Can You See Him Series
  • The son trudges uphill, bearing wood for his own sacrifice; his father has decided to give him up to death. What biblical event does this bring to mind? Is it Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22, or Christ’s passion in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? The kinship between these two stories is deeper than mere coincidence. Christ is present in the story of Abraham and Isaac. In fact, He is present on every page of the Old Testament. Can You See Him?
Sermon Preparation Guide
  • Importance - What are the central ideas of this text?
    • We are slaves to sin. – Galatians 4:3; Ephesians 2:1-3
    • We cannot free ourselves from sin. – Romans 2:12; 3:9-20; 5:6
    • We need a deliverer to free us from sin. – Romans 4:18-25; 5:8; 6:6 & 7, Galatians 4:4-7
  • Implications - What questions should the listener be asking?
    • What does it mean to be a slave to sin?
    • Why can we not free ourselves from the bondage of sin? 
    • Why is Jesus needed to be our deliverer, and how does He deliver us from sin?
Talk it Over Discussion Guide 
  • Interpretation - What is the text telling/showing us?
    • What was there in Moses that qualified him to be God's deliverer?
    • Moses was brought up as an Egyptian prince, with all the advantages that came with that position.  Yet, he knew he was an Israelite.  How do you think he felt about that?
    • Did Moses consider himself to be the deliverer of the Israelites before God called him to be such?
    • Why did Moses try to help his fellow Israelites before he fled to Midian?
    • Why did Moses have to spend 40 years as a shepherd in Midian?
    • How did God prepare Moses to be His deliverer?  What did God reveal to Moses?
    • How did Moses give up himself for the Israelites and their deliverance?
    • How did God deliver the Israelites through Moses?  What do we learn about God from this story (suggestion: make a list of character traits, of ways God acts, of how God interacts with people, etc.) How does God deliver us through Jesus? 
    • When we see a “picture” of Jesus in the Old Testament, it is not an exact comparison in every detail, as opposed to being a “big picture” sort of thing.  Summarize how Moses is a picture of Jesus in the “big picture” way.
  • Implementation - What should the listeners response be?
    • In what way do people today need to be delivered?
    • How is Jesus the deliverer?  How is Jesus the deliverer for you? 
    • Moses had to deal with the pharaoh who would not let the Israelites leave Egypt. What things are in the way of and opposed to Jesus delivering people?
    • God did miracles through Moses to show His power, and the pharaoh eventually let the Israelites go?  How does God show His power today in a way that overcomes the opposition to Jesus delivering people?
    • In what ways does Jesus continue to deliver you?
    • How might we as a church, and you as an individual, use the story of Moses to proclaim the deliverance from sin available in Christ?
Sermon Teaching Notes (as compiled by Pastor Dick Murphy)
  • Investigation - What's generally going on in this area of scripture?
This series continues to ask the following question about the Messiah in the Old Testament: Can you see Him? The last study looked at Joseph and saw in him Jesus as the forgiver. This study looks at Moses. As with Noah, most people have heard of Moses, even if it is only through the movies (remember Charleton Heston?) In point of fact, Moses is perhaps the greatest character of the Old Testament, and he was looked to by the Jewish people as the one who delivered Israel from Egypt. By way of background, at the end of the study of Joseph, he was reunited with his brothers, and then they, along with his father, Jacob, and all their families came to live in Egypt (specifically, Goshen) with all their herds and possessions due to the famine.

It is in Egypt that God grew the nation Israel (Genesis 46:3 & 4). However, in the process of the Israelites living, thriving and multiplying in Goshen ( a period of 400+ years. Cf. Exodus 12:40), there came a time when the Egyptian pharaoh became afraid of them because of their numbers and put them into forced labor (Exodus 1:7-14). The pharaoh also decreed that all male babies be allowed to die (Exodus 1:15 & 16). When the Israelite midwives did not follow through on the decree, the pharaoh ordered that all male babies be drowned in the Nile river (Exodus 1:22). The baby boy who ultimately became Moses was born in this time frame. His parents hid him, and then placed him in a papyrus basket in the Nile where he was found by the pharaoh's daughter and ultimately adopted by her after he was nursed and weaned by his own mother! (Exodus 2:1-10. See also Acts 7:20 & 21); Hebrews 11:23)

It is pharaoh's daughter who named the boy “Moses.” Moses was thus raised in the court of pharaoh (Acts 7:22), and all that meant in terms of privilege and provision (cf. Hebrews 11:24-26). When he was 40 years old (Acts 7:23), Moses sought to help his own people, the Israelites, to be their delivererwhen he saw that they were being mistreated (Exodus 2:11-14; Acts 7:23-26). But when discovered, he was rejected by his own people and ran for his life from pharaoh (Exodus 2:14 & 15; Acts 7:25-29). He proceeded to Midian, an area most likely located to the east of the Gulf of Aqaba, which itself is on the southeastern edge of the Sinai peninsula, where he lived as a shepherd for some 40 years (Exodus 2:15-22; 3:1; Acts 7:29). It was at that time that God appeared to Moses in the burning bush to call him by name (yes, God knows us by name!) to be the one through whom He would deliver His people from Egypt (Exodus 3:1-22; Acts 7:30-35). Though rightfully full of holy fear, Moses was reluctant at first (Exodus 4:13), but obeyed and became God's deliverer (Exodus 4:18), on God's terms, and led the Israelites to the promised land (Genesis 15:12-21).

The writer of Hebrews attributes Moses' actions, both in leaving Egypt and in answering God's call, to his faith (Hebrews 11:24-27). So Moses went to pharaoh to ask for the release of the Israelites. Pharaoh was resistant, to say the least (as God had told Moses. Exodus 3:19 & 20), and instead made the Israelites work harder (Exodus 5:6-8, 17 & 18). This refusal continued until after a series of miraculous plagues brought against the Egyptians culminating in the 10th, and last, plague which was the death of the firstborn of all the Egyptians (Exodus 11:1-10; 12:29 & 30), at which point pharaoh let the Israelites leave (Exodus 12:29-36), in effect the culmination of God's judgment on Egypt for its sin of rejecting God. The Israelites were not subject to this 10th plague as they had put the blood of sacrificed lambs on their doorposts whereupon the angel of God “passed over” their homes (Exodus 12:21-23; Hebrews 11:29). This event became the basis for the annual Jewish celebration called “the Passover.” (Exodus 12:1-20; 43-51) It did not take long for pharaoh to change his mind and send his army after the Israelites (Exodus 14:5-9). But God made the Red Sea part and his people crossed over on dry land, away from the Egyptian army (Exodus 14:21 & 22).

The Egyptian army pursued the Israelites into the dry land, but God made the water flow back and it engulfed the Egyptians such that there were no survivors (Exodus 14:23-28). Thus, the Israelites were delivered from the bondage of their slavery in Egypt (Exodus 14:29-31; Acts 7:36; Hebrews 11:29). The rest of the story is that following their deliverance, the Israelites rejected the good report of two of their number who spied out the promised land, Caleb and Joshua (Numbers 13:30; 14:6-9) and instead followed the bad report of the other ten spies (Numbers 13:31-33; 14:1-4) and refused to go into the land of promise. Their rejection of the report of the ten spies was in effect a rejection of God, and He disciplined the people by making them stay in the Sinai desert for the next 40 years until the entire generation who rejected Him died (Numbers 14:26-35). It was only after this period did the Israelites, under the leadership of Joshua, go into the promised land and begin to take it (Joshua 1:1-5; 11:23). Moses, however, did not go into the promised land because of his sin at the waters of Meribah where he struck the rock to provide water instead of speaking to it as God had directed him (Numbers 20:1-13).

Can you see Jesus in this story of Moses? There are a number of pictures of Jesus. There is the picture of a ruler who tried to kill Moses (Exodus 1:15, 22), just as king Herod tried to kill Jesus (Matthew 2:16-18). There is the picture of one who spent time in the wilderness before fulfilling his call from God (Acts 7:29 & 30), just as Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness before He began His ministry (Luke 4:1-14). There is the picture of a man who had the “world” offered to him in terms of pleasures, riches and power (Hebrews 11:24-27), just as Satan tempted Jesus with the same things (Matthew 4:8 & 9). There is a man who became a shepherd (Exodus 3:1), just as Jesus was the good shepherd (John 10:11). There is the picture of the one who was sent to deliver the Israelites (Exodus 3:1-10; Acts 7:34), just as Jesus came to deliver Israel (Matthew 15:21-28, and through them, to deliver all people (John 1:9-13). There is the picture of one who served his people (Numbers 12:7), just as Jesus came not to be served but to serve (Mark 10:45). There is the picture of the one who went from prince to pauper (Exodus 2:15-19), just as Jesus went from equality with God to human form with no place to lay His head (Philippians 2:6-8; Matthew 8:20). There is the picture of the one who delivered Israel from slavery, just as Jesus delivered those who believe from the slavery of sin (John 8:34; II Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 1:12-14). There is the picture of the one who offered his life for his people (Exodus 32:31-33), just as Jesus offered His life for the salvation of the world (Isaiah 53:12; Romans 5:12; 6:10; II Corinthians 5:15-21). And there is the picture of the one who sang a song of deliverance (Exodus 15:1-18), just as Jesus sang a hymn just as He was about to be led to His crucifixion (Matthew 26:30. The “hymn” sung at Passover was really 6 psalms, namely 113-118, which contain words of deliverance as, for example, Psalm 118:17- 24.), and the new song of deliverance is sung in heaven to worship the Lamb who was slain but who sits on the throne (Revelation 5:9-14). Deliverance from sin is from God through Jesus (I Peter 2:22-24).

In Christ, God has rescued all who call on Jesus for salvation, and delivered us from the domain of darkness into His kingdom of light (Colossians 1:12-14; Hebrews 2:14 & 15) resulting in salvation and eternal life. And the beauty of our deliverance from sin through Jesus is that it cannot be taken away! (Romans 8:38 & 39) Those in Jesus are marked in Him, sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guaranty of our redemption (Ephesians 1:13 & 14). Once the Israelites were delivered from Egypt by Moses, through the mighty working of God, there was no returning; God's people became His possession as a nation forever, just as we, as God's people in Christ, are His possession (I Peter 2:9 & 10). So again, in Moses what we have is a remarkable story of a man used by God; God worked His plan through His person, in His way, to deliver His people. And what a wonderful picture of Jesus, who was used by God to accomplish and complete His plan of redemption. Praise be to God for the deliverance available in and through Jesus as we come to Him in humble confession of our need for a Savior. Can you see Him? Yes indeed, He is there!