Divine Control

Psalm 31:3 “For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me.”

Have you ever heard someone talk about a situation they’re going through and conclude, “I’m just giving it over to God”.

We have songs that sing of Jesus taking the wheel, and many others that cry out for God to do the leading.

What does it look like to give God control? How do we take our hands off the wheel of life and allow God to do all the steering?

The songs sound great and the concept of God doing the leading are very compelling ideas for a life that we have potentially messed up, but are we really willing to let God lead us? Moses had this dilemma at one time…yeah, I’m talking about the Moses that God used to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. The very Moses who met God on Mt. Sinai and talked with Him daily in the tent of meeting. He was as ambitious and fearful as anyone we know today, just as we might also be cautiously ambitious or foolishly ambitious, either way, the process of giving God control is a practice in humility.

The Waiting

Moses had been raised by Pharaoh’s daughter yet he knew that he was of hebrew descent. Upon watching an egyptian guard beat a hebrew slave, Moses thought he would take the judging into his own hands and killed the guard. Thinking he had done this deed in secret, the moment he realized he had been found out, fear took over.

Exodus 2:14,15 “Then he said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”

So Moses feared and said, “Surely this thing is known!” When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.

Moses lived in the land of Midian for 40 years. Midian changed Moses, from the time he was a prince of Egypt and attempting to free his people on his own, until the Lord appeared to him in a burning bush and instructed him to go, Moses finally understood humility. From a prince to a lowly shepherd, it took 40 years for Moses to grow into the man that God could use.

The moment the Lord appeared to Moses in the burning bush, Moses look like a different man.

Exodus 3:11 “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

Moses had gone from being a prince who thought he could liberate his people on his own to a lowly shepherd that had no confidence in himself whatsoever. Moses thought of himself as being ‘unfit’ for the job, God’s response was a revelation of His strength in every course of action.

Exodus 3:12 “So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

Moses may have been too weak for such a task, but God said He would be with Him…this fact alone changes everything.

The Revelation

Why do you suppose a stuttering shepherd in Midian would be asked to fulfill a role of such paramount importance?

Everything in Moses life led up to this moment at Mt. Horeb, from being saved from death by a decree, to being raised in Pharaoh’s house as a prince, then the process of humility in the desert, it all was for this grandiose time of deliverance and the forming of a nation. This nation would be God’s revelation to the world that He alone is God, but the revelation first began with a name.

Exodus 3:13-16 “Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’ Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt;

Once God revealed His plan, He revealed why His plan would succeed. Matthew Henry gave a description of the significance of God’s name.

“Two names God would now be known by. A name that denotes what he is in himself, I AM THAT I AM. This explains his name Jehovah, and signifies, 1. That he is self-existent: he has his being of himself. 2. That he is eternal and unchangeable, and always the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever. 3. That he is incomprehensible; we cannot by searching find him out: this name checks all bold and curious inquiries concerning God. 4. That he is faithful and true to all his promises, unchangeable in his word as well as in his nature; let Israel know this, I AM hath sent me unto you. I am, and there is none else besides me. All else have their being from God, and are wholly dependent upon him. Also, here is a name that denotes what God is to his people. The Lord God of your fathers sent me unto you. Moses must revive among them the religion of their fathers, which was almost lost; and then they might expect the speedy performance of the promises made unto their fathers.”

Matthew Henry

Do you know who it was that was sending Moses on a journey that only God could fulfill?

*Jesus*

Thousands of years later, when the Messiah would come, Jesus revealed to the people that it was He who had been with them from their inception.

John 8:58 “Truly, truly, I tell you,” Jesus declared, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

This revelation of God incited a riot in Jesus’ day, the pharisees were determined to kill Him after this moment because Jesus had declared Himself the One who bore the name. The name above all other names.

The Walk

Once Moses accepted the charge to be the voice of God, the journey began. The Lord knows what we are capable of and He strengthens us and leads us on. God strengthened Moses by revealing His name to Moses, then He encouraged him further by promising him a sign to come.

Exodus 3:12 “So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

It’s estimated the distance from Cairo to Mt. Horeb is around 360 miles (as the crow flies). Therefore if Moses had walked approximately 20 miles per day, it would have taken him around 18 days to reach Pharoah. From the moment Moses left Egypt and fled to Midian it took 40 years, from the time of Moses departure to the most epic moment in Israel’s history, it took 18 days. Do you see how quickly things can change once God is working as the lead?

How long does the Lord need to get us ready for His plan? What is it He is working out in you? Does pride dominate your life? Fear? Sin? What is it that inhibits your ability to follow Jesus?

Moses was 40 years old when he tried to liberate Israel on his own, he was 80 years old by the time he traveled back to Egypt to deliver the people from Pharaoh’s grip. Moses then led the people for the next 40 years in the desert as they now learned to trust in God as Moses did.

The Promise Fulfilled

Through all his adventures, God never abandoned Moses. Through his greatest triumphs to his most epic failures, the Lord never left him on his own.

Deuteronomy 32 is where you can find the song of Moses. It is too long to include here in full so I’ll just leave you with a short sound bite, it reveals an understanding of God that only Moses could fully comprehend. Moses lived what would have been considered by many a spectacular failure of a life, at least for the first 80 years. Moses then turned his failure into a victory only by trusting in God and allowing Him to lead. We have been given a precious gift through Moses, the Pentateuch is the first 5 books of the Bible written by Moses in the desert. These books reveal an aspect of God that only Moses could receive but by way of humility.

If we want to know God, if we want Him to lead us into His perfect plan, then we have to allow Him to work out in us the preparation required for service in His Kingdom. Humility isn’t an easy lesson, I would suppose Moses dealt with many of the things we deal with today, depression, fear, a sense of abandonment, anger, sorrow, you name it, I’m sure he experienced it. People back then are no different than people today….God also remains the same.

We have access to the same Jesus that showed up on Mt. Horeb and called Moses to a life of service, we need only seek Him, with all of our hearts, and He promises to be found….the question is, are we willing?

Deuteronomy 32:1-4 “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak;
And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
Let my teaching drop as the rain,
My speech distill as the dew,
As raindrops on the tender herb,
And as showers on the grass.
For I proclaim the name of the Lord:
Ascribe greatness to our God.
He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice,
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.”

What are you waiting for? The same praise that resulted in Moses will be the same declaration that will come from you as you place your trust in Him.

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