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Our duty to our Lord in this world requires that we should do somewhat more than live a life of obedience to Him. Our obedience must be acknowledged obedience. We must never be loth to say, "Whose we are, and Whom we serve." We may read this lesson writ large in the history of God's sending Moses to deliver His people. Moses went through a trial on Mount Horeb, the exact opposite of the trial of Christ.
I. Moses was tempted to decline the contest with the world altogether, to shrink from action and from prominence, when God called him. Christ was tempted to take the world by storm, to overwhelm it with conviction.
II. Moses was full of sympathy for the poor, full of a desire to see God's ancient promises realized; but when the time came, and God said, "Now go," then, for the first time, it flashed upon Moses that he was unfit to carry out what he had so aspired to be trusted with. His eighty years of life had been given him that in its vast experience he might learn that God was all, man was nothing. He had very nearly learned it in truth; the crust or chrysalis of self was very nearly ready to drop off; it needed just this interview with God to rid him of it entirely. He had seen the miraculous powers with which he had been endowed, but he had not fully understood them, and therefore his will was pausing still.
III. The voice of God within him and without him waxed more imperious. God sternly pointed out that such eloquence as he longed for was but a secondary qualification. "Thy brother, I know that he can speak well;" the legislator need not be the orator. There is not one of us who ever complained to God of insufficient strength without finding his complaint answered either by ministration of grace or disappearance of difficulties.
IV. What interests trembled in the balance while Moses was debating! It is not for ourselves only that we shall be responsible if we debate till the time is gone.
Archbishop Benson, Boy Life: Sundays in Wellington College, p. 212.
References: Exodus 4:2 . J. Van Oosterzee, The Year of Salvation, vol. i. p. 233; S. Cox, The Bird's Nest, p. 179; F. Tucker, Rainbow round the Throne, p. 17.
(with Judges 6:15 , Jeremiah 1:6 , 1 Samuel 9:21 , Luke 14:18 )
I. God proposes great things to men. In proportion as any call in life is great, let the heart pause and consider whether its very greatness is not a proof of its divinity.
II. We are not to look at what we are, but at what God is. When He calls He qualifies for the work.
III. What is right in itself may be perverted and abused. Timidity is right in itself, but it may be pushed into cowardice; then it becomes wrong. Self-distrust is right in itself, but if it degenerates into atheism, then it is the plague and destruction of the soul.
IV. God's call to faith is the greatest call to His universe. Our duty is to go forward to the unknown and the invisible, and live by faith. "We walk by faith, not by sight."
Parker, The City Temple, vol. iii., p. 493.
References: Exodus 4:11 . H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 2677. Exodus 4:17 . J. Keble, Sermons for the Christian Year, Holy Week, p. 463. 4:18-7:7. W. M. Taylor, Moses the Lawgiver, p. 61.Exodus 4:20 . J. Van Oosterzee, The Year of Salvation, vol. ii., p. 388. Exodus 4:21 . Parker, vol. ii., p. 44; W. Landels, Christian World Pulpit, vol. iii., p. 148. Exodus 4:22 , Exodus 4:23 . Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxiv., No. 1440.
This text shows us
I. The brotherhood and affection subsisting between the different members of God's family. And this is twofold. God's people stand in a twofold relation to one another, as natural and spiritual men. As being creatures of God's hand, and common descendants of Adam, they are linked together in brotherhood. But the great brotherhood and bond of union between God's people is their brotherhood in Christ, their affinity to one another as redeemed by the same Blood, sanctified by the same Spirit, and pursuing their pilgrimage towards the same heavenly city.
II. Notice the breaches of intercourse brought about in this world between those members of God's family who have seen and known one another in the flesh. (1) Many interruptions of intercourse are brought about by providential arrangements. (2) All direct communication between brethren in the Lord is cut off by death.
III. Consider the need of and consequent yearning after each other's society and assistance which, while parted, the members of God's family experience. The need is based upon, and flows from, their spiritual constitution in one body. We are, in the design of God, constituent parts of a whole, and we are continually evincing our consciousness of this truth.
IV. Consider the blissful reunion of the sundered members of God's family in the realms of glory. There shall be a day when all the yearnings of the Christian's heart after the society of his brethren shall be satisfied to the full, when his joy snail receive its entire complement in his recognition of and intercommunication with those whom he has known and loved in the Lord.
E. M. Goulburn, Sermons in the Parish Church of Holywell, p. 205.
References: Exodus 4:27-31 . Preacher's Monthly, vol. ii., p. 63. 4. Parker, vol. ii., p. 40.
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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Exodus 4". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30