130303 Exodus 3:1-10

Last Updated on Monday, 04 March 2013 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Text: Exodus 3:1 – 8, 10 – 15

Theme: What Has God Done for You Lately?
1. It is He Who Chose You
2. It is He Who will be with You

From time to time we will hear people complaining about God. You and I give in to the temptation to question God from time to time and either say or think things like: "Why did the almighty God allow this to happen to my loved one?" "How could a loving God allow all this trouble to come into my life?" Some people may even make claims that God owes them something. They will think, "I have lived a pretty good life, in fact just yesterday I went out of my way to help someone. God will have to reward me in some way." Believers in our Savior, Jesus Christ know that there is a great deal that our gracious God in heaven does for us, his children. Each day is a day of his grace as he forgives our sins and provides all that we need for our body and life. This morning, based on this portion of Scripture from the book of Exodus, we will answer the question: WHAT HAS GOD DONE FOR YOU LATELY? Exodus chapter 3 offers two answers to that question: It is He Who Chose You; and It is He Who will be with You.

As Exodus chapter 3 begins we read that Moses, who once lived in the palace of the Pharaoh of Egypt, is now watching over sheep. Some 40 years earlier, when Moses killed an Egyptian that was harming one of the Israelite slaves, he tried to appoint himself as the deliverer for the Children of Israel. Now we see God himself choose Moses to carry out that task.

We read this from God's Word, "Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush." At this point it is important for us to remember that the phrase "the angel of the Lord" is often times used in the Old Testament to refer to the second person of the Trinity, namely Jesus Christ himself. We continue, "Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, 'I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.' When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, 'Moses! Moses!' And Moses said, 'Here I am.' 'Do not come any closer,' God said. 'Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.' Then he said, 'I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.' So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.'" Here we see the Lord God hand picking Moses to be the one to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. Notice that it was the second person of the Trinity, Jesus himself, who chose Moses, and not Moses who approached God.

Have you ever had the opportunity to watch any of the "television evangelists" or to hear preachers on the radio who encourage their audience to make their "decision for Christ". They preach and teach that to come to believe in Jesus as your Savior is something you can do. Some will try to disguise this teaching by saying that, yes, it is the Holy Spirit who creates that faith, but you have to decide to let him into heart. In other words, what they are really saying is that God can't do it himself. He needs your help. Let us briefly explore what God's Word tells us about who chooses whom. In 1 Corinthians 2:14 the apostle Paul writes, "The man without the Spirit [that is, the Holy Spirit] does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, they are foolishness to him . . ." The Bible clearly teaches us that left on their own, sinful humans can not come to believe in Jesus Christ as their one and only Savior from sin. It is God the Holy Spirit, working through the powerful Gospel message, who alone places faith into our hearts. Jesus himself said in John 15:16, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last." What has God done for you lately? As a believer in Jesus Christ as your only Savior from sin, he has done a great deal for you. In fact, he has given you the greatest gift he could give to you: the gift of the forgiveness of all of your sins and the promise of eternal life with him in heaven. What has God done for you lately? Each day give thanks to your loving Father in heaven for choosing you to be his own child through faith in Jesus.

There are some who look at our world and think that there is no way God is in control. They picture God simply as a Grandpa, sitting in his recliner, watching and waiting to see what his grandchildren will do next. What has God done for you lately? In his Word before us this morning, the same God who chose you to be his very own, assures you that he will continue to be with you throughout your life on this earth.

After choosing Moses to be the one to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt, God tells Moses that he knows what is taking place in Egypt. We read, "The Lord said, 'I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.'" He also shares with Moses what he plans to do for them. "'So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey . . .'" Moved by his grace, God promises to rescue his people.

Not only is the loving Lord watching over the whole nation of Israel, but he reassures Moses that he will continue to be with him as well. Moses' reaction to the call of God was full of complaints and excuses. We have two of them recorded for us in the portion of God's Word before us this morning. First, Moses says, "'Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?'" Once proud Moses, who attempted to take upon himself the duty of delivering the Israelites from the Egyptians, is now not as self-confident. To Moses' first excuse, God offers this comfort, "'I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.'" But Moses was far from done with offering his excuses. He now raises a second question, "'Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?'" In other words, Moses was saying, "God, they won't believe me when I tell them that you are the one who sent me to them.'" So the one and only true God then offers this answer to Moses, "'I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I am has sent me to you.'" God also said to Moses, "'Say to the Israelites, 'The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abra¬ham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation." There is so much comfort in God's answer when he says of himself "I am." This shows Moses that the Lord God who is speaking to him from the burning bush is a real, personal being. He is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. With these words, God is also telling Moses that he is faithful and dependable. He is the one true God, and will keep all the promises he makes.

The God who chose Moses and comforted him with the assurance they he would continue to be with him as he carried out the task he was giving to Moses, is the same God who promises to continue to be with you and me, his children. As we look at the world around us, or look at what is happening in our personal lives, you and I may be tempted to doubt whether God is really by our side. Dearly loved children of our Father in heaven: Flee the temptation to doubt God's love for you! Be assured from God's Holy Word that your loving Savior-God will always continue to be with you. Psalm 34:18 offers us this comfort, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit." The writer of the letter to the Hebrews shares this promise of God in chapter 13, "'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" Finally, quoting from the Psalms, Peter writes in his first letter, chap¬ter 3, "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their prayer." By God's grace we are chosen by him to be his children. In his great love, the Lord comes to us in his Word and Sacraments, comforting us with the message of his love for you and me, assuring you and me of the forgiveness of all of our sins, and strengthening our faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus, you have God's promise that he will always be with you.

From time to time, you and I may find ourselves asking the question, "What has God done for me lately?" Shortly before he ascended into heaven, our Savior promised all believers, "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." What has God done for you lately? Our gracious Father in heaven chose you to be his very own child. As his dear child, you have the promise of our loving Savior-God that you are not alone but that he will continue to be with you, until that day he calls you home to his side in the Promised Land of heaven. Amen.

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.


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