“Go Down Moses” 6-14-15
“GO Down Moses”? 6-14-15 Exodus 10; Hebrews 11:24-29 at Lake Murray Presbyterian by Dr. Ben Sloan
For video of this sermon, click here: https://youtu.be/ZWGchgFgd68
I have no recollection where I first heard ?Go Down Moses.? But it literally resonated to my soul. It is a deep bass song- and crazily- I was singing bass from infancy and I was singing this old deep blues spiritual before I even thought about what it means. ???? To set people free requires a willingness to go down. The people who signed the declaration of independence were willing to give up- to pledge their fortunes to a higher cause. Most of them gave everything up. People were willing to die in order to be set free from King George. To involve ourselves in World War 2 required giving up. We could have thought that staying on this side of the Atlantic will keep us safe. John Calvin had a comfortable life style. His father was the lawyer to the bishop and he had an endowed religious position. He could have lived a nice, quiet upper middle class life. But instead he chose to give all that up to try to make the church more biblical and to adhere to its own standards. To set people free always requires risk and a cost. This is ultimately shown in the person of Jesus who came down for us- gave himself sacrificially for us. My hopes are that we will see here that to find real freedom in life we must risk- live by faith and not by sigh. And that we will (in general) value freedom over safety. ?I will explore how Moses went down in giving up this world, in giving up his pride, and in not giving up but persevering.
- GOING DOWN?FOR?GIVING UP STATUS– The book of Hebrews and Jewish tradition implies that Moses could have played it safe. He could have remained a prince of Egypt.? He could have rationalized the freedom of his people away.? Certainly Moses risked it all to appear before Pharaoh and say let my people go or these plagues will come upon you.? He threatened the most powerful ruler of the world to his face.? Moses said, when God asked him to go down to Pharaoh, but I stutter.? I would be stuttering too.
Risk your reputation– your popularity- your world and you will find you are set free from the burdens of such things. ??? There is a show called, ?Somebody?s Gotta Do it.?? It features people marching to the beat of a drum that only they can hear.? Mike Rowe says that we have $1.2 trillion in student loans and yet he knows 6 welders he sent to North Dakota that are earning six figures a year with no student loans.? Thomas Edison ?Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.?? Who wants to go to Pharaoh?? Faith allows us to go forward.? Who will go for me- whom shall I send?
- GOING DOWN THROUGH THE SEA FOR TRUST IN THE LORD- Hebrews talks about another time Moses went down. He went down into the sea bed. This had never been tried before. Now hind sight is 20-20.? But this was a risky thing to do.? Not only did he risk with his words, he risked his whole endeavor and his whole people by doing something radical. ?The people were saying by going into the sea that they would rather trust God and die than to be slaves.? Heb. 11:29 seems to indicate the people passed through on dry ground because they had something the Egyptians did not- faith.? The Egyptians had money, the Egyptians had power, the Egyptians had horses, chariots, weapons- but their lack of faith led them to their confusion and demise.? The lesson for us is not that people need more stuff.? It is that people need faith in a God who can rescue them from the people who just want stuff. ????? When an addict reaches a point where they say I would rather trust God even if it means my body will die than to go back to my drugs- they have reached a good point.? When a person says, I would rather trust God and leave my abuser than to stay with the one who is physically abusing me- even if I don?t know where I am going and don?t have it all planned out- they are set free.? When a person risks their comfort to say something for Jesus Christ- to stand up for what is right- then they will find they are not slaves to political correctness and to the tyranny of what other people think- but they are set free to be who they were designed to be. ???? Mike Rowe said that the people who have most satisfaction is when people look around- see what everyone else is going and go the reverse way.? It is cognitive dissonance.? In a time when everybody gets a trophy it is important to be able to go against the tide, take the reverse commute.
III. GOING DOWN IN PERSEVERING WITNESS- vs 27- ?He persevered because he saw Him who was invisible.?? This is unusual language.? He saw the one who was invisible and so he persevered.? The point was that Pharaoh had a hard heart and was blinded to God and His presence.? But Moses saw the unseen God.? He believed by faith, and that kept him from giving up when Pharaoh said ?No.? ????? You may have a friend who has said no to you about the faith many times.? But while there is breath there is hope.? Persevere in your witness.? Maybe some tragedy will come along in their lives so that they will look for God. ??? You could have said that Moses failed when he went to Pharaoh.? He failed when he went and Pharaoh and Pharaoh said you are lazy- you have too much time on your hands- make bricks without straw.? The people fussed at him for trying to rescue them.? Each of the plagues involved a failure.? Moses wasn?t convincing.
A police exam in London read: You are on patrol in outer London when an explosion occurs in a gas main in a nearby street. On investigation you find that a large hole has been blown in the footpath and there is an overturned van lying nearby. Inside the van there is a strong smell of alcohol. Both occupants?a man and a woman?are injured. You recognise the woman as the wife of your Divisional Inspector, who is at present away in the USA. A passing motorist stops to offer you assistance and you realise that he is a man who is wanted for armed robbery. Suddenly a man runs out of a nearby house, shouting that his wife is expecting a baby and that the shock of the explosion has made the birth imminent. Another man is crying for help, having been blown into an adjacent canal by the explosion, and he cannot swim. Bearing in mind the provisions of the Mental Health Act, describe in a few words what actions you would take. The officer thought for a moment, picked up his pen, and wrote: ?I would take off my uniform and mingle with the crowd.??? When we are faced with difficult situations- seemingly impossible ones- let us not fade into the crowd, but make a difference.
Moses didn’t fade into the crowd- but came down out of concern for freedom of his people.? Jesus did not stay in heaven, but came down to us out of concern for our freedom of soul.? Moses and Jesus risked in order to humble themselves for the sake?of the people.
We go down to others with the hope of the world not because we think we are better than they are in terms of the world.? We go to them as one beggar goes to another beggar and tells them where the bread is.