Lessons We Can Learn from Familiar Sunday School Stories
10 Lessons from Moses & the Story of Exodus
1. Pharaoh was the easiest part.
What Moses was most fearful of in the beginning (speaking to Pharaoh) turned out to be the easiest part because God took care of it. The most difficult part was the people's own heart and stubbornness. We are often our own biggest enemies.
2. The way to the Promised Land is always through the desert.
Leaving Egypt never means entering the Promised Land. The most difficult work happens in between. Otherwise, Exodus would only 14 chapters. Entering the Promised Land always comes after a journey through the desert where no human resources or abilities are adequate.
3. Sometimes slavery is very attractive.
You may want to be a slave again. It's predictable, it's familiar, you can keep all your old habits, and most of all, it doesn't require any change in our hearts. Sometimes it's not easy to distinguish between Egypt and Canaan in our lives.
4. Never take God's presence for granted.
God could kill the Egyptians and Israelites just the same way. The Israelites were spared not because they were more righteous. The only difference was that they were covered by the blood of the lamb and had Moses mediating for God's forgiveness on their behalf. God's presence is 100% God's own decision and mercy.
5. The real battles only begin after you approach the Promised Land.
There was never a physical battle between Egypt and the Israelites. But the real ones happened only after the people were approaching the Promised Land.
The names of the enemies literally showed what they were: 'Amorites' means rebel, 'Hittites' means fear, 'Perizzites' means dwellers in the world, 'Canaanites' means merchants, 'Hivites' means wickedness, and 'Jebusites' means condemnation. God never promised it would be easier. He only promised He would go with us.
6. It's not just about leaving Egypt.
The exodus from Egypt and the entering of the Promised Land were just the 'buns' of the hamburger. The main meat was the whole new relationship and covenant with God which His people had never experienced. We learn about this new relationship with God through trusting, obeying, and experiencing Him in the desert. The Promised Land s not just an exotic holiday destination. It's about a whole new identity on earth and a complete change of heart. It's about humbly allowing a whole new set of principles to rule over every aspect of your life to ensure your relationship with God is not hindered by sin.
7. We often don't even know what we need.
'Manna' literally means "What is it?" God's provision is not something we can even comprehend, let alone make it happen ourselves. What we know for sure is who provides what we need, as well as His faithfulness in provision.
8. Approaching God is only possible under God's terms.
And it can be a very messy, or even fatal process. When a holy God chooses to dwell among a sinful people, it is only His mercy that ensures their lives can be spared. All the tedious details of purification and consecration only provide a small glimpse of our original distance. Approaching God in our own terms only means death.
9. Every stage of the Exodus was God's initiation.
It was God who initiated the plan to leave Egypt, the commission of Moses and Aaron, the Passover, the day, time and route of the escape via the Red Sea, the covenant, His dwelling among the people (the Tabernacle), the Law, the reestablishment of the covenant after the people broke the last one...
10. There is nothing you or your enemies can do to ruin God's plan.
When God has decided to deliver His people from slavery, it is going to happen no matter how much we have messed it up. Neither our sinfulness nor the Enemy can change God's eternal plan of salvation. He said He would do it, and He will do it. It's not about how good or bad you are.
Can you add to this list when you read the story of Exodus?