Sermon Notes 09.29.19- Susie Dos Santos: I AM With You
**Slide details at end of notes
Who is Moses? (Backstory of Ex1-2)
SLIDE 1 and SLIDE 2
– Fast forward 400 years to when the people of Israel have become slaves in Egypt, and they have had it! Moses, who even though is a descendant of Joseph, has been raised in Pharaoh’s household as a family member. As he gets older he starts to feel the injustice of the Israelites being slaves and one day takes matters in his own hands. Joseph kills an Egyptian who was beating one of the slaves. This doesn’t go well for him. The Israelites get mad at him, and Pharaoh wants to kill him. So, Joseph he runs off to the land of Midian. He settles there and gets married. This is where will pick up the story in Exodus 3.
The Big Ask Exodus 3: 1-12
This is truly an extraordinary moment happening, and Moses was getting distracted with the fact that the bush wasn’t burning up.
Doubt #1 (identity):
Moses begins his protesting with two questions:
- “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh?”
- “Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”
- Moses asking “Who am I” is an identity question.
- He was an Israelite but he wasn’t raised with them.
- He was raised in Pharaoh’s household as an Egyptian prince, but he was not really an Egyptian.
- However, being raised in the household of Pharaoh would have equipped him for what God was asking Him to do.
- He would have had extensive training in literature, warfare, languages and diplomacy. Joseph wasn’t some country bumpkin (uneducated) who wouldn’t have known what to do in a royal court or how to lead people. Great point!!
Last week P. Jason challenged us to use our skill sets to bring the Kingdom of God into the areas of void in our lives.
- That is also what God was asking Moses to do. Moses had the training to do what he was being asked.
- Yet, he doubted. God’s response to him was: “I will be with you.”
- When God’s presence is with you, and you CAN do what he calls you to do. God equips us for what he calls us to do but he doesn’t ask us to do it on our own.
- We can try and do things outside of His presence but that doesn’t go well.
- Remember when Moses was fed up with the injustice being done to the slaves and killed the Egyptian? It didn’t bring about change.
- He had a righteous anger but he responded to it outside of God’s timing.
- He wasn’t ready yet to bring the change God wanted.
- What he did actually made things worse for himself, and he had to run for his life.
What if I don’t know what God has called me to do.
- Over the next couple weeks write out your spiritual biography. Do this:
- Family Background: who you are, where you came from, what was happening in your family.
- Childhood and Teen Years: what was going on, what life was like, how you emerged as a teen, challenges of teen vs challenges of child.
- Educational Development: how has education played a part in where you are.
- Adult Life: you will see normal steady progression of God’s hand on your life.
- Professional Development: where have you worked, what kind of career pursuits you have already have.
- SLIDE 4
- Write it all out:
- Don’t be ashamed of the ups and downs, God uses those to shape us into the person He can use.
- You will start to see patterns in your life and what God has uniquely equipped you to do.
- If you can’t see the patterns, ask someone else to read it over and see if they can help spot them with you.
- Whether you know now what God has called you to do, or if it is still to be discovered, you can trust He will be with you just like he promised Moses.
Doubt #2 (knowledge)
Exodus 3:13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”
- Moses was doubting that he had the knowledge required to do the task asked of him. How is knowledge connected to God’s name?
- In the Ancient Near East, the name of an individual was believed to be closely connected to the essence of the individual (their nature and role). Moses is asking to know God’s nature. Imagine Moses asking:
- “What does your name mean?
- “What kind of God are you?”
- “Which god are you?
- Look at God’s response in verses 14-17: “I AM WHO I AM”…
- Another way that I AM WHO I AM can be translated is: “I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE.” It is a strange way of wording it, but remember, this is describing His nature. Maybe we need to smash these two translations together so that it reads: “I WILL BE WHO I AM”.
- What it means is that He can’t be anything other than what He is! He is self-sufficient, self- existent, all encompassing, and without limitations. In this context He is the God that keeps His promises to his people, and He will help them fulfill their calling!
Therefore, we have to know who He is. How do we do that? Have you ever studied His names? Maybe as a group we should?
Remember in verse 16 it says, “The God of your ancestors has appeared to you…” God is reminding him that He is the covenant keeping God of his ancestors. A covenant, simply put, was a legal transaction between two people or groups that would guarantee promises and obligations that are set between the two parties. It usually sounds like: “If you do this…I will do this…”.
Make this apply to you. What is a covenant? What is a covenant-keeping God? And who is He to you then? Can He be trusted?
Is it hard for you to trust Him? Why or why not?
How can we work through that?
- God goes on to not only give him past and present understanding of who He is and what He has promised to do. God also gives him a look at the future as well, and gives him the game plan. He tells him in verses 18-21 that:
- The elders will accept his message.
- They will all go before Pharaoh, and he will refuse to let them go.
- God will raise his hand against Pharaoh through miracles.
- Pharaoh will eventually let them go
- AND, they will not leave empty handed.
- He tells them the plan, but not the whole plan:
- Being chased through the desert.
- No food or water.
- Wandering for 40 years.
How many of you have felt like that before? God shows you the plan but when you start living it out, it never plays out like you think it would. There’s always going to be bumps in the road, but you can always trust God will be who He is.
- So far, God’s response to Moses’ doubts has been two statements:
- I will be with you – I AM WHO I AM
- In essence, he is saying “Trust Me.”
Doubt #3 (influence)
Looking at verse 1 of chapter 4:
1 But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?”
- Basically, Moses is doubting the influence he has on the Israelites. Can you relate?
- He has to convince them to unite in this massive display of civil disobedience.
- He hasn’t been with them for a long time. Also, the last time he tried to show them he was on their side, it did not have the influential impact he thought it would. He actually lost influence in that instance.
- God’s response to Moses was to give him signs of power to show the Israelites, so they will believe that the God of their ancestors really had appeared to him. It was physical evidence of the power of God working through Moses.
- Shepherd’s staff turned into a snake.
- Leprosy on hand was healed when inserted into cloak.
- Water turning into blood.
- I have seen the power of God being demonstrated through people when they have prayed for someone to be healed and healing has come. Or when someone has a word from God for someone and it speaks directly to where they are at in life. These are demonstrations of the power of God and they will influence how someone believes!
What demonstrations of God’s power have you seen in your life that caused YOU to believe? How about others around you to believe?
- The same power working through Moses can work through us, because it is the same God at work.
Doubt #4 (ability)
Let’s look at Moses’ final doubt:
10 But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”
- Scholars have several theories about what Moses could really be talking about when he says he’s not good with words.
- Some say he had a speech impediment.
- Some think maybe he had been gone so long he forgot how to speak in Egyptian.
- Some look at how the ancient Egyptians prized people who were gifted in rhetoric, (that is being skilled in speech and arguing), and Moses might not have been confident in his ability any longer.
- SLIDE 7
- God’s response:
11 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord ? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”
- Once again, God is redirecting Moses to not look at what he lacks but to the One who provides.
- We all have doubts about our abilities. God provides us the abilities and then supercharges them! Our natural abilities + God = supernatural abilities!
- Finally, Moses pleads, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.”
- We can see a lot about God’s character in his final response to Moses in Exodus 4:14-17.
- The Lord became angry with Moses!
- He would not let Moses evade this responsibility. In His loving kindness, patience and mercy, God allows Aaron to come alongside Moses to be what Moses feels he cannot be.
- If you keep reading, as the story develops, Aaron’s role as Moses’ mouthpiece faded away as Moses grew into the calling he received.
- With each doubt, Moses was making the mistake of looking at himself to be able to accomplish what he was being asked to do. He did this instead of looking to God who made him, and would empower him and be with him to do it.
Which of these doubts do you currently have?
Are you doubting your identity? Who God created you to be. Are you doubting your knowledge of who God is?
Are you doubting your influence on people’s beliefs?
Are you doubting your ability to do something?
How does what you have heard today affect you?
What are you going to do about it?
- The only way to overcome those doubts is by changing your perspective. You have to shift your focus off of yourself and onto the great “I Am.”
SLIDE 1: Abraham
Four Promises: Land
- Numerous Descendants
- Blessing of protection and success
- Blessing to all Nations
SLIDE 2: Abraham’s Descendants
Four Instructions: Go
- Be a Blessing
- Walk Before Me
- Be Blameless
- Sold into Slavery
- Put into Prison
- Elevated to second in Command
- Reunited with Family
- Family Moves to Egypt
SLIDE 4: Spiritual Autobiography
- Family Background
- Childhood and Teen Years
- Educational Development
- Adult Life
- Professional Development
SLIDE 7: Doubts
- Knowledge – Influence