Exodus 3:10
A very different Moses this from the hero who was formerly so ready, even without a call, to undertake the work of Israel's deliverance. Probably failure in that first attempt led him to doubt whether he was the instrument ordained for so great a task. He may have concluded he was not, and learned his first lesson of acquiescence in the Divine will, by surrendering the hope. Or, he may have thought himself rejected for his fault. In any case, Moses had now much juster views of the magnitude of the work, and of his natural unfitness to undertake it. Who was he - a man of lonely, self-retired spirit - that he should brave the power of the Pharaohs, or think of bringing Israel out of Egypt? Learn -

1. Conscious unfitness for our work is one of the best preparations for it, The greatest of God's servants have had this feeling in a remarkable degree. They needed to be "thrust forth" to the harvest (Matthew 10:38, Or.).

2. Conscious unfitness for work grows with the clearness of our apprehensions of the Divine call to it. The nearer we are brought to God, the less we feel fit to serve him (Isaiah 6:5).

3. God's call and promise are sufficient reasons for undertaking any work, however deep our consciousness of personal unfitness. "Our sufficiency is of God" (2 Corinthians 3:6). The sign in ver. 12 was a pledge to Moses that God would "make all grace to abound toward" him (2 Corinthians 9:8). - J.O.







I will send thee unto Pharaoh.
I. HIS CALL WAS RENDERED NECESSARY BY INTENSE NATIONAL SUFFERING (ver. 7).

1. The sufferings to which the Israelites were exposed.

(1)Politically they were prisoners.

(2)Socially they were bondmen.

(3)Commercially they were ruined.

(4)Religiously they were degenerate.

2. The Divine attention to the sufferings of the Israelites. God has deep sympathy with the sorrowful.

(1)God sees the pain of the oppressed.

(2)God hears the cry of the oppressed.

(3)God relieves the pain of the oppressed.

II. HE WAS CALLED TO HIS MISSION BY THE IMMEDIATE AGENCY OF GOD (ver. 10).

1. His free agency was consulted. Such a call is —

(1)Honourable

(2)Responsible.

2. His adaptability was considered. Social considerations are subordinate. A shepherd may be called to accomplish the freedom of Israel. Hence the Divine call to human souls is —

(1)Emphatic.

(2)Judicious.

(3)Hopeful.

III. HE WAS DEFINITELY MADE ACQUAINTED WITH THE MISSION HE HAD TO UNDERTAKE (ver. 10).

1. He was to pay a visit to royalty.

2. He was to achieve the freedom of Israel. God forewarns him of the difficulties, that they may not surprise or overwhelm. This arrangement is —

(1)Merciful.

(2)Considerate.

(3)Accommodated to our weakness.

IV. IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS MISSION HE WAS ANIMATED BY THE HIGHEST HOPES (ver. 8).

1. He anticipated the freedom of Israel.

2. He anticipated conquest in the event of war.

3. He anticipated residence in a land of beauty and fertility. God always animates those engaged in great service by great hopes.Lessons:

1. That God knows how to prepare men to become the deliverers of the good.

2. That a Divine call is requisite for the mission of life.

3. That human sorrow is pathetic and powerful in its appeal to God.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

Homilist.
work: —

I. GOD ELEVATES THE RACE BY THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF INDIVIDUAL MEN.

1. It serves to promote in man the principle of self-helpfulness.

2. It serves to promote social unity.

II. GOD SPECIALLY QUALIFIES THE MAN HE EMPLOYS TO ELEVATE THE RACE.

1. By a special manifestation of Himself.

2. By impressing him with the divinity of his mission.

3. By assuring him of His co-operation.

4. By making him sensible of his own insufficiency.

5. By providing him with a coadjutor to supplement his deficiencies.

(Homilist.)

I. THE MANNER OF THE CALL.

1. Remarkable for its suddenness.

2. Remarkable for its mysteriousness.

3. Remarkable for its manifestation of God.

(1)His holiness.

(2)His faithfulness.

II. THE REASON OF THE CALL.

1. The severity of the affliction of God's people.

2. The cry of God's people, which had come up into the ears of God.

III. THE PURPOSE OF THE CALL.

1. The deliverance of His people from the task-master.

2. The fulfilment of the Divine covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

IV. THE ENCOURAGEMENT TO OBEY THE CALL. The personal presence of God.

V. THE NAME OF HIM WHO ISSUED THE CALL.

1. The revelation of this name was called out by a significant question of Moses.

2. The significance of the name.

(1)It represents the personality, eternity, and supremacy of God.

(2)It represents an authority and sovereignty that even Pharaoh cannot gainsay.Lessons:

1. We learn God's deep and practical interest in His people.

2. We learn that God is a hearer and an answerer of prayer.

3. We learn God's wisdom in calling His servants.

4. We learn the all-sufficiency of the Divine encouragement, to every worker.

(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)

Christian Age.
God chooses the humblest instruments. He passes by the tempest, and waters the fields and gardens with His imperceptible dew. He passes by the great elephant, and bestows the hues of sapphire and amethyst upon the tiny humming-bird. He passes by the lofty pines and huge elm tree, and lavishes blossom and perfume on the violet. All history teaches the same truth. Moses was the son of a poor Levite; Gideon was a thresher; David was a shepherd boy; Amos was a herdsman; the apostles were obscure and unlearned; Zwingle was a shepherd; Melancthon, the great theologian of the Reformation, was an armourer; Luther was the child of a poor miner; Fuller was a farm servant; Carey, the originator of the plan of translating the Bible into the language of the millions of Hindustan, was a shoemaker; Morrison, who translated the Bible into the Chinese language, was a last-maker; Dr. Milne was a herd-boy; Adam Clarke was the son of Irish cotters; John Foster was a weaver; Jay, of Bath, was a herdsman.

(Christian Age.)

I. THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE CALL. His miraculous escape in infancy; his careful training in the court of Pharaoh; his knowledge of governments, men, armies, religious rites; his silent years of obscurity, watching the leisure of the seasons as they came and went, the slow movements of the star.s; the care of God for the helpless creatures over which he was a shepherd; the home-life — all these were part of the call. His soul ripened.

II. THE CALL ITSELF. A greater one was never issued to mortal man. The only greater one was assigned to that Prophet like unto Moses who, in the fulness of time, came to lead the world out of a worse than Egyptian bondage through the death of the cross.

III. THE HESITATION OF MOSES AT THE GREAT SUMMONS. He was perfectly honest before God. And it is because he was so honest that we can understand him and get our lessons from him at this turning-point in his career. We would not lose the picture of this great man — this chosen vessel of God — hesitating, confessing his cowardly feelings, and trying to hide away from duty. The response from Jehovah was as sudden as the command, and it was a complete satisfaction for all the real and imaginary troubles in the situation: "Certainly I will be with thee."

IV. Lastly, if we seek further PRACTICAL LESSONS from this part of sacred history, we shall be led to ask why the Bible makes so much of the calls its chief characters received to their office. Was it merely to prove the genuineness of their commission? They proved that by their works done in the name of God. Was it to show the power of Him who can call out children to Abraham from the stones and cause things that are not to be as those that are? Not this alone, but rather to make us feel that we may be receiving calls to His service, though we disregard them, and that, if we live near Him, life may at any time take on a new form and character.

(E. N. Packard.)

The personal history of the deliverer and his commission, viewed in reference to the higher dispensation of the Gospel, exhibits the following principles, on which it will be unnecessary to offer any lengthened illustration.

1. The time for the deliverer appearing and entering on the mighty work given him to do, as it should be the one fittest for the purpose, so it must be the one chosen and fixed by God. It might seem long in coming to many, whose hearts groaned beneath the yoke of the adversary; and they might sometimes have been disposed, if they had been able, to hasten forward its arrival. But the Lord knew best when it should take place, and with unerring precision determined it beforehand. Hence we read of Christ's appearance having occurred "in due time," or "in the fulness of time."

2. The Deliverer, when He comes, must arise within the Church itself. With her is the covenant of God; and she alone is the mother of the victorious seed, that destroys the destroyer.

3. Yet the deliverance, even in its earlier stages, when existing only in the personal history of the deliverer, is not altogether independent of the world. The blessing of Israel was interwoven with acts of kindness derived from the heathen; and the child Moses, with whom their very existence as a nation and all its coming glory was bound up, owed his preservation to a member of Pharaoh's house, and in that house found a fit asylum and nursing-place. Thus the earth "helped the woman," as it has often done since. In the history even of the Author and Finisher of our faith, the history of redemption links itself closely to the history of the world.

4. Still the deliverer, as to his person, his preparation, his gifts and calling, is peculiarly of God. That such a person as Moses was provided for the Church in the hour of her extremity, was entirely the result of God's covenant with Abraham; and the whole circumstances connected with his preparation for the work, as well as the commission given him to undertake it, and the supernatural endowments fitting him for its execution, manifestly bespoke the special and gracious interposition of heaven. But the same holds true in each particular, and is still more illustriously displayed in Christ.

(P. Fairbairn, D. D.)

I. A HUMAN MINISTRY FOR A DIVINE SALVATION. The mother in the nursery, or at the bedside of her children; the father, by his godly life, as well as by direct instruction; the merchant among his clerks and salesmen; the employer among his employee; the mistress among her servants: all these have opportunities for the exercise of the ministry of grace. Other means besides the public ministry, or the direct dealing of the Christian worker, are used. of God to bring His people up out of the land of bondage into His kingdom of life and light. A thousand silent and cumulative influences may be amongst the agencies that end in the conversion of every soul

II. THIS MINISTRY IS NOT SELF-APPOINTED. "I will send thee." In all our service we should bear in mind that we are to go in God's name, by His appointment to do His work and not our own: otherwise the work will be a miserable failure, and the name of God will be blasphemed.

III. THE NATURE OF THE COMMISSION. "I will send." The Lord calls all His people to go forth into this world with a testimony and witness from Him. What the Lord needs now, as at the beginning, is that His disciples should go everywhere preaching Jesus and the Resurrection. When the Spirit works freely in believers, then are many more disciples made.

IV. MOSES WAS TO GO DOWN TO WHERE THE PEOPLE WERE. Now, mark that when God bade Moses to go down He did not tell him to build a pulpit on the border of Egypt, and cry, "Come!" I heard of a minister who was asked to go and see a man who was anxious about his soul. He replied, "He knows where I live. If he wants my help or counsel, let him come to me. If he is in earnest, he will." I should have said to him, "If you are in earnest about your Master's work, and know the meaning of the commission under which you hold your office, you will go to him." Do net forget that our commission is to "go."

(G. F. Pentecost, D. D.)

1. It is persuasive — "come."

2. It is immediate — "now."

3. It is logical — "therefore."

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

1. A vocation.

2. A preparation.

3. A commission.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

1. Arduous in its requirement.

2. Responsible in its exercise.

3. Glorious in its issue.

4. Unique in its character.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

1. God's call — is instant, and suffers no delay.

2. Though God needs no man, He calls some for the help of His people.

3. Such as God calls, He sends to bring about deliverance.

4. The mission of God may be of the poorest man to the greatest potentate.

5. God's command is enough to empower the weakest man for the strongest work.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

In the eighth verse God says, I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians; and in the tenth verse He says, "I will send thee unto Pharaoh." Is there not a discrepancy here? If God Himself came down to do a work, why did He not go and do it personally? One word from Himself would surely have done more for the cause which He had espoused than all the words which the most gifted of His creatures could have used. Looking at this incident as standing alone, it does undoubtedly appear most remarkable that God did not personally execute what He had personally conceived. The thinking was His, so was the love; all the spiritual side of the case belonged exclusively to God; yet He calls a shepherd, a lonely and unfriended man, to work out — with painful elaboration, and through a long series of bewildering disappointments — the purpose which it seems He Himself might have accomplished with a word. We find, however, that the instance is by no means an isolated one. Throughout the whole scheme of the Divine government of the human family, we find the principle of mediation. God speaks to man through man. Undoubtedly, this is mysterious. To our imperfect understanding, it would seem that the direct personal revelation of His presence and glory would instantly secure the results which are so desirable, and yet so doubtful. It is here that faith must lead us. Moreover, this principle of individual selection in the matter of all great ministries, is in keeping with the principle which embodies in a single germ the greatest forests. It is enough that God gives the one acorn, man must plant it and. develop its productiveness. God works from the one to the many.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

That thou mayest bring forth My people
I. MOSES TYPICAL OF CHRIST AS A DELIVERER.

1. When we were dead in sin, God prepared a Deliverer.

2. Only one Deliverer for the whole race.

3. A Man, like unto His brethren.

4. Moses, like Christ, made no common sacrifice to fulfil the duty with which God had charged him.

II. In no point of view is the character of Moses more venerable, or himself more illustrious as a type of our blessed Lord, than when we regard in him THE APPOINTED MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND ISRAEL, Moses was qualified for this office — by cordial love — meekness — long suffering — dis-interestedness — ever-watchful zeal; so God could have no interest with men except through Christ, who is far more qualified for the office of mediator than Moses.

III. In attempting to estimate the character of Moses as a type of Christ, we must by no means neglect to regard him in his office of LAWGIVER TO ISRAEL. It was necessary that some mode of government should be given to them. This was given by the Most High — through Moses. So, in the mournful captivity of the soul, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, oppose the will of God; and the fallen creature becomes a fatal law unto himself. Even when the condemnation of impiety is removed, and the fetters with which it bound all the passions, and faculties, and principles of the mind are broken, the liberated bond-servant needs a revelation of the Word of God by which his conduct may be governed. Christ a law-giver — assisted at the formation of the law — can best explain it — best enforce it.

IV. Consider his typical character, as THE LEADER AND GUIDE OF ISRAEL. Ye may have fled from Egypt; but are ye beyond the reach of temptation? Have ye passed through all the wilderness of sin and seduction? Have ye triumphed over all your enemies, and received your allotted portion in the habitations of eternal rest and glory? Ye have not. A difficult pilgrimage is before you: but infinite mercy has not left you to wander alone. Your Conductor fully knows the way to that blessedness whither ye are endeavouring to follow Him. Ignorant as ye are, He can give you knowledge — feeble, He can support you — faint, He can refresh you. Lessons:

1. Be persuaded that the gospel is worthy of all acceptation.

2. But if worldly and unholy affections still oppose the influence of that gospel over your hearts, yield not tamely to the slavery they would impose, until ye are provided with an answer to the awful question, How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?

3. It will naturally be asked, Thou that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? While therefore the ministers of religion are endeavouring to make others wise unto salvation, they may read in this history a rebuke to their own unbelief and timidity.

(R. P. Buddicom, M. A.)

1. Leaders we must have. To be a leader one must have courage. Not without reason did Sir Walter Scott say: "It appears to me that what is least forgiven in a man of any mark and likelihood is want of that quality called pluck. All the fine qualities of genius cannot make amends for it." Boldness is demanded by the very nature of the ease. He who never moves till every one else is moving may be an excellent companion or follower; but a leader he is not. He who would lead must go before, must be in advance.

2. But courage must have some basis; and this basis is found largely in convictions. He who would lead must have not opinions alone but convictions. He must have before him some definite result to be reached, and a fixed conception of the manner in which the end is to be gained. And all this must not be a surmise, but an assurance. We cannot lead people with a perhaps. Usually, in proportion to the positiveness of one's convictions will be his courage in obeying them. If one's aims, methods, convictions are elevated and noble, so much the better; but convictions he must have, if he would be a leader, and he must hold them with a tenacity that death alone can unloose.

3. One of the convictions that go to make up leadership is a belief that things ought to be done, that they can be done, that they must be done; or, in other words, faith. There must be faith in a cause, faith in one's self, in one's destiny, in man; or, rather, there must be a faith in what God is able and desirous to do for man and through man. To say "nothing can be done" is to say "God can do nothing." This despair is not only totally unchristian, it is fatal to leadership. "I can't" is powerless, or potent only for evil. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" conducts to victory.

4. Out of faith comes progressiveness. To have no aspiration beyond holding things just where they are — or, perhaps, pushing them back an inch or two — this is fatal. But there is inspiration in the thought of achieving something that has not been done before, of treading heights unattained hitherto. The brakeman is very well in his way. But he is not the conductor. He cannot start the train.

5. For leadership there mast be sympathy — a knowledge of men, of their feelings, of their desires, hopes, and fears, prejudices, etc. And for leadership there must be unselfishness. Many other qualities are needed that a man may lead wisely, successfully. These seem to me indispensable that he may lead at all.

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