- Sermon Notes
Keep the Faith
ILLUS – The morning of October 18, 2012
1. Life is filled with fiery ordeals!
2. When life challenges us, how do you respond? Where do you run?
3. Let’s looks for valuable insights from Exodus 2 to encourage us to keep the faith when our lives are lit up by trials.
READ – Exodus 2:1-10
1. Israel experienced a population explosion while living in Egypt.
2. Feeling threatened, different Pharaohs enacted population control measures.
a. Israel was forced into slave labor.
b. Mid-wives were commanded to murder male infants.
c. Now, the citizens of Egypt were commanded to throw all Jewish male infants into the Nile River.
3. The Goal:
a. Pharaoh: Wipe out Israel in one generation.
b. Satan: Destroy his Destroyer, the Christ, by destroying Israel.
Transition: In the middle of this mess the faith of one couple shined…
I. Our Faith Will Come Under Fire (1-2)
A. Faith brings fire (1)
1. A Levite man married a Levite woman, Amram and Jochebed (Exodus 6:20).
2. The truth is, their marriage was an act of faith.
a. It kept the line of Israel pure, free from dilution.
b. But some avoided marriage in such hard times!
c. But God commanded Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).
d. They were blessed with two older children:
i. Miriam (~15 years old)
ii. Aaron (3 years old)APPL – When we step out in faith, fires will arise which seek to thwart another step of faith…
- Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den
- The Apostles were persecuted for talking about Jesus
Such ordeals must not catch us by surprise…
1 Peter 4:12-14, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”
B. Life’s fires require a choice (2)
1. Pharaoh’s new edict intensified the fiery trial.
a. The midwives probably spared Aaron.
b. Now after 9 months of wondering…
i. It’s the “Moment of Truth”. “It’s a boy!”
ii. “What do we do now?”
2. “She saw that the baby was beautiful”
a. Literally, “good”
b. Like God’s declaration after each day of
creation in Genesis 1.
c. What does this mean?
i. Beautiful? Yes. But all parents feel this way!
ii. God’s favor!
3. Choice - God’s gift or Pharaoh’s command?
“She hid the baby for three months.” Faith won because the couple stood on God’s Word.
a.God’s promise to Abraham
Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth
shall be blessed.”
b.They feared God, not man.
Hebrews 11:23, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child;
and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”
APPL – We live in a fallen, sin-filled world. We can’t control what other people will do. We can’t control the trials that life brings. But we can control our response to those trials. We can decide to stand on God’s Word by faith when fiery trials come our way! In fact, I believe when we choose to trust God, He will so ignite our faith that the brilliance of our faith will outshine the intensity of the fiery ordeal that surrounds us.
“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man would stake his life on it a thousand times.”
Transition: Unfortunately, over time trials can wear down our faith. How do we overcome this weariness?
II. Keep the Fire of Your Faith Stoked (3-4)
A. Don’t let fear quench your faith
1. Problem - “When she could no longer hide him…”
a. You can’t dress the boy like a girl forever!
b. If discovered, her family would be destroyed!2. “She got him a wicker basket… put the child into it, and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile.”
a. Question: Was this driven by Faith or Fear?
i. Stephen’s commentary in Acts 7:21
Acts 7:21, “And after he had been exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter took him away, and nurtured him as her own son.”
ii. KEY: Hebrews 11 does not recognize her choice as an act of faith!
APPL - Day after day, fiery trials can lead to fear and fear can cause the wrong flame to burn in our hearts. When this happens, we may say in our hearts, “I give up. I give in. What’s the use of living by faith any longer? I have lost all hope. Evil has won!”
APPL -But evil does not have to get the last word. In fact, ultimately it will not because we know the end of the story. God wins! Because God wins, truth will win, love will win, grace will win, and justice will win!
Romans 12:21, “Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Transition: But if you become weary and your faith falters, our God is faithful to revive us and fan our faith into a mighty flame once again…
B. Ask God to ignite your faith again
1. God knows our frame.
Psalm 103:13-14, “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows
our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.”
2. God wants to refresh you.
APPL – Are you worn out? Do you need to be refreshed?
Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
III. Look for God in the Fire (5-10)
Corrie Ten Boom: “Faith is like radar which sees through the fog – the reality of things at a distance that the human eye cannot see.”
Pastor Rich: “Don’t doubt in the darkness what God has revealed in the light.”
A. God is always with us
1. “Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down”
a. At first glance, this is a worst-case scenario.
b. Surely, she would obey her Papa Pharaoh!
2. This is Hatshepsut, daughter of Thutmose I.
a. She had a reputation for being a strong-willed person.
b. She would become a future pharaoh.
3. But God can move the most stubborn, strong-willed hearts on behalf of His people.
a.God ordered her steps, opened her eyes, and softened her heart.
b. God then opened Miriam’s mouth and she received a slave girl’s suggestion.
c. Jochebed received her son back from the dead and was paid to care for him!
d. She named the boy Moses, “to draw out”, though Pharaoh ordered all the Hebrew boys to be “cast into” the Nile.
e. How could Pharaoh keep his command when his own daughter disobeyed him? Thus, other boys were saved!
APPL – God was with this family and He is always with us too.
Isaiah 43:1-3a, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will
be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn
you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
Matthew 10:30, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
B. God knows the number of our days
1. Jochebed thought her son’s life was over.
2. But God had a plan for Moses. He preserved his life!
3. God has a plan for our lives as well.
Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”
APPL – Our birth was not an accident. Our passing will not be an accident. All the days in between are known by God. May we live each one by faith!
2 Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
1 Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him.
5 The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, with her maidens walking alongside the Nile; and she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it to her. 6. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children." 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women that she may nurse the child for you?" 8 Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go ahead." So the girl went and called the child's mother. 9 Then Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, "Because I drew him out of the water."