October 30, 2011 – November 5, 2011
Faith of Our Fathers
“I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses.” Micah 6:4.
Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 469–480; Testimonies, vol. 1, 290–302; vol. 4, 20–27.
“Moses was selected to be the shepherd of God’s own people, and it was through his firm faith and abiding trust in the Lord that so many blessings reached the children of Israel.” Special Testimonies on Education, 117.
1 THE CHILDHOOD OF MOSES
- Through God’s providence, Joseph was able to supply the Hebrews with a goodly heritage in the land of Goshen. But what happened after his death? Acts 7:15–19.
Note: “They [the descendants of Jacob] had kept themselves a distinct race, having nothing in common with the Egyptians in customs or religion; and their increasing numbers now excited the fears of the king and his people. …
“The king and his counselors had hoped to subdue the Israelites with hard labor, and thus decrease their numbers and crush out their independent spirit. Failing to accomplish their purpose, they proceeded to more cruel measures. Orders were issued … to destroy the Hebrew male children. … The whole nation was called upon to hunt out and slaughter his helpless victims.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 242.
- By a miracle of God, Jochebed was able to keep her infant son, Moses, throughout his early childhood before he would have to be given over, to be reared by the daughter of Pharaoh. How did she utilize this precious time? Hebrews 11:23; Proverbs 6:22.
Note: “She [Jochebed] endeavored to imbue his [Moses’] mind with the fear of God and the love of truth and justice, and earnestly prayed that he might be preserved from every corrupting influence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 243, 244.
2 PREPARATION FOR A LIFEWORK
- How did Moses develop in Egypt? Acts 7:21, 22. With all the splendor of the world’s greatest nation at his future command, what did he decide? Hebrews 11:24–27.
- How and why was God to train Moses, and what were the results? Acts 7:23–35.
Note: “In the wilds of Midian, Moses spent forty years as a keeper of sheep. Apparently cut off forever from his life’s mission, he was receiving the discipline essential for its fulfillment. Wisdom to govern an ignorant and undisciplined multitude must be gained through self-mastery. In the care of the sheep and the tender lambs he must obtain the experience that would make him a faithful, long-suffering shepherd to Israel. That he might become a representative of God, he must learn of Him.
“The influences that had surrounded him in Egypt, the affection of his foster mother, his own position as the grandson of the king, the luxury and vice that allured in ten thousand forms, the refinement, the subtlety, and the mysticism of a false religion, had made an impression on his mind and character. In the stern simplicity of the wilderness all this disappeared.
“Amidst the solemn majesty of the mountain solitudes Moses was alone with God. Everywhere the Creator’s name was written. Moses seemed to stand in His presence and to be overshadowed by His power. Here his self-sufficiency was swept away. In the presence of the Infinite One he realized how weak, how inefficient, how short-sighted, is man. …
“To Moses faith was no guesswork; it was a reality. He believed that God ruled his life in particular; and in all its details he acknowledged Him. For strength to withstand every temptation, he trusted in Him.
“The great work assigned him he desired to make in the highest degree successful, and he placed his whole dependence upon divine power. He felt his need of help, asked for it, by faith grasped it, and in the assurance of sustaining strength went forward.
“Such was the experience that Moses gained by his forty years of training in the desert. To impart such an experience, Infinite Wisdom counted not the period too long or the price too great.” Education, 62–64.
3 MIRACLES AT THE EXODUS
- How was Moses able to establish before the people the authority entrusted to him by God, and how did Satan counterfeit it? Exodus 7:8–12; 8:16–18. What must we understand about the parallel to this phenomenon in the last days?
Note: “I [Ellen White] was pointed back to the time of Moses and saw the signs and wonders which God wrought through him before Pharaoh, most of which were imitated by the magicians of Egypt; and that just before the final deliverance of the saints, God would work powerfully for His people, and these modern magicians would be permitted to imitate the work of God.
“That time will soon come, and we shall have to keep hold of the strong arm of Jehovah; for all these great signs and mighty wonders of the devil are designed to deceive God’s people and overthrow them. Our minds must be stayed upon God, and we must not fear the fear of the wicked, that is, fear what they fear, and reverence what they reverence, but be bold and valiant for the truth. Could our eyes be opened, we should see forms of evil angels around us, trying to invent some new way to annoy and destroy us. And we should also see angels of God guarding us from their power; for God’s watchful eye is ever over Israel for good, and He will protect and save His people, if they put their trust in Him. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” Early Writings, 59, 60.
- What miracles further accompanied the exodus, and how did the Lord endorse the leadership of Moses at this amazing time? Acts 7:36, 37; Psalms 103:6, 7; 105:26–42.
Note: “The Lord brought up His people from their long servitude in a signal manner, giving the Egyptians an opportunity to exhibit the feeble wisdom of their mighty men, and array the power of their gods in opposition to the God of heaven. The Lord showed them by His servant Moses that the Maker of the heavens and the earth is the living and all-powerful God, above all gods. That His strength was mightier than the strongest—that Omnipotence could bring forth his people with a high hand and with an outstretched arm. The signs and miracles performed in the presence of Pharaoh were not given for his benefit alone, but for the advantage of God’s people.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 204, 205.
4 LESSONS FOR TODAY
- Why should we deeply appreciate some of the important illustrations cherished by the faithful ones participating in the exodus? I Corinthians 10:1–4; Hebrews 11:28.
Note: “Here [the Passover sprinkling of blood] was a work required of the children of Israel, which they must perform on their part, to prove them and to show their faith by their works in the great deliverance God had been bringing about for them. In order to escape the great judgment of God which he was to bring upon the Egyptians, the token of blood must be seen upon their houses. And they were required to separate themselves and their children from the Egyptians, and gather them into their own houses, for if any of the Israelites were found in the houses of the Egyptians, they would fall by the hand of the destroying angel. …
“The Passover pointed backward to the deliverance of the children of Israel, and was also typical, pointing forward to Christ, the Lamb of God, slain for the redemption of fallen man.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 223–225.
- How can the miracle at the Red Sea apply to us? Hebrews 11:29; Exodus 14:10–16.
Note: “There are times when the Christian life seems beset by dangers, and duty seems hard to perform. The imagination pictures impending ruin before, and bondage or death behind. Yet the voice of God speaks clearly above all discouragements: ‘Go forward.’ We should obey this command, let the result be what it may, even though our eyes cannot penetrate the darkness and though we feel the cold waves about our feet.
“The Hebrews were weary and terrified; yet if they had held back when Moses bade them advance, if they had refused to move nearer to the Red Sea, God would never have opened the path for them. In marching down to the very water, they showed that they had faith in the word of God as spoken by Moses. They did all that it was in their power to do, and then the Mighty One of Israel performed His part, and divided the waters to make a path for their feet.
“The clouds that gather about our way will never disappear before a halting, doubting spirit. … It is only through faith that we can reach heaven.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 26, 27.
5 DELIVERANCE TO THE FAITHFUL OBEDIENT
- What should we learn from the real purpose for which God so graciously led and protected His heritage through that wilderness journey? Psalm 105:43–45.
Note: “There is great similarity between our history and that of the children of Israel. God led His people from Egypt into the wilderness, where they could keep His law and obey His voice. The Egyptians, who had no regard for the Lord, were encamped close by them; yet what was to the Israelites a great flood of light, illuminating the whole camp, and shedding brightness upon the path before them, was to the hosts of Pharaoh a wall of clouds, making blacker the darkness of night.
“So, at this time, there is a people whom God has made the depositaries of His law. To those who obey them, the commandments of God are as a pillar of fire, lighting and leading the way to eternal salvation. But unto those who disregard them, they are as the clouds of night.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 27.
- How is our experience to reflect the experience of Moses? Micah 6:3, 4; Revelation 15:2, 3.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 In guiding the young, what can I learn from the focus of Jochebed, Moses’ mother?
2 How might God be leading me to learn what Moses did during his period of solitude in the desert?
3 How can I cultivate the discernment to distinguish between true and false miracles?
4 In what areas of my life may God be saying right now, “Go forward by faith”?
5 Why do the 144,000 sing the song of Moses and the Lamb?
©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.