#118

                                                                                (Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

Please read Exodus 4:1 & Exodus 3:18.  In these two verses we read about the opinion of Moses and the truth of the Almighty God.  Moses has an opposite opinion to the truth spoken by the LORD.  God said, "And they shall hearken to thy voice".  Moses said, "But, behold, they will not  believe me, nor hearken unto my voice".  He essentially called the LORD a liar while standing in His presence at the burning bush.  Moses pointed the finger at the people of Israel and accused them of unbelief.  He deflected the exposure of his own unbelief by the LORD and accused Israel of the very thing he was guilty of.  God appeared to Moses at the burning bush for the purpose of exposing his unbelief in the nature and power of His Holy, Omnipotent Name!  He quickly transposed his own guilt on to the people.  At this point he has been a shepherd in Midian for 40 years---how could he possibly know how Israel would respond to him?  Could he really say, with any authority, that he knew how they would react to his re-appearance in Egypt?  Truthfully, he was saying, "I don't believe!"  Likewise, we point the finger and blame others, deflecting the exposure of our own sin on to other people.  In reality, we don't know anything about anybody else.  We don't know how they were raised, their education, their pain, their victories, etc.  When we blame others we are accusing them of what we are unwilling to admit to ourselves: we are guilty of the same offense.  Moses was pretty sassy at the burning bush---just like us.  He was more concerned about what the people thought of him than what God thought.  Yet, the LORD kept right on talking and reasoning with him, hoping Moses would identify his own unbelief.  It is better to be more concerned with what God is thinking than those we know nothing about.  Is the LORD pleased with this?  How will the LORD react if I do this?  Can I do this and still be in the will of God?  Moses put the people above God.  Still, He came to Moses, in his unbelief, and started a conversation.  When the LORD points his finger and exposes our sin, it is for the purpose of giving an opportunity to love self and love God.  We should give our self to Him and bring Him near to perform His acts of redemption.  At the Great White Throne Judgement, Christians will blame and accuse the Just Judge, pointing an angry, recalcitrant finger of obstinance in the holy presence of the Ancient of Days.  Sometimes, we are just as sassy, and more so, than Moses.  

The LORD continued on with His conversation.  His objective was to give Moses 4 signs.  These signs were designed to give Moses an experience; to help him identify his unbelief.  They were also given to help him persuade Israel to believe in the God of their fathers---after he had conquered his own unbelief.  The LORD wanted Moses to overcome his unbelief so he could be sent to Israel and help them with their unbelief.  A leader must believe in the nature of the Almighty God to be able to assist others with the same problem.  The LORD had deliverance in mind for Israel, but Moses had to be delivered from unbelief first.  These are the four signs:  the rod, put hand in the bosom, water on the ground turned to blood, stammering tongue being changed.  We will discuss the signs and how they apply to us in sermon #119---see you there?!