Based on: Exodus 3:14-17
It was only about a month ago that Ed McMahon died. He was well known as the co-host to Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. He was also seen quite often in commercials for American Family Publishers urging you to send in your sweepstakes entry and sign up for magazine subscriptions because, as he would say, “You may have already won ten million dollars!” As a result, I’m sure many people dreamed of seeing Ed McMahon walk up to their front door and of hearing him deliver the good news that they had won $10,000,000.
Today we look at a man sent by God to deliver good news greater than winning a sweepstakes. Moses was God’s servant to bring blessings upon the Israelites. So far this summer we have talked about our need for a Savior and God’s promise in the Garden of Eden. We have also talked about God preserving the ancestors of Jesus Christ in the flood and about Abraham, the man of faith, who trusted God’s promise and acted upon that promise.
Now we see that the children of Abraham, the Israelites, are in great need of good news. They are the ones through whom the Savior of the world would come, but they are slaves in Egypt. God sent Moses to tell them, “I have promised to bring you up out of your misery.” Not only did Moses deliver the good news, but he was the one through whom God kept his promise to free them from slavery.
Can you imagine being in slavery all your life and then hearing God’s promise that you will be free? The joy and relief they must have felt! God gave Moses that great privilege of delivering the good news. Even better than telling someone they won $10 million is the privilege of telling someone they are no longer a slave.
And that wasn’t the only good news God had Moses deliver. It wasn’t just that they were free from slavery, but they were headed to their own land – a land God promised to give them where they could raise their families in peace and enjoy the fruits of their own labor. This land was described as flowing with milk and honey – a rich land.
Better still were the words Moses wrote down for the Israelites. The first five books of the Bible were God’s Word recorded by Moses so that the people would know about the Savior. This is the greatest privilege of all – to tell someone that they are no longer slaves to sin or to Satan, but because of God’s Son they have been made children of God and heirs of eternal life. They had a heavenly home waiting for them.
Even though Moses was bringing good news it doesn’t mean that Moses had it easy. Being the pastor of over 1 million people is not easy. Not only did he lead them out of Egypt, but he cared for them as they wandered for forty years in the desert. During that time they grumbled and complained. They asked, “Why can’t I be the leader?” and “Why can’t things be different?” They tested his patience in the same way we all test God’s patience.
They didn’t deserve God’s promised land, but in his great mercy God brought the Israelites to the land of Canaan and he used Moses to do it. Through Moses and all that had happened to Israel, God set apart Israel as the nation through whom the Savior would come.
You and I have much in common with the people of Israel. In fact, we were slaves. We could not help but serve sin and Satan. We don’t deserve God’s promised land of heaven. We have complained to God and have not followed his commands, just like the Israelites that Moses shepherded.
But God has set us free. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to take our place – to suffer for our disobedience. He gives other people, pastors and teachers, the privilege of sharing that good news with us, just as he did for Moses. Through Moses and others God’s message of salvation was written down for us to read and through other people that message is shared with us.
Not all of us are called to be in the public ministry, but all of us can have that privilege of sharing good news with others – not that they have won millions of dollars, but something far better. God has rescued them from slavery and has given them an eternal home in heaven.