Notes from our most recent sermon are posted below each week.
When Things Look Hopeless,
God Has the Right Plan
May 24, 2020
When Things Look Hopeless, God Has the Right Plan
Let’s pick up where we left off last week with Moses. The story now jumps forward to Moses as an adult.
I. God has a plan even when it appears we have failed; 2:11-15.
11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?” 14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.” 15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.
Moses goes out to where his people, the Hebrews, were working as slaves. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew. He is angered enough at the injustice he sees to kill the Egyptian. He acted alone, in secret, and relied on his own strength, wisdom, and timing.
Moses intercedes in another conflict, but now between two Hebrews. The Hebrew slave reminds Moses of his actions the day before: “Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Despite his attempt to cover up his act by hiding the body in the sand, it had become known. Pharaoh hears of it as well and seeks to kill Moses, which prompts Moses to flee to Midian.
Moses could have easily enjoyed the power and wealth that were his as an Egyptian prince. Instead, he gave up the privileges of Egyptian rank and sided with an oppressed people. God was at work in a way that Moses did not recognize at the time.
At times you have probably acted alone, in secret, and relied on your own strength, wisdom, and timing. It probably did not work out like you thought. God is at work in hopeless situations even when it appears we have messed up His plan and have failed. Many of those we try to help and point to God’s offer of salvation will resist, questioning our motives and authority. That should never deter us from seeking justice and mercy and being part of God’s plan for the salvation of the world.
Are you identifying with God’s people and His plan, or have you gotten comfortable with the pleasure and sin of our culture? To be part of God’s plan, you must walk away from sin and the values and temptations of a godless culture.
II. God’s plan is at work, even when we’ve settled down and given up; 2:16-22.
16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock. 18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?” 19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.” 20 “And where is he?” he asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.” 21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become an alien in a foreign land.”
From Moses’ point of view, he was now separated both from his homeland, Egypt, and from the people he now identified with as his own, Israel. It would surely require an amazing supernatural action of God for this exile to play any role in Israel’s future.
Moses had found a new home and started settling down, accepting his new normal as a shepherd. But this was not God’s final plan for Moses. This was preparation for fulfilling God’s plan for delivering His people.
You can easily feel separated from God’s plan. Maybe something in your past makes you feel you’re disqualified from being part of God’s plan any longer. Maybe you’re doing something now in hopes of making yourself unusable, so God will just let you live as you want. Our failure is not God’s failure. He will use it to help us grow spiritually, removing things from us to prepare us to be used by Him and His deliverance of people.
Is your new normal God’s plan for using you? God is still at work to complete the good that He has begun in you, when you gave your life to Jesus. Just because your plans have not worked out in life, does not mean that God’s plan is not still at work. You may be in a time of preparation just like Moses was in Midian.
III. God hears the prayers of those who groan, and He has a plan of deliverance; 2:23-25.
23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.
We’re taken back to what was continuing to happen in Egypt to God’s people. The Israelites groan and cry out. God sees the Israelites’ plight and is in complete control. God was intimately aware of their agony. He remembered His covenant with Abraham, His promise of salvation.
God still hears the groaning of every person around the planet who is in slavery to sin and under the rule of Satan. God has a plan for their deliverance through Jesus Christ. God has now established a new covenant or relationship with people through Jesus’ death and resurrection. If you are in slavery to sin, cry out to God right now asking for forgiveness and deliverance through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Your deliverance is God’s plan for your life, but you must accept it.
As His child, God hears your prayers and knows what is going on in your life. Cry out to Him, knowing that He hears and is at work in your circumstances. You, like Moses, are part of His plan. God will use your circumstances to better equip you to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
Israel’s deliverer goes from privileged status, to fugitive, to exile in a foreign land. It looked like all the preparation in Egypt was going to be for nothing. What looked like failed plans were actually God’s plans being fulfilled. God was working in the circumstances in Moses’ life and is working in your life as well.
If you don’t have a relationship with God through Jesus, don’t rebel against God’s deliverance. If you’re sharing God’s deliverance don’t let someone’s rejection of you or the message prevent you from continuing to share. Just because you fail, doesn’t mean God has or will fail to carry out His plans. God is at work in your exile. Get ready – God is preparing to use you!