Children’s Study – Moses, Part 3 – The Lord Tells Moses to Lead His People

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Moses, Part 3 – The Lord tells Moses to lead His people

We need to be willing to give up everything for Christ if we want to rule with Him for a thousand years. That is the example our Lord gave us when He refused to bow down to the devil for all the kingdoms on earth and their power.

Mat 4:8 (CEV) Finally, the devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms on earth and their power.
Mat 4:9 The devil said to him, “I will give all this to you, if you will bow down and worship me.”

Think about that! The devil is offering all the kingdoms on earth and their power to Jesus. That’s everything this world can offer! Money, fame, admiration, among other things that people go after all their lives. Our Lord chose to serve God instead and rebuked Satan.

Mat 4:10 (CEV) Jesus answered, “Go away Satan! The Scriptures say: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.'”

This was also the lesson we learned from Moses when he gave up the pleasures of Egypt. He chose to suffer with God’s people instead.

Heb 11:24 (GNB) It was faith that made Moses, when he had grown up, refuse to be called the son of the king’s daughter.
Heb 11:25 He preferred to suffer with God’s people rather than to enjoy sin for a little while.

Egypt was probably one of the most powerful kingdoms, if not the most powerful, at that time. This was because of the famine that struck all of the lands, except for Egypt under Joseph’s leadership. Moses grew up as a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, and yet he gave up all that luxury and fame to be with God’s people. Do we have that attitude? Then we are given the same faith given to Moses.

Today we will continue the story of Moses, and we’ll begin from when the Pharaoh heard that Moses killed an Egyptian to defend a Hebrew man.

Exo 2:15 (ESV) When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well.
Exo 2:16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.

Hmm, have we not seen this picture before? Women drawing water from a well to feed to their father’s flock? Remember Abraham’s servant who was looking for a wife for Isaac? The first time he met Rebekah was when she was drawing water from a well.

Gen 24:15 (ESV) Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her water jar on her shoulder.

In this same way, Jacob met Rachel for the first time.

Gen 29:3 (CEV) Shepherds would roll the rock away when all their sheep had gathered there. Then after the sheep had been watered, the shepherds would roll the rock back over the mouth of the well.
Gen 29:4 Jacob asked the shepherds, “Where are you from?” “We’re from Haran,” they answered.
Gen 29:5 Then he asked, “Do you know Nahor’s grandson Laban?” “Yes we do,” they replied.
Gen 29:6 “How is he?” Jacob asked. “He’s fine,” they answered. “And here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.”

We see Moses meeting his future wife at a well while she and her sisters were trying to get water for their father’s flock. What is this pattern showing us? First, this repeating theme shows us that the Bible has one writer. It is God who wrote the Bible through men, including Moses, the prophets and the apostles. The other reason why the same scene keeps on repeating is God wants to tell us something very important.

What is this important lesson? Women, we have learned are symbols of the church. Water is symbol for God’s words. So this repeating scene is showing us how the church values God’s words as their true source of life.

Rebekah, Rachel and these seven daughters of the priest of Midian all symbolize the true church of God, the body of Christ.

Exo 2:17 (ESV) The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them, and watered their flock.
Exo 2:18 When they came home to their father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come home so soon today?”
Exo 2:19 They said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and even drew water for us and watered the flock.”

I guess Moses was still dressed like an Egyptian when he fled from Egypt, which is why Reuel’s daughters thought he was an Egyptian. It is also interesting that this priest is referred to as Reuel only this one time. For the rest of the book of Exodus, he is referred to as Jethro. We’ll see shortly what this name “Reuel” means.

Exo 2:20 (ESV) He said to his daughters, “Then where is he? Why have you left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.”
Exo 2:21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah.

Unlike Laban, Reuel was a good father-in-law to Moses. Moses was content to live with his father-in-law as he was also given one of Reuel’s daughters to be his wife. We should also be content with the blessings we receive from our Father in heaven.

Now to the meaning of the name “Reuel”. It’s a Hebrew name that means ‘friend of God’. The “Reu” part means ‘friend’, and the “el” part is Hebrew for ‘God’. A modern variation of the name would be Ruel.

God calls Abraham His friend.

Isa 41:8 (MKJV) But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, My friend;

So the lesson to get out of this is what it means to be the friend of God. Isaiah shows us what God does for His friends:

Isa 41:8 (CEV) Israel, you are my servant. I chose you, the family of my friend Abraham.
Isa 41:9 From far across the earth I brought you here and said, “You are my chosen servant. I haven’t forgotten you.”
Isa 41:10 Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong, as I protect you with my arm and give you victories.

God is always there to protect and strengthen His friends. He’s the one who chose them, so they shouldn’t be afraid of their enemies because God Himself will make sure they come up victorious.

On the other hand, what does God expect from His friends? James explains it to us when he explains why God called Abraham His friend.

Jas 2:22 (CEV) Now you see how Abraham’s faith and deeds worked together. He proved that his faith was real by what he did.
Jas 2:23 This is what the Scriptures mean by saying, “Abraham had faith in God, and God was pleased with him.” That’s how Abraham became God’s friend.
Jas 2:24 You can now see that we please God by what we do and not only by what we believe.

That’s how we show God that we are His friends; by doing things that please Him, just as by being friends with another person, we want to make that person happy. The apostle James is explaining that to be a real friend of God is not only to believe Him, but to also obey Him. We can talk about our faith all we want, but if we continue sinning, we are not God’s friends but rather His enemies.

Our Lord also called His true followers His friends.

Joh 15:14 (CEV) And you are my friends, if you obey me.

Our Lord says His friends obey Him. How can the churches of these world say they are God’s friends if they continue to disobey Him?

Joh 15:15 (CEV) Servants don’t know what their master is doing, and so I don’t speak to you as my servants. I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything that my Father has told me.

Our Lord also tells His friends secrets which most people don’t know. How can false churches claim to be Christ’s friends if they don’t understand God’s words?

As we continue the story of Moses, we’ll see how the Lord will tell Moses what He is about to do, as He has told Joseph before the seven years of good harvest and the seven years of famine occurred.

Reuel, also called Jethro, gave one of his daughters, Zipporah, to be Moses’ wife, and she gave birth to a son.

Exo 2:22 (ESV) She gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”
Exo 2:23 During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God.
Exo 2:24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
Exo 2:25 God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.

Of course, God knows our suffering, and we need to believe that one day He will end our suffering.

Exo 2:24 (CEV) and God heard their loud cries. He did not forget the promise he had made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
Exo 2:25 and because he knew what was happening to his people, he felt sorry for them.
Exo 3:1 One day, Moses was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and Moses decided to lead them across the desert to Sinai, the holy mountain.

After living in luxury in Egypt, Moses is now a shepherd as his ancestors were. We saw in the story of Joseph that the Egyptians hated shepherds because they didn’t want to rely on God’s good graces like the Hebrew shepherds. Moses led the flock across the desert to Sinai, the holy mountain and there he saw an extraordinary sight!

Exo 3:2 (CEV) There an angel of the LORD appeared to him from a burning bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire, but it was not burning up.
Exo 3:3 “This is strange!” he said to himself. “I’ll go over and see why the bush isn’t burning up.”

It is very interesting that Moses didn’t get frightened by this strange sight. Seeing a burning bush that doesn’t burn up, some people might have just ran away. But the Lord put it in Moses’ heart to be interested in this burning bush. The Lord’s words are also symbolized by fire:

Jer 5:14 (ESV) Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts: “Because you have spoken this word, behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them.

Did you notice that when the Lord told Jeremiah that His words will become a fire in Jeremiah’s mouth, He also told Jeremiah what this fire will do? This fire will burn up these rebellious people! Let’s read it again:

Jer 5:14 (ESV) Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts: “Because you have spoken this word, behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them.

Compare that to the bush that is not burned up by God’s words. This burning bush symbolizes the elect. This is how God approaches us, through His people who are able to handle His words without getting burned up.

Exo 3:4 (CEV) When the LORD saw Moses coming near the bush, he called him by name, and Moses answered, “Here I am.”
Exo 3:5 God replied, “Don’t come any closer. Take off your sandals–the ground where you are standing is holy.

God told Moses, “not so fast, take off your sandals first before you approach me.” In the same way, you just don’t approach God’s people in whatever way you want, you have to show much respect and the intent to change your walk.

Exo 3:6 (CEV) I am the God who was worshiped by your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Moses was afraid to look at God, and so he hid his face.

Again, we are reminded that it is the Lord who has been controlling things all along. When He says “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”, that’s what He is telling us. “I had been the One calling all the shots all this time.”

Exo 3:7 (CEV) The LORD said: 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,
Exo 3:8 and I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians. I will bring my people out of Egypt into a country where there is good land, rich with milk and honey. I will give them the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.
Exo 3:9 My people have begged for my help, and I have seen how cruel the Egyptians are to them.
Exo 3:10 Now go to the king! I am sending you to lead my people out of his country.
Exo 3:11 But Moses said, “Who am I to go to the king and lead your people out of Egypt?”

Moses starts out with a lot of doubt in himself and in God, just like we all start out. But God is patient with us, and He encourages us to continue.

Exo 3:12 (CEV) God replied, “I will be with you. And you will know that I am the one who sent you, when you worship me on this mountain after you have led my people out of Egypt.”

That’s how sure God is of what’s going to happen. He tells Moses outright “you will know that I am the one who sent you, when you worship me on this mountain after you have led my people out of Egypt” right after Moses expresses his doubts. In God’s mind, He planned it, therefore it will happen.

Exo 3:13 (ESV) Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”
Exo 3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”
Exo 3:15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
Exo 3:16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt,
Exo 3:17 and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.’

Next time, Lord willing, we will continue to see God’s power and how He will deliver His people from slavery through the leadership of Moses.

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