Trusting God Exodus 2 v1-10
I guess for most Police Officers, the most stressful part of the job is appearing at court. I shall never forget my first Crown Court appearance, and the first time I gave evidence at Court 1 at The Old Bailey. Generally it’s not because you have done anything wrong, or as some might falsely accuse, likely to commit perjury. No, but you know Barristers, especially defence ones are paid obscene fees to pick holes in and discredit your evidence and convince the jury you are a liar and make it inadmissible! But as the saying goes ‘Every Dog has it’s day’
A defence barrister was cross-examining a police officer during a criminal trial it went like this:
Q: Officer, did you see my client fleeing the scene?
A: No sir, but I subsequently observed a person matching the description of the offender running several streets away.
Q: Officer, who provided this description?
A: The officer who responded to the scene.
Q: A fellow officer provided the description of this so-called offender. Do you trust your fellow officers?
A: Yes sir, with my life.
Q: With your life? Let me ask you this then officer, do you have a locker room in the police station, a room where you change your clothes in preparation for your daily duties?
A: Yes sir, we do.
Q: And do you have a locker in that room?
A: Yes sir, I do.
Q: And do you have a lock on your locker?
A: Yes sir.
Q: Now why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your life that you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with those officers?
A: You see sir, we share the building with a court complex, and sometimes defence barristers have been known to walk through that room.
I ask the question who do you trust both in and with your life? Your friends, family, colleagues, fellowship, sadly like me I’m sure that some of you will have been let down in various ways in the past. I know I’ve said it ‘Next time I’ll do it myself!’
In today’s reading we have this wonderful well known account of Moses and the basket! I must admit that I have never till I started to prepare this talk fully realised the importance of this scripture. How many of us even know the name of Moses mother? She, Jochebed knew Pharoh’s order to kill the first born was evil but was unable to do anything about it. However I’m sure it was that small still voice from God who inspired her to place him in the basket? She trusted God with the life of her new born son. God never let her down even though what was to happen must have far exceeded any expectation she may have had. What a reminder that God has a plan and purpose for all of us, even if we don’t realise it at the time. Moses was God’s chosen one and would be instrumental in freeing the slaves and leading them towards the promised land. (PP4) It was Moses who God entrusted with the Ten Commandments. It was Moses who was the only man to speak to God face to face Exodus 33 v11.
I wonder how many of us have the faith and courage of Jochebed. Do we sometimes feel surrounded by evil and wrongdoing but feel frustrated by how little we can do about it? When faced with evil, look for ways to act against it. Then use God to use your effort, however small it seems, in His war against evil. Just one example: How many Christians write to their MP when un Godly laws are in the making? Sadly sometimes it doesn’t always seem to change things, after all nearly 700,000 people signed the petition against gay marriage, the biggest petition ever made in Britain, yet Cameron and Clegg arrogantly turned a blind eye! Still who knows the eventual outcome and effect of that decision. God knows and one day all of us will come face to face with God and have to give an account of the things we did or did not do for Him. He alone will be the judge.
Which leads me onto the second main point I want to bring out. Although sometimes elder sisters can be a pain in the neck, Miriam, Moses sister seized the opportunity and bravely approached the Royal Princess, resulting in Moses not only being reunited with his mother but also Jochebed would receive a generous allowance for nursing her own child. As my Life Application Bible mentions: Special opportunities may come our way unexpectedly. Don’t let the fear of what might happen cause you to miss an opportunity. Be alert to the opportunities God gives you, and take full advantage of them.
My third point the Holy Spirit kept prompting me to emphasise was that although, as in our reading, God took over control, sometimes we need to set the wheels in motion, or in the case of Jochebed to set the sails, then let God drive or sail! A woman buys her new car from the local dealer but is unable to drive it off the forecourt. Until the salesman explains that although it is an automatic car she still needs to turn it on and move the gear selector!
It was no ordinary basket Moses was placed in. We are told in v3 Jochebed lined it with bitumen and pitch as would be done when building boats in those days. She knew how vulnerable Moses would be sailing down the River Nile with itâs strong current and other dangers. It would not be plain sailing!
One day three men were walking along and came upon a raging, violent river. They needed to get to the other side, but had no idea of how to do it. The first man prayed to God saying, “Please God, give me the strength to cross this river.” Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs, and he was able to swim across the river in about two hours. Seeing this, the second man prayed to God saying, “Please God, give me the strength and ability to cross this river.” Poof !) God gave him a boat and he was able to row across the river in about three hours. The third man had seen how this worked out for the other two, so he also prayed to God saying, “Please God, give me the strength, ability, and intelligence to cross this river.” And Poof! God turned him into a woman. She then looked at the map and found a bridge and easily crossed the river!
Sometimes when we fall on hard times there can be a tendency to sit back hoping God will deal with it without any effort on our part. So how do we set the wheels in motion? Serious prayer and spending time listening as well as talking to God is a good starting point. We may have to consider some practical as well as spiritual discipline, for example: If it’s financial hardship we might need to tighten our belt, consider budgeting a bit better. If it’s our health maybe change of diet or cutting back on things that we know are harmful, in excess. When I first become a Christian I really struggled to quit smoking as fellowship members kept nagging me. Then one day when doing my bible reading discovering that God wants my body to be a holy temple in which he could dwell. The Holy Spirit convicted not condemned me to quit smoking as he didn’t want to live in all that smoke! I cried out ‘Lord if you want me to quit then you must do it, I’ve tried so many times’ guess what, he did it! But I had to play my part by not buying anymore!
For those who don’t know I’ll share a secret, life ain’t always easy. It’s a fact that most people when struggling with issues often when laying down go back into what is caused the foetal position, psychiatrist will tell you it’s caused by a desire to return to the mothers womb, a warm and safe place without any fear or pressure. Of course an impossible task even if your not as big as me! Even young babies and small children generally don’t experience the pressure of life. I guess baby Moses never experienced fear and danger as his mother laid him in that basket, although he would get his fair share later in life! How sad that today’s society tries to make children into adults too quickly and bring on some of the pressures we adult sometimes have. (PP16) We make them want designer clothes, even make up mainly for the girls as young as 3. Kids in junior schools are fashion conscious, our schools want seven year old to have sex lessons. What has happened to the innocence of youth? Can you remember your early childhood?
You know whatever age or trials or tribulations we are facing even if we have a childlike faith, Father God wants to catch you, to take you into his arms of love, to take over your problems. We need to lay our problems at the foot of the Cross of Jesus and trust Him to deal with it. We need to have the faith and trust of Jochebed and maybe we too will be amazed what happens when we let God take over. We all need to listen and respond whether it’s that small voice or the shout of God. As in my joke about the 3 men even if the task or tribulation appears so huge so daunting, there will be occasions where God shows us a simple remedy that was not obvious to us.
My final point is that God loves and honours the Jochebeds of this world, the risk takers and overcomers if it’s done in line with His will and purpose.
Take a look at Holman Hunts famous painting ‘Jesus Light of The World’ notice there is no handle on the outside. A mistake? No Holman Hunt pointed out to his critics, Jesus never forces his way in, we need to open the door from the inside. Maybe you are like Jochebed, facing a dilemma. OK, it may not be a matter of life and death, maybe a career or relationship situation, maybe feeling inadequate or fearful, whatever it is open the door to Jesus and let Him into the situation, to be the driving force. There is no guarantee it will always be plain sailing, be he is more than able to calm the storm!
Testimony: When I was in the Police one of my note books containing vital evidence went missing. I started to panic as in the UK any verbal evidence written down must be shown, if requested in it’s original form at court. The small voice of God prompted me to look in the confidential waste sack. Not a pleasant place to delve into as such sacks were often used to dump other things like half eaten sandwiches or old drinks cans! Apparently one of my colleagues had a gripe about Christians and decided to take it out on me! You should have seen his face when I searched and found my notebook! Although after this I was more careful locking my notebooks away, one night I forgot to lock my draw and the same thing happened again. However this time that small voice from God told me “don’t even bother to look for it, trust me”. Reluctantly I was obedient fearing the worst should I ever need to give evidence contained in the missing book! 18 months later I was called to give evidence and yes the evidence I needed was in the missing book. The next day having asked some church members to pray into the difficult situation, I went off to the court with fear and trepidation. To make matters worse it was a court miles away and where a unfamiliar judge was presiding! However on my arrival I was informed I wasn’t required as the case had been dismissed on a legal technicality unconnected to my evidence! How I thanked the God who knew it would be alright 18 months previously!
Are we prepared to trust Him with all that life throws at us and even with life itself?