A Leader Called

MEMORY SELECTION: “The Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters.” —Exodus 3:7


WE LEARNED in our previous lesson that when the time for the fulfillment of the promise to Abram began to approach, God permitted the trials and oppression of the Israelites to intensify. (Acts 7:17-20) He also raised up a leader from among them, Moses, who was to be their leader and deliverer when the proper time came.

In Exodus 2 is recorded the miraculous deliverance of Moses from death and how God arranged through his providences, to have Pharaoh’s daughter bring the babe Moses into the royal household in order that he might be educated and trained to be the deliverer and head of a great nation.

When Moses was grown and the opportunity presented itself (Exod. 2:11-14), he apparently decided to take things into his own hands and ease the oppression of his countrymen. But God, who does everything according to his preconceived plan, had not given Moses the authority or permission to act at that time or in that way. Therefore the Lord made it necessary for Moses to flee from Egypt into the wilderness.

Moses was humble under the Lord’s hands, and for forty years he was content to be a lowly shepherd. But at the proper time the Lord appeared to Moses in the burning bush and instructed him as to how he was to deliver the children of Israel from their oppressors, the Egyptians.

When the magnitude of the task was fully realized by Moses, he felt inadequate and endeavored to make excuses and avoid the assignment. One of the excuses voiced by Moses was that the children of Israel would not believe him when he met with them to reveal God’s plan of deliverance. God answered this objection as follows, “I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”—Exod. 3:14

Because of long association with the Egyptians and their heathen gods, it is possible that the children of Israel had lost much of their faith concerning the true God. God’s answer to Moses was to reassure them and to rekindle their faith. The expression “I AM THAT I AM” is equivalent to Jehovah, the self-existing One, the One who always exists.

The Heavenly father, apparently willing to give Moses additional evidence of the authority and power vested in him, said, “What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod [staff]. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: That they may believe the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.”—Exod. 4:2-5

The assurance that he would be able to give this demonstration, and others also, gave Moses the needed bolstering of his faith in God and confidence in himself to go forth and accomplish the thing that God had for him to do.

We who are endeavoring to walk in the footsteps of Jesus should learn a lesson from this experience of Moses. Often when we become discouraged because of lack of service or fearful in appraising the task set before us, the Lord would have us realize that our strength is not of ourselves. Our strength is in the Lord. He is capable of taking what we have, regardless of how unimpressive those things might be, and, by his power, use us in the accomplishment of his will.

In spite of all the assurances that God had provided him, Moses still demurred, protesting that his speech was poor. But once again the Lord considered Moses’ hesitancy and gave him his brother Aaron to be his mouthpiece. We read in Exodus 4:30,31, “And Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 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 worshiped.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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