1.To begin our study what is the difference between faith and trust in G-d – if any?
Faith means at its foundation what? “I believe in G-d and He can do as He wants.” In some sense, faith and trust can be interchangeable. However trust is deeper than faith. Sometimes we have faith in G-d yet find it difficult to completely trust Him.
Jacob had his dream of the ladder in Genesis 28:13-15 and G-d promised him He would be with him and bring him back to the Land. Yet, in Genesis 32:11 in his prayer he tells G-d he is afraid of his meeting with Esau his brother. He had faith in G-d but didn’t completely trust Him in this situation.
Moshe has a similar experience later in his life as he and the people confront Og, King of Bashan. G-d tells him directly, do not fear. Even after all G-d had done Moshe still feared. Numbers 21:33-35.
So both of these men needed to be reassured to not be afraid but to trust in the L-rd. Trust is being able to totally surrender to the Father and whatever He does in our life, holding on to nothing but Him. We allow Him complete control in everything and we trust Him to bring good in our life.
Challenges may come into our life to bring us to repentance, or into a deeper walk with Him. Whatever it is, it is for our best. When we are in that place of complete trust we can rest in the Father and have peace in our life. Coming to this place allows us the ability to say to G-d, “You are the only reality, everything else pales before You.” This is complete surrender of self to Him.
This level of trust is a challenge to all of us as we face life. We can’t reach this level of trust in someone if we do not know them in a deep intimate way. The only way to achieve this is to spend time with the Father getting to know who He is and how much He loves us and wants our best.; It is very important to be able to come to this place in each of our lives
2.In Exodus 5:21-23 everybody was looking for someone to blame for the situation going from bad to worse. The Israelite officers blamed Moshe (and Aaron), not Pharaoh, for their new troubles. Why? Then Moses went to G-d and basically accused Him of making the situation worse. Why do you think the Israelites and Moses did this?
Have you ever had a time where you doubted G-d actions or timing in a difficult situation in your life? How did you react? How should we react?
The redemption Moshe had announced in G-d’s name hadn’t happened. In fact things had gotten worse. Moshe was probably angry that G-d had not warned him that such distress would come upon Israel in the meantime. He had expected that their burdens would be less. He was totally unprepared for them to be increased and had no reply when the foremen complained to him.”
Moshe didn’t know what G-d’s plan was. How could he, since all G-d had said was, “Come, therefore, I will send you to Pharaoh, and you shall free My people, the Israelites, from Egypt” (Exodus 3:10), followed by the only slightly less vague, “I will stretch out My hand and smite Egypt with various wonders which I will work upon them; after that he shall let you go” (Exodus 3:20).
Moshe focus was on the disastrous outcome of his first encounter with Pharaoh, not on the character of the G-d Who has called him. Moses has not yet learned that there is more at stake here than how he is doing. G-d’s character is at stake; He has a promise to keep to Avraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The final resolution for the children of Israel depended on G-d, not Moses. He was not limited by Moses’ vision or abilities. Everything in the process of redeeming Israel from Egypt depended on G-d, not Moses. So it is with us.
When we read Luke 24:13-44 we see that after the Messiah was crucified the disciples thought everything was lost. Two disciples were walking together discussing the crucifixion wondering what had happened. It had been three days and they had not seen a resurrected Messiah. They had lost hope. Once they recognized Yeshua their world was back in order again.
Our walk with G-d may seem at times to be going nowhere and achieving nothing. But what we achieve for Him doesn’t rest on us but on Him. He is our righteousness and our reward and He will accomplish everything that is necessary to fulfill His purposes. Our task is to be obedient, to press on and to give everything we have to His work.
3.In Exodus 3:11 Moses did not think himself able to do the job G-d was calling him to do. Can you think of others in scripture that saw themselves unworthy to do what G-d was asking of them? Why do you think G-d calls people who do not feel able or worthy to do the work He is calling them to do?
Moses asked basically two things: Am I worthy of such a mission? Will Pharaoh listen to me and how could I possibly succeed in this call? G-d answers by saying, “I will be with you,” I’ll be your voice. I will walk along with you.
A strange fact of scripture is that those people who turn out to be the most worthy are those who deny they have any worth at all. They do not see themselves as able to do what G-d is asking them to do. Look at Isaiah in Isaiah 6:5, Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:6-8, King David in II Samuel 7:18, and Peter in Luke 5:1-11. They became heroes because they believed G-d and did what He told them to do. That’s all G-d asks of any of us. That is all He asked of Moses.
4.For my last question I would like us look at Moses’ life and the life of his Egyptian mother to see what we can discern from the two of them. As you read this Torah portion how would you describe Moses’ personality? What natural traits do you see that were used by G-d?
Second, how would you describe Pharaoh’s daughter? How did G-d use her personality traits for His Divine plan?
First let’s look at Moses. He was given a life of privilege and luxury. No doubt he had a bright future in Egypt but that never happened.
In Exodus 2:11. He went to his brethren and saw their burdens. Here we see a young man who knew who he was. Evidently he remembered his background, his heritage. He was moved by what he saw, an oppressed people, his people. What could he do? He could go back home to the palace and go on with his life. But he didn’t do that. Now, the action he took was misguided but he did something. He didn’t let what he had to lose stand in his way.
Next day he went back and saw two Hebrews fighting. He could have left them. Again he intervened but this time with words. He tried to reason with them. Their response threw him. He was frightened and fled the country going to Midian, a vast desert to the east of Egypt. He was hoping to lose himself and avoid the wrath of Pharaoh.
Now to clue three. He sat by a well and the daughters of Jethro came to water their sheep. Local shepherd’s came and drove them away. Now logic might say, why get involved in some local squabble, especially among people he did not know. What did Moses do? He became involved and drove the shepherds away and stood up for those who were being wronged. Even more he helped them by watering their flocks.
So looking at these three events what can we learn about Moses? He identified with the victims, the oppressed. He did so even at the risk of his own comfort and even his life. He never stood idly by but always took the side of the suffering. We see this continue with his encounter with G-d. He, after some hesitation agrees to go back where he is a wanted man and embrace the very people who had turned against him.
Now, to Pharaoh’s daughter. Exodus 2:6 we see she had compassion on Moses. Maybe she disagreed with what her father was doing. She knew he was a Hebrew child and her father had decreed that all male children born to the Hebrew slaves should die. But she saved him, even at risk of her own status in life and maybe even her own life. Evidently she was not a rule follower. She did what she thought was right in the moment.
G-d wants to use all of us, things that come easy to us and things that we think are impossible. He even uses people who do not know Him. He was able to use Moses and the daughter of Pharaoh to accomplish His will.