TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART ONE: THE MAN ..........................................................I
FROM BIRTH TO THE BURNING BUSH
The Favor of God.................................................................2
The Goodly Child Knows Rejection.......................................13
Death by Choice................................................................21
Pride Confuses the Choosing ..............................................27
Looking and Turning...........................................................44
Causes of Rejection ...........................................................54
Effects of Rejection ............................................................60
But … But … But.................................................................68
Partial Obedience ..............................................................79
Fresh or Committed ...........................................................87
PART TWO: THE VESSEL..................................................107
FROM THE PLAGUES TO THE PROMISES
Obedience Can Be Hard ..................................................108
Unable but Willing............................................................118
Developing Trust and Obedience ......................................127
Weapon of Choice...........................................................140
Betty Lou .......................................................................150
PART THREE: THE FRIEND OF GOD....................................159
FROM THE EXODUS TO THE EXILE
Coming Out to Become....................................................160
The Visible Vessel............................................................172
God Will Be Glorified........................................................180
Take Me to the Mountain ..................................................191
Sabbath Moments ............................................................200
Face-to-Face Worship .......................................................210
The Promise of Canaan ...................................................219
An Angry Root .................................................................229
Moses…the word seems to linger in the air. His life reaches out to us from across the ages declaring a friendship that was forged in the midst of challenging and uncertain circumstances.
From the crushing insecurity that fought his faith to the trial of his own heart before an unworthy jury of kinsmen, Moses is an example of a man who kept pursuing God. In his own pursuit to forsake relationship with this God whom he feared, to embrace fellowship with this God whom he longed to truly serve; Moses just keeps showing up.
While standing before the burning bush, still exhaling the fumes of his rejection and pain, this reluctant vessel wrestled with God in the debate of the ages. Somewhere in the midst of his scarred life, he finally found the value of standing still and knowing God.
The burning bush, and all it represented, was more than a miracle; it was a declaration of God to Moses, a covenant of how He was going to operate. His weapon of choice? Power! This power was exclusive to God, and He would refuse to let it be manipulated by any man. Moses would find out, as we all must, that we cannot control God. From the plagues, through the Red Sea and right over to his death by design, Moses walked in a favor that went past his inabilities and pain.
In this book we shall discover the elements of the life of Moses in three distinct parts: The Man, The Vessel and The Friend.
1) From his birth to the burning bush we see him as a man; fragile and unsure, becoming a “carrier” of the spirit of rejection which creates strongholds of insecurity and fear in his life. We see him attempt to obey God, miss God and then run to find Him.
2) As the Lord takes him from the plagues to the promises, we see him as a vessel of God; learning faith and knowing trust. When he learns the difference between faith and trust, he is able to rise up as a vessel of honor and forsake a “called” lifestyle for a “chosen” one. 3) As Moses wanders down the road from the exodus to exile, we begin to know him as the friend of God, carrying His heart to a rebellious people, leaning on God and having compassion on a people who attempt to destroy him.
As a man, we will find that Moses had many ailments; he lent himself to depression and apathy. He was someone riddled with rejection that produced vast amounts of fear and insecurity that fought to handicap him. We find ourselves, even if just for a moment, relating to him as he attempts to walk past who he is to gain who God Is. It is a difficult path, and he fails more times in the beginning than he succeeds. No matter what God does for him, it’s just not enough; his insecurities and pain are too great, then it happens. He is faced with Pharaoh and the power of his magicians. Will he remain a man or become a vessel? It is the question many of us ask for years, never moving forward. God provoked Moses to go forward for He wanted the end result of a vessel: He wanted a friend.
The Prayer of Moses will find and uproot the stronghold of rejection in your life and teach you the difference between faith and trust! Come and walk beside Moses to see firsthand the evolution of his heart and how it took him from being a reluctant vessel to a tender friend who walked in the absolute favor of a mighty God. His life shouts one glaring truth: Even when we are dragging around our rejection and pain, when our lack meets God’s favor, we can do mighty things!
In the end, Moses would become part of the “uncommon club” that would see him in the Transfiguration of Christ because of this one abundant reality: He was able to walk away from who he was and walk into who God Is. All of this from a man who was rejected, depressed, fearful, insecure, apathetic and forsaken—yet willing to believe that God could raise him up, and He did…right up over to the other side of the Red Sea!
May Jesus Christ, who always emerges victorious in the midst of our pain, show Himself strong in you today. I pray you feel His healing touch as you go forward through these pages.
THE PRAYER OF MOSES
Lord, help me to destroy the root of rejection in my life, so that Your favor will abound upon me! I forgive those who planted the seeds of rejection in me and Lord I ask You to bless them, heal them and deliver them. I have been aching for your fellowship and today I find it as Your friend. I will no longer be controlled by the past, but go forward into the future, trusting You. Cause me to walk as a yielded vessel of forgiveness, for Your honor. I will no longer be consumed with the destination of my life, but joy in this journey that You have set before me. Where You lead me, I will follow; where You send me, I will go. Amen.
PART ONE –THE MAN
FROM BIRTH TO THE BURNING BUSH
FINDING AND UPROOTING THE STRONGHOLD OF REJECTION
Before Moses, there was God—the Almighty One who craves to bless His creation. He is longing for the fellowship that goes beyond relationship, that conversation of heart that leans into Him and is willing to agree with Him at all costs. He wants to tell us about His majesty and our destiny. Our fellowship with Christ must be about the journey and not the destination, otherwise our disappointments will find a way to manipulate our faith.
In this chapter, before we chase Moses down, we will spend some time discussing the “favor of God.” “Why?” you might ask. The reason is because Moses walked in absolute favor with God; he was God’s friend. He came to the place where he held nothing higher than the Lord; in fact, nothing else mattered but the Lord; He was enough! We cannot fully understand, nor truly attempt to walk the way Moses did without catching the fundamental truth of how he got there: Moses found a way to agree with God and so must we! As we progress together, we shall discover that it wasn’t always easy for this Egyptian prince who made his home in Midian for so many years. He had to learn how to walk with God, and as we follow him down through the course of time, we too will learn the gait of his step!
God has designed everything so that we could come into communion with Him and walk in agreement and not argument, where the blessings abound. He desires a trust in our faith, a fellowship in our relationship and an expectancy in our belief. He has sent the Holy Spirit to move upon us and reside within us to accomplish His will. All of His eternal thoughts focus on how to bless us; it has always been that way, even from the beginning.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light (Genesis 1:1-3).
And so on and so on goes the creation of all things. In Chapter One of Genesis, we find that “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The Holy Spirit moved upon the waters and was waiting for God’s command so that He might perform it. When “God said,” then it was done! All through this chapter it is noted that God “gave, blessed, saw, created, called, made and said” in a variety of ways for a diversity of purposes. However, it is when God SAID that the Holy Spirit began performing His will. Only when God said did the Holy Spirit begin performing God’s will upon the face of the earth. When “God says” over your life and gives the command concerning you, the Holy Spirit moves upon your life as you agree with what God is saying.
Unlike during creation, the Holy Spirit is waiting for man to agree with God. There are times when God speaks creative words that are sovereign when He requires nothing of anyone. But then there are those times when God wants us to come into agreement with Him so that we can come into a place of perfecting, through our partnership with Him in the construction of our soul and character.
The Holy Spirit is ready to move upon your life with great favor as the Lord is proclaiming, “I said” over you! The Holy Spirit is waiting to perform all that God is saying to your soul. Creation groans in front of you, waiting for you to come into agreement with the Lord. Be still with wonder as He whispers to you and stand in amazement as He shouts, “I said!”
GOSSIP FROM HELL
There is this thing I call “gossip from hell.” Gossip is defined by Mr. Webster as: “a rumor or report of an intimate nature.” Basically it is either a lie or something that is none of our business. The enemy of our soul is good at gossiping. He will tell us something that hasn’t been worked out in heaven yet and convince us to believe a negative report. Then, if the devil has his way, when heaven makes its announcement in our favor, we have no desire to show up for it.
Many times throughout his career as a human being, Moses listened to gossip from hell, and it cost him dearly. Moses was trapped between wanting to do the right thing and needing to do the wrong thing. He came to the place where he thought his actions would give God’s call upon him validity, and instead, they simply created a complication. When Moses saw his near kinsman being mistreated, his passion would become misdirected; and a reaction, instead of a response, would enter his heart. As the wind blew the sand over the body that lay dead at his feet, with blood still on his hands, Moses would know what it feels like when God is not in what you are doing. He would flee to find Him and suffer to know Him. In the end, Moses would learn the value of coming into agreement with God.
Because Moses would listen to the gossip of his unfaithful and ungrateful kinsmen as they shouted lies of his unworthiness while he ran to find God, his search for his Maker would become complicated, frustrated and, to say the least, extended.
Their words would be played over in his mind for 40 years, making it almost impossible for him to find and truly know this God he had sworn allegiance to. The words of men would steal his ability to agree with God, so God’s favor would be elusive until the day that He would come and find Moses!
One of God’s greatest desires is to bless us, but those blessings get blocked when we don’t agree with God. In Luke 2:52 the Word says that “Jesus grew in favor with God and man.” Even while sweet Calvary was looming off in the distance with its bitter perfume calling in the wind, Jesus was willing at all costs to please His Father! Hebrews 11 tells us that Enoch had this great testimony: “He pleased God.” The “favor” in Luke and the “pleased” in Hebrews both have their roots in a word that clearly and simply means—they agreed with God. Words with the same meanings are used in the scripture to define Mary, the mother of Jesus; the disciples; Joseph; and King David. Favor came because they agreed with God. When will God’s favor have permission to visit you? The favor that God intends to deposit into your life is the same favor that Jesus walked in, and it literally means “Divine influence upon one that is acceptable and pleasing to God.”
This past month, when the specialist declared that I had a brain tumor, I had to find God’s favor or perfect will in it. I knew the only way that could happen was if I came into agreement with God and not my own fears or the gossiping, lying devil. It felt like I was hearing gossip from the doctor, so I requested another CAT Scan to be scheduled in two days. In those two days I asked God what my reality was. I had to know if this was gossip from hell or an opportunity of the Lord. So I went to prayer and asked the Lord for the truth. I told Him, “If this is the dress You bought for me to wear to the party, I will wear it. I don’t really like it, and it doesn’t seem to fit; but if You bought it, I’ll wear it. It’s about three sizes too small and orange; I just don’t do orange very well. But if You want me to wear it, I shall. We will go to the party, and I will dance with You all night if You want me to. But I have to know that You picked this out for me, then I will submit. If You didn’t go shopping, then in Your name, I will peel this pain and disease off me. I just have to know; I must know. I can’t make a move until I do because I long to agree with You.”
I waited for 35 years to be healed of cystic fibrosis. I’m aware that sometimes people get sick and die; other times they get a miracle and rise up. But there are also those times when there is a process we must walk through, learning to trust the Lord along the way as He builds us. In all these things I have learned that I must never run to my rights, but run to the Lord.
In the gospels, when the widow woman was pounding on the judge’s door to be heard, she was screaming to get her way. She was screaming to have her “adversary” removed; not her trouble, but the enemy who was provoking that trouble. We get confused sometimes thinking that just because we have a need, God must answer in our time and our way. That is allowing the need to rule us and not the Lord.
No matter what you are going through, your need might very well be your answer! Jude said to contend for the faith! But we must know what that faith is declaring before we can contend! True faith will desire to live where the favor of God abides, not for the sake of favor, but for the sake of walking in obedience and agreement with God.
Just because you want to believe something, that doesn’t make it truth. No matter how many times you shout it out, it isn’t truth until God makes it truth. In the midst of my search for truth, the Lord revealed to me (for it was the only revelation that brought peace) that this was just gossip from hell. God’s peace is an indicator of God’s revelation and truth. If you are unsettled and unsure, choose the way that brings peace to your heart, for surely God resides there. Even if it is something that we don’t want to hear, an outfit that we really don’t want to wear, if He, the Holy One, is calling us to come, how can we not go that way? It’s a level of trust that we must walk in if we expect to ever get out of Midian and conquer Egypt.
Once I had knowledge that the enemy was waging war upon me, the doctor called. I suppose the enemy thought his news would cause me to slide down into a depression covered with despair, but it had the opposite effect. The doctor told me, “These complications are a result of the cystic fibrosis; it has returned.” He then began to list all the other symptoms that I could expect (which had already arrived, unknown to him). I hung up the phone, and the Lord brought the devil’s worst nightmare upon him. Because I had taken the time to know the truth, I had a “knowing and a peace” and was able to agree with God for whatever His design was.
The Lord asked me, “What do you believe?” I believe the report of the Lord! Sometimes the report of the Lord agrees with the doctor’s report; this wasn’t one of those times. Since I’ve had a big chunk of my lung surgically removed, I know what it’s like when the Lord agrees with the doctor. But, like I said, this wasn’t one of those times! So I shall contend for the faith because I know whom I have believed! I began to tell the enemy to go and commanded the symptoms to go as well. The enemy shouted at me that the pain would increase if I continued, and it did; but I decided that pain never really killed anybody!
Jesus prevailed and within two hours I was totally well. I went in to take another CAT Scan before I caught my flight, and five days later, when I got back home, there was a message on my phone that said, “The CAT Scan is totally normal!”
It’s almost like training a dog. You know how when you tell them to “sit and stay,” they always try to get up? It’s like that! You just have to keep one eye on them to make sure they are behaving themselves. The devil will learn, yes he will. We cannot allow him to steal what the Lord is doing in us. The enemy cannot get us to agree with him when we have chosen to agree with God.
THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10). When this scripture is telling me to “be strong,” the meaning is that I have been made able and am empowered.
The power the enemy has holds no authority. God’s power, and the power He gives to us, holds all authority for it has dominion over all things. Adam had dominion (or authority) over everything, and he gave it away. The Bible says that things would fear Noah (as he got off the ark), but his dominion over them is not mentioned. We are to take the dominion back from Satan in the name of Jesus by moving in our authority in Christ. We can only do that when we are in agreement with Him.
If you are at a basketball game, perhaps the player is full of power and ability. Let us say that he is eight feet tall and is a star player, making all the points. The referee is only five feet tall and kind of scrawny, not able to hurt anybody if he had to! Yet despite all of his massive structure, when the star player fouls, the little referee, looking like an insect compared to him, will command him to sit down, and the player will oblige. If he doesn’t oblige, his penalty is worse, and eventually he will be thrown out of the game—all because a little referee with no comparable physical power said so! Why? Because the player had power, but the referee had authority over that power! We are that referee as we take back the dominion of the devil in the name of Jesus at the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Calvary gave us the power of the blood; the empty tomb gave us the authority to walk in that power!
The Holy Spirit is ready to move upon you, even after all these years, and He is speaking God’s favor and pleasure upon you. Will you agree with Him to receive it? When Moses agreed with God, miracles abounded and promises were realized: a river of favor flowed, a red sea opened. When he disagreed with God, doubt became his companion, and anger was his reward as he led a people who were continually rejecting him.
It would take a lifetime, but Moses would learn the lesson that so many of us refuse to learn, and it is this: No matter what God has called us to do, obedience to Him and not the call is a key to success.
FROM FAVOR TO BONDAGE
Before there was Moses, there was the era of favor; this was the time when man’s abuses would give way to God’s choices. Jacob had 12 sons, and Joseph was one of them. He was living in the original blended family. Dysfunction was the plight of the family that Joseph was born into, but God would prevail and deposit His favor within it because one man rose up and chose to agree with God against the odds.
After years of abuse by his brothers who were jealous of his father’s affection toward him and consideration of him, Joseph found himself at the bottom of a dry well at the hands of his brothers. With the threat of death blowing in the wind, murder gave way to greed, and they sold him as a slave into Egypt. He could have chosen self-pity and hatred, which would have created a poisoning unforgiveness in his heart. But instead, he chose life and walked in forgiveness to see redemption. Because he agreed with God and believed Him when nobody else did, an entire nation would bask in the favor of God.
The book of Genesis tells us a story of glory as Joseph went from one trial to the next, refusing to argue with God or disagree with Him. He graduated from one forsaken situation to embrace yet another, all the while daring to believe God was able to turn the evil around him into good. Right in the middle of Joseph’s trials and mess, the Word states with unparalleled eloquence time and time again, “And the Lord was with Joseph....”Yet, in all of that, the Bible says that the word of God came to try Joseph, and try him it did! From the moment he received the vision and the word of how wonderful things were going to be for him, he was a marked man! It happened to Job, to David, to John the Baptist, to me and to you!
As Joseph encouraged his brothers years later in Genesis 50:19-20,“…fear not… for ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive,” we can hear a forgiving heart abound with the health of letting it go. When we agree with God, His favor destroys the evil that would attempt to hold us hostage.
Joseph held the keys to the kingdom, and the king loved Joseph. The Word says that the Israelites were fruitful and increased abundantly and multiplied and waxed exceeding mighty and the land was filled with them. Things are right on track, and then it happened. “Now, there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph” (Exodus 1:8).
But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, til another king arose, which knew not Joseph (Acts 7:17-18).
The new king who did not know Joseph came to town!
Isn’t that the way it happens? Right when it looks like things might be turning your way, “Wham,” the bottom falls out!
How long are you willing to wait for the Lord to show up and rescue you? A day, a decade or a lifetime? When it doesn’t matter how long it takes, then you are trusting Him. When you set your mind on the promise—the wait is impossible and full of disappointments; that’s when we become at risk of giving our promise away. We need to always set our minds and hearts on the One who gave the promise, and then the new king can never destroy us. When we set our minds and hearts on Christ, it’s easy to agree with Him and thereby walk in His favor. The alternative has us walking in confusion and destruction as we agree with the circumstances around us.
God is a better caretaker than our lives generally give Him credit for. The physical things of life often fight the spiritual in an effort to try and prove God wrong; life pushes and shoves, lessons wait and emerge through it as we learn to trust and wait on Him. Unfortunately for the Kingdom of God, “wait” is considered by some of us to be the worst of four-letter words. To wait literally means to be “tied up or twisted up” with Jesus—basically coming into agreement with Him. You can’t be braided together or come into partnership with someone whom you don’t agree with. Why is agreement so important? Because God wants His favor to be bestowed upon us so we can walk in His blessings!
When the destination has become more powerful than the journey, then we can be tempted to worship the promise and not the One who gave it; favor will never abide there. There are two basic questions that a child will ask while in the backseat of the car on a long journey. 1) When can we stop? and 2) Are we there yet? So it is with us. How many times have we asked, “Lord, when can we stop this, and why aren’t we there yet?”
If the waiting has become a torment, then I am in the wrong position in the car. If I’m in the front seat visiting with the driver, enjoying the scenery and music, my drive is less tragic. This is especially true if I’m really interested in having a conversation with the driver. At times like these, the drive can never be too long, and I look forward to it. I’m fellowshipping with someone that I can’t get enough of, someone that I look forward to being with, and I cherish every moment.
If you are having a hard time on your journey, get out of the backseat and watch the wonderful change that will take place in your heart and around you! Adjust your position, and your attitude will change.
Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is He weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:28-31).
One of the most powerful ways to gain strength is to agree with God while you are waiting on Him. Sometimes, it’s the only way! We learn how to agree with God in the great land of waiting, the place that favor passes through before it comes to us. It has been said that God takes His time to teach us patience!
There should be a great expectancy and anticipation in your soul as you wait upon the Creator of the whole wide universe. As you wait, learn to agree with Him as He makes the march toward you with His powerful favor! May your heart leap as you begin to believe that He has you on His mind, even right now as we race through time to find Moses, the baby boy, being cradled in his mother’s arms.
And the woman conceived and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months (Exodus 2:2).
As we venture backward in time, we find Moses as a baby— a helpless child, the needy one. Before he becomes a man or the vessel of God, before he is the friend of God, he is here in the arms of his mother, Jocabed. He was hidden for three months and ultimately given up to the current of a river.
The Levite tribe was a tribe of dignity and honor. Integrity with great responsibility was at the core of who God designed them to be. These two Levites, Amram and Jocabed, married and produced a goodly child. “Goodly” means “cheerful, good in the widest sense, best, wealthy, prosperous, well favored. Joyful and kind. Bountiful and cheerful. Precious, merry and pleasant.” And, we can see by scripture that they had no fear of the king’s commandment.
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper [goodly] child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment (Hebrews 11:23).
It must have been a very difficult thing to hide a baby for three months. Babies cry. Babies laugh. Babies make weird noises and give off funny smells. Sometimes babies scream, even if they are “goodly.” Babies are hard to hide, especially for three months! But it doesn’t appear that the parents had much fear of anything except God. When you have a healthy respect for God, you will be provoked to do amazing things for His honor.
His parents must have been rare—defending the honor of God upon their child and recognizing his calling before he could even speak. They operated on a level of love that had no fear. If they hadn’t, it would have been difficult to hide that child as long as they did and then abandon him to the rushing river’s water. History never records that Moses was ever circumcised. In fact, it says at one point that he was not circumcised. His parents went beyond the law and moved into love. How could this child survive in Egypt if he was circumcised? They believed the promise and forsook the traditions that would attempt to offend that promise. Are your own traditions offending the promise of God that you are desperately trying to believe?
In Egypt, the Israelites were slaves working with brick and mortar, but their spirits were unquenchable, even as the king’s insecurity turned to fear. The king must have been somewhat of an historian because he was concerned about Israel rising up and becoming a nation. He knew it had been prophesied centuries earlier that a man would be born to lead them out of Egypt, and he was paying attention! The king knew the time was at hand for Israel to move beyond Egypt, and that knowledge led him to violence.
The king commanded the midwives to kill all the Hebrew boys that were born. But the midwives disobey the order because they feared God. When the king asked why they had disobeyed him, they said, “Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them” (Exodus 1:19). The king couldn’t stop these women, so he became angry. He declared to the people that they could keep the baby girls, but the boy babies had to be thrown into the river. And, to the river Moses eventually went. But not at the king’s command—at God’s command, for God had a plan. Moses was taken to the river when God said it was time and not a minute sooner.
The vehicle that Moses occupied as he waited for the provision of God was a little basket or ark, which his mother carefully made. His journey down the river was supervised under the watchful eye of his sister, Miriam. The Pharaoh’s daughter, who was down by the river, saw the basket and the crying baby in it. She took the baby and noticed that he was a Hebrew child. Suddenly, Miriam appeared. She offered to find a Hebrew woman to nurse the child for her. The Pharaoh’s daughter agreed and even offered to pay the Hebrew woman to care for this child until it was weaned. Jocabed was that woman.
Amram and Jocabed persevered to provide for the promise of God in their child. When Pharaoh was trying to kill the hope of Israel, they were rocking him. A parent has a powerful privilege and duty to help a child realize that they can, indeed, rule the world if they wish.
And the child grew, and she [Jocabed] brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses; and she said, Because I drew him out of the water (Exodus 2:10).
Scripture tells us “and he became her son….” Such a painful statement for Amram and Jocabed. Their beloved son, whom they birthed, loved and taught, became the son of another! When he cried, they were there; when he had victories, they were there. All those nights of watching him sleep and seeing his goodness abound during the day had abruptly ended.
Psychologists tell us that a child’s emotional stability or instability is established by the time they are five years old—and sometimes even younger. Moses was being raised for success. But could that “raising” set him on the right path for his lifetime, even in the house of Pharaoh?
We have to believe that Moses received some of his parents’ boldness because they trained him and taught him for Pharaoh’s daughter until he was weaned, which could have taken up to five years. What a powerful time of influence the Lord allowed Amram and Jocabed to have! I am convinced that they did not waste those early years with Moses.
In time, when Jocabed delivered her son into the hand of the oppressors, Moses found himself adopted, apparently abandoned by those who had loved and cared for him all his years. Suddenly things changed. He was now to be raised by the oppressor of his people, the heathen king. In the years to come, Moses would have to decide if this man, Pharaoh, was to be a distant shadow or a reckoning force in his life.
Did Moses feel orphaned? And did those feelings worm their way into his heart and cause him to believe a lie and become confused? So much of the time we are not truly rejected, abandoned or orphaned. The devil just makes us think we are so that we cannot advance against his kingdom (more gossip from hell). The prince of darkness has no ethics. It is easy to hear the enemy shouting at us when we are being pulled by momentary emotion. Perhaps Moses wondered if he did something wrong. “Is that why I have to leave?” he may have asked himself. So many questions went unanswered; and most of them fostered guilt, rejection and insecurity, not to mention feelings of abandonment.
Perhaps during the previous year Moses had been told what was going to eventually happen to him. Perhaps he knew. No matter what he knew or didn’t know, this one grinding truth was inescapable: He was only a kid, a mere child who was being forced to leave his brother, sister, mother and father. Sweet, lonely, goodly boy.
It would be difficult to allow your infant to float down the current of a river. It would be harder still to let him float over to the enemy’s camp and into the arms of your torturer. But Moses’ parents did. They had no fear, for they were trusting in the God who had given them a mighty promise.
At an age when most mothers are marching their children off to preschool or kindergarten, Jocabed had to take her son to his new “family.” I wonder what she and Amram had originally named Moses, and I wonder if they hoped this day would never come. Perhaps they had convinced themselves Pharaoh’s daughter would change her mind and not ask for their son. Maybe, they might have hoped, it was just a fleeting idea to her. The empty hole it would leave in their hearts and house must have been larger than life.
He became the grandson of the heathen ruler that had made a life’s occupation out of beating his people and using them as slaves. His mother was forced to bring the evil king a gift of a goodly child. Her son was now heir to the fortune and folly of Egypt. When it was time, when the waiting was over, when this little one was a man, would he hear God? And would he obey? Surely, God Himself would have to intervene in the years to come if this new prince of Egypt was to follow God’s ways. This was not a job for a mere man; it would take a supernatural God.
So Moses goes from mother to mother. The cry of the one leaving him and the joy of the one embracing him would no doubt leave a pain in his heart. So many children at that age don’t want to leave their parents. Was Moses that way? Did he cry and scream as his mother left, or was he heartbreakingly brave? The rejection that he must have felt, the loneliness and fear that gripped his heart, no doubt kept him company for many years. We see these struggles with feelings of rejection later in his desert experience. Oh, the tragedy of tragedy forming us!
The food of his new home was entirely different. The music had to bring pain to his ears, and the language more than likely offended his little heart. The customs were not only different, they were probably the exact opposite of what he was used to.
The son of Amram and Jocabed would have to learn his new name and shed all hope of ever returning to the arms of his real mother. He had just been given up for adoption and had to overcome that pain. His identity was stripped away and he spent the next 80 years trying to find it again. He was adopted not as a slave, but as a prince, which held a greater requirement to conform to the ways of the one who adopted him. He found himself very much alone, without a friend in the world, a mere baby in a land full of evil, lonely and misunderstood.
Moses left the joy of the Levite home to be part of a hard-driving, prideful people. The Word of God says that Moses was well trained by the Egyptians. Did he measure up? Perhaps he wasn’t any good at driving a chariot or sitting on thrones or delegating authority around the palace. Maybe he didn’t possess princely attributes because he was not truly an Egyptian. Was he persecuted and told that he would never be good enough?
Or perhaps Moses was quite good at every task that was presented to him. Maybe he became an expert in all that was set before him to do. Perhaps he was accomplished. If this is the case, then there’s a different set of circumstances that he had to deal with—perhaps worse. These would shout to him that he was great and capable. Pride and arrogance would be introduced to him and when it came, it would find a place to produce the offspring of his hidden anger.
BEING great is different from KNOWING that you are! When you know it, the information can handicap you when your destination is to reside in the palm of God’s hand.
Whether Moses was good at being well trained or not is almost irrelevant because the persecution for who he was, and who he was attempting to become as he left the people of mud and straw for the palace, must have been a force in his life. It was a force that I believe provoked his heart to gain a flaw in all his greatness. His greatness was accompanied by an arrogance that was continually trying to cover up his pain—the pain of rejection.
THE SPIRIT OF REJECTION
Their son, the goodly child, the one they saw the favor of God upon so many years earlier, was not only being raised and instructed by the Egyptians, their persecutors, but he was being well trained by them. The spirit of rejection hovered over Moses, fighting with the Holy Spirit for the position in the heart of this boy who had no home. The day that Moses was given away, the fertile soil of his soul was opened up and the seed of rejection was deposited into a place that would, if given the right set of circumstances, develop a root that would flourish in the crevices of his spirit. The root of rejection is able to become a spiritual stronghold that will cause the deepest of men and the most chosen of women to crumble under its power.
Amram and Jocabed had to give up who they loved and allow him to be touched by something and someone that they despised. No matter how it appeared over the next few decades, they had to believe that God would redeem all of it. Oh, how they must have wanted to intervene and “help” the situation turn toward God. But I believe they knew and understood the power of prayer, so they persevered in it.
Amram and Jocabed gave Moses up for the cause of God. And, as the years would roll by, they had to hold onto the belief that, no matter how it looked, God was going to be faithful to their obedience. Trusting the Lord took on an entirely new meaning when they let go of their son that day. Because of their obedience, the deliverance of their people would come!
Faith is knowing something will come to pass; trust is not caring how or when it will.
I remember when my son was in high school, and he decided that his truck was a great toy to have—a very fast toy, mind you. He was redecorating the roads with the rubber from his tires. One day, while I was lecturing him about it, a friend happened to stop by and said, “What are you so bothered about? He’s a good kid. He’s just sowing some wild oats!” I stood to my feet and angrily shouted at her, “I am not raising a bowl of oatmeal, I am raising a man!” (And he is a wonderful man of God today.)
In the end, the Lord will prevail, for Isaiah 54:17 says that no weapon formed against me will prosper. No weapon, not even oatmeal! Amram and Jocabed believed God would take care of what they had entrusted to Him. They made a decision to trust God and forced themselves to live by that decision.
Nobody can raise the white flag that flies over your life but you. Does that flag shout “surrender” to the Lord or to the Liar? May we raise the standards in our lives to reflect the decisions we have made for God.