. This was God’s original request. God knew that Moses could do it long before Moses knew it. God took a man who was willing to stick it out and listen to the Word of God and built him up. God had patience and kept working and the faith of Moses kept growing until the man is fulfilling what God asked him to do.
Take a look at what Moses says to Pharaoh during the hail.
Exo 9:29 And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the LORD’S.
Exo 9:30 But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the LORD God.
No longer any doubt here. And the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail. Confidant faith in what was not yet seen. And Moses says that he knows that Pharaoh will not yet let them go. And there is no accusing God or bad attitude about it like there was at the first bump in the road in Chapter 5, no doubt like in chapter 6. Are you seeing the growth here?
Next comes the plague of locusts. It is Moses who is still speaking. It is Moses who stretched out his hand to bring the locusts, and it is Moses who prays that they will leave. Then comes the plague of darkness and it is Moses who stretches out his hand to bring the darkness.
And when Pharaoh offers a compromise it is a bold Moses who tells Pharaoh, there shall not an hoof be left behind;
I love that. We are not leaving so much as one hoof.
The Moses you remember, the man you think of when you hear the name Moses. The great man of faith and boldness is now here.
What a transformation!
Some might think I can never have great faith like Moses had. I am too weak and have too many doubts.
Wait a minute. Where you sleeping during the beginning of this lesson. Moses was a huge doubter. His faith was very week. And God built him.
You can do the same things that Moses did to have his faith grow by leaps and bounds.
Don’t quit and don’t run. Stick it out. Even when you doubt like Moses did.
Listen to the Word of God. And see that it is true over and over again.
We don’t get to see plagues announced and come true. But we get to see all of hundreds and hundreds of promises and truths in the Bible come true over and over again.
Look at the Word of God about raising children, or prayer, or giving, or morals, and on and on, and you will see that the Word of God is absolutely true.
You keep looking, you keep listening, and your faith will grow.
– Our faith grows when we see God work in our lives. But to see God work we must be active, working, moving, trusting, and listening.