(Scripture reading: Hebrews 11:24-27; text Exo. 2:11-15a).
1. Jean-Paul Sarte said, “Choices, not chance, determines human destiny. We are our choices”.
a. God has given us the power to choose: God has no policeman to pass around and grab us by the neck and say you must read your Bible, you must go to church, or you must give to missions.
b. When God created man, He made man superior to all other creatures. He gave man the power and privilege of CHOICE. He will not force us.
c. With that privilege of choice, goes terrible responsibility by the results or consequences of our choices. We must be careful that we make the proper choices.
2. One of the goals we are seeking to attain as a church family is the Development of Servant Leadership in our church family. One of the great Leaders in the Scriptures who faced many challenges in leading God’s people was Moses. In my next series of lessons, we are going to be studying the life of this great servant of God..
3. We are not going to be doing a verse by verse study of the Life of Moses, but rather we are going to be looking at the life of Moses from the standpoint of Developing Servant Leadership and what we can learn from His life and service to God and God’s people. As we begin this study let us begin by looking at a crucial hour in his life and decision he had to make it and how he made it (Exo. 2:11-15a; Heb. 11:24-27). Part of the development of any leader, or child of God for that matter, is the ability to make crucial decisions Consider 3 criteria we need to consider in making choices in life. The 1st criteria for proper decision making is…
I. PROPER DECISIONS ARE PREPARED FOR BEFORE THE HOUR OF TRIAL (Heb. 11:24)
A. Exo. 2:11-12. Moses made a decision to side with his Hebrew brethren. I am not defending his actions in killing this Egyptian, but I am commending him for his decision to suffer affliction and seek to help God’s people.
a. Was this just a spur of the moment decision based on a whim or emotional impulse or was this something Moses had been thinking about for some time based on the values he held near and dear to his life & effected how he lived (i.e. Moral Compass)
b. Heb. 11:24. Moses became of age (i.e. now 40 years old, Acts 7:23). He had determined that he no longer wanted to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He made a choice to suffer affliction with his Hebrew brethren (Heb. 11:25).
c. His actions on this occasion were not an emotional impulse or whim, but came from his desire to serve God and God’s people (i.e. By Faith, Heb. 11:24, decision rooted in his faith, say more about this later). Because he had made this decision he was going out to visit and be with his brethren when these events occurred in Exo. 2 (cf. Acts 7:23).
d. He had integrity – Webster defines as “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values :incorruptibility” . I think of this as the ability to make a decision based on principles, not whims, and follow through that decision no matter what the costs, cf. Prov. 11:3; Prov. 19:1; 20:7; Psa. 15:1-5, esp. v.4).
B. Far too many make their decisions based on a whim or an emotional impulse (e.g. someone hurt me, I’ll post on Facebook, drink alcohol with friends, sex before marriage, big buying decisions, take a job that requires me to compromise my beliefs, seeking revenge on one who has hurt us). When we do this, we are governed by our emotions and whims, not walking with Integrity.
C. Moses’ integrity is seen that he prepares himself to be governed by a set of principles by which he lived (i.e. by faith long before his hour of trial came when he would have to make a crucial decision. This is a lesson we can learn. Walk with Integrity. Proper decisions are made based on principles we commit to long before the hour of trial comes upon us. A 2nd criteria for proper decision making is…
II. PROPER DECISIONS ARE MADE BY FAITH (Heb. 11:24).
A. What was this set of principles by which Moses was governed? By faith (Rom. 10:17). What factors did Moses consider when making the decision that he did to act on this occasion?
1. How will it affect my popularity? My income? My family?
2. His decision was rooted and grounded in faith (Heb. 11:24).
B. How had he come to know faith in God? (amazing story of God’s providence, parents placed him in basket when Pharaoh ordered all children to be killed Exo. 2:1-3; sister saw it told Pharaoh’s daughter she would find nurse who turned out to be Moses’ mother, Exo. 2:4-10; they acted by faith, Heb. 11:23).
C. Not trying to step on toes brethren, but some things need to be said. (2 Cor. 13:5; John 3:19-21, 2 Tim. 4:2). Parents are we following this example of Moses’ parents to teach them the faith?
1. I don’t live in your house. Don’t know if you study Scriptures with your children (Rom. 10:17; Prov.22:6; Eph. 6:4). But, I do know that poor attendance to our Bible classes by both adults and children does cause concern if we are committed to teach our children God’s Word as much as Moses parents were to teach him (cf. taking them to activities at school and sports?).
2. Again, I don’t know what all of you have going on in your life on Sunday evenings, but when brethren don’t come back for Sunday evening services, or men come to business meetings, but not prayer services what are we saying by our actions? Is this walking with integrity and trying to do all I can to encourage my brethren to remain faithful to the Lord (Heb. 10:24-25)? Proper decision are made by faith! A 3rd criteria for making proper decisions is…
III. PROPER DECISIONS ARE MADE BY WEIGHING THE COSTS (Heb. 11:25-26a)
A. Moses considered the cost of making the decision to pursue His walk with God (v.25-26a).
1. He was aware of the benefits of choosing to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, the passing pleasures of sin (v. 25), and enjoying the riches of Egypt (v.26a).
2. He also was aware of the cost of going over to the side of his Hebrew brethren (v. 25- suffer affliction, v. 26a – bear reproach).
B. It cost Moses a lot to make this decision to join the side of his Hebrew brethren (popularity – son of Pharaoh’s daughter, power in Egypt, tradition says Moses served as a general for Egypt against Ethopia (cf. it is quite possible, Acts 7:22 – “mighty in deeds”).
C. Moses also counted the benefits to gain in this decision to side with his Hebrew brethren (v.25 to be with God’s people; v.26 great riches in Christ).
D. Are we counting the costs in the decisions we make?
1. What are the cost of taking my child to Bible classes or of finding a ministry or beginning a ministry in the church to serve God? (i.e. time, energy). What are the cost if I do nothing? (i.e. apathy, not growing, not serving, not following in my Savior’s steps, Matt. 20:27-28). What are the cost of running ourselves ragged carting our children to every activity, but Bible classes?
2. What are the costs of loving my brethren (i.e. hurt, frustration at times, deal with discouragement). What are the benefits (i.e. grow in love, in patience, and in longsuffering).
3. Like Moses, let me encourage you to choose to side with your brethren, not with the world and Egypt (if you will).
1. From God’s great servant Moses, we learn some criteria we need to pursue if we are going to make proper decisions as leaders and as Christians (i.e. before the hour of trial – integrity, by faith, by weighing the costs).
a. There is really a 4th – i.e. proper decisions are followed through by maintaining our focus (Heb. 11:26b, must keep eyes on Jesus).
b. In wilderness, Moses remained faithful to God with Joshua and Caleb, rest of Israelites did not – always lost their focus). What was the difference – ability to keep these 3 criteria and keeping focus on God. We have to be careful about this.
2. I pray through God’s Word and looking at His great servant Moses and this important event in his life, I have given you some things to think about regarding how you make decisions. Again, I know I have said some challenging things in this lesson, which are not meant to hurt any of you for I love all of you dearly as my brethren. Each and every one of you mean a great deal to me and I want to spend an eternity in heaven with all of you. However, there are things that do cause me concern and as a family we have to have the courage to speak the truth to each other in love (Eph. 4:15).
3. Do you need to make a decision to ask for prayers? To Repent? To follow through on a decision to obey the gospel of Christ?