“One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.”
Before we begin, a couple of things
1. If you would like to post your responses to the Discussion Questions on your blog, sign the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post and link to your Lesson Three post, not your homepage. This will make it much easier for those looking for your responses later to find them. Be sure to put the ‘I AM’ Study button in your post as well. If you are not posting your responses on your blog, you are free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
2. Talk to each other, girls! :) Part of the growing process in this study is the sharing each other’s experience. If possible, work your way through your sisters’ links and comment on what they are saying. Often, they have opened themselves up and become very vulnerable with their answers. We need one another’s affirmation so be generous with it!You may just find a new soul sister in the process!
3. It is never too late to begin! If you are just finding this study for the first time, simply click on the Study button to take you to the beginning Welcome and Table of Contents. From there you will begin at Lesson One. There are several women who are just beginning. You can leave your thoughts on any Lesson because most likely, someone else is coming along at the same time you are. The ‘fresh comment dates’ will hopefully give this study a sense of timelessness so it can hang around a while.
With all that said, Welcome back, girls!
I am so excited you are still with me and I pray you will continue on. So far, you have joined me in rejoicing over the birth of the beautiful baby, Moses. I hope you have let the reality settle over you that just like Moses, you were placed just in time to have an impact on this earth through ‘unrecurring incidents’ of obedience. I also pray you now realize you are awfully pretty in the process. I had to laugh at the conference where I originally taught this series. The girls decided since they were so beautiful they would go upstairs in the cabin and have those extra donuts after all! Now that’s what I’m talking about! They got it! So grab your favorite treat, pull up a chair, and let’s get started.
First I want to remind you that today’s topic will come in two parts. The way the material worked out, I could either make one very long lesson or two moderate sized ones. I’ve chosen Plan B simply because the confines of Blogland demand it. Believe me, there is SO much more detail I want to give you on each Lesson, but I believe God has asked me to keep this manageable in both time and space. To say I am exercising restraint is an understatement..:) Can I tell you again how thrilled I am that you have joined me in this study? I am having the time of my life meeting you and exchanging insights much like we would if we were in a small group together. I remain amazed at a technology that allows women from all over the world to interact almost as if we were in one of our own family rooms. Aren’t you?!
In today’s passage, we find Moses at the age of 40 having been raised a Prince of Egypt. I have been fascinated by what I have read in the works of the second-century historian, Flavius Josephus, in regard to what Moses’ life may have been like during his 40 years of privilege. The Egyptians were very well-educated in things such as arithmetic, science, philosophy, and medicine to name a few. The princes often served as priests of the various temples. Josephus notes that Moses was used of the Pharaoh to lead a great military campaign against an Ethiopian invasion of Egypt. I want to be clear I am not stating any of these things as Scriptural fact but nevertheless, I am very intrigued by the possibilities of how high Moses’ had climbed up the ladder of success before his great plunge into the depths of reality.
As we did in previous lessons, we will toggle back and forth between the Exodus 2 version of Moses life and Stephen’s confession in Acts 7. Let’s take a closer look at Acts 7:23 which says, “But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel.”
I am about to jump out of my chair to show this to you! Notice the phrase ‘approaching the age of forty’. This phrase is literally translated, “When a forty year old time was being fulfilled for him.” Do you remember how we talked about Moses’ being born exactly when necessary to be the right age at the right time for Israel’s deliverance? Be reminded in Acts 7:17 that the time of the promise of deliverance was approaching. Let me suggest to you that if Moses’ physical birth was the beginning of that fulfillment of promise, then this desire to see His brethren was spiritually speaking a 40-year, in-utero second birth into the purpose for which God created him. God was not inactive during this preparation time. He was simply forming the desires and experiences necessary for Moses to undertake this great task. I am reminded of Phillipians 2:13, “for it is God who is at work in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Robertson’s Word Picture of the New Testament describes this desire to see to see the welfare of his brothers as ‘coming up from the lower deeps of his nature.” Stirrings this far down only come from One Source, girls. These go beyond feeling straight to the Spirit. God had a people to rescue and it was time to raise His deliverer.
“So does this apply to me?” you ask. Oh, honey, does it ever.
Think for a moment with me about activities you love. Desires you have. Dreams you dream. Spiritual gifts you have discovered. Do you ever wonder where those longings come from and why? I hope we have established in our Lessons prior to this you were born in your generation, in your circle of influence, just in time for God’s good pleasure. Obviously, you weren’t the only person born in this exact place and time. So what makes you different from the girl on the pew next to you? YOUR DESIRES AND EXPERIENCES. Your compassions, griefs, and gifts are all things which set you apart from your sisters and what sends you in one direction and her in another. The body of Christ has many parts and obviously a 4-headed, 9-toed monster is not going to accomplish anything but scare the life out of people. I wonder if this disproportionate church is what sends people running in the other direction? Think of how different things would be if our body exercised its two arms to embrace those who are lost and dying without Christ. The thing to remember about all these characteristics is that none of them appeared overnight. It takes time to work out our salvation and to realize the full implication of the talents we have been given and/or the deliverances we have ourselves received. It took Moses 80 long years to be ready for the burning bush. This may serve to tell us that we may have some waiting to do. But, in the words of Scarlett O’Hara, “we’ll just think about that tomorrow”, in Part Two that is.
Hang in here with me on this next point. I preface it by saying sometimes you will question the common sense of your teacher but this just rang out in my head so I went with it. Here it goes…God has made you in the words of Lionel Richie (can I quote him in a Bible Study?:)) once, twice, three times a Lady. (Can’t you just hear him singing it or am I totally dating myself?) Here are the three ways: He has placed you just in time, has saved you by His lovingkindness, and either has given or will give you a desire from the ‘lower deep of your nature’ to accomplish what He intends in your life. Some of you may be saying, “I don’t feel that Lisa. I don’t know what my gifts are. God is not telling me to do anything big. I’m afraid people turn away if I show them too much of me.” I will address those questions more in detail in Part Two of this Lesson, but for now it is critical that we do not mistake Big for Important or equate being rejected by man with being accepted by God.
We will stop here and continue next week by finding out what is really going on when life doesn’t seem to be working out like we’d hoped or planned. For now, let’s apply what our study has revealed thus far:
1. It was stated in the Lesson that God has made you “once, twice, three times a lady.” Where are you in this progression? Obviously we have all been physically born, but are you ‘twice a lady’? Have you been born again spiritually? This may be a private matter you’d like to discuss confidentially. If so, email me. If you have already received this gift, write a brief prayer of thanksgiving or testimony.
2. Are you three times a lady? Has God given you a stirring deep within your Spirit to be a ‘deliverer’? Do you have a desire or are you already meeting a need in the life of the church, a particular ministry (such as jail ministry, food ministry, etc.) or perhaps individuals who share common issues?
3. Do you ever get tired of waiting for that opportunity to do something
worthwhile for God? Do you ever feel God is using someone else instead of you?
4. What do you consider ‘worthwhile ministry’? Are you like me and sometimes find yourself mistakenly thinking it has to be Big to be Important?
5. Have you ever taken a spiritual gifts test? If yes, what are yours? If no, here’s a good one from Ephesians 4 Ministry. Will you take it and come back with a response? Knowing some of you like I already do, I can almost pick out what your gift is before you say it. I can’t wait to see if I’m right!
You girls are so wonderful and I look forward to your insights into this Lesson. Please know I pray for those of you whom I know are participating online and for those who are following along privately. I have never been so convinced that God is at work in the lives of women. He wants to give us Canaan…will we run towards it or continue longing for Egypt? Here is the Good News..You are one step closer to the Promised Land…you’ve come to far to turn back now! Hang in there!