One person from the Old Testament I have always related to is Moses. As someone who is often scared by what God calls me to and tends to trip over my words, I can understand Moses’s hesitation to lead the Israelites out of slavery and boldly approach Pharoah. So I find myself encouraged whenever I read Moses’s story, especially because I’m reminded of how God chooses to work through the seemingly weak and ill-equipped to accomplish His great purposes. Which means He works through both you and me.
Have you been personally impacted by Moses’s story? Sometimes, as believers, we can focus on the beginning of Moses’s story, his incredible rescue in the Nile, the ten plagues, and the Exodus through the Red Sea. But Moses’s story doesn’t stop when the Israelites set foot on dry land after venturing through the Red Sea. Even though Moses’s story is part of a bigger story—God forming a people into a nation for His glory—Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy all contain stories that involve Moses and His leadership. So what can we learn from the life of Moses? While there is much to glean from Moses’s life, we can take away four primary lessons:
- God cares for His people.
- To lead wisely, you need to listen to and obey God.
- God will equip you by His power.
- Moses’s life ultimately points us to Jesus.
God Cares for His People
The beginning of Moses’s story involves the Hebrew people (the Israelites) being enslaved in Egypt. They were forced to work tirelessly, and it likely seemed as if the burden placed upon them would never lift. The Israelites were in a burdensome situation, but they would not be left there. Exodus 2:24–25 tells us, “God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the Israelites, and God knew.”
God saw the Israelites’ pain and heard their cries. He did not turn away from them or expect the Israelites to get out of their situation themselves. He remembered His covenant, which means that He sought to fulfill His promises to Israel’s forefathers to make their offspring into a vast and blessed nation. God’s response in the very beginning of Moses’s story reminds us how God cares for His people. Our tears and cries of pain are seen and heard by God, who loves us and desires to help us.
To Lead Wisely, You Need to Listen to and Obey God
When Moses is in the wilderness, he experiences an incredible interaction with the Lord. From a burning bush, God declares His plan to release the Israelites from slavery and appoints Moses to be the one to lead them out. From the start, Moses questions God’s plans. He questions his own ability to do what God is asking of him and even asks God to send someone else, someone more eloquent than him. Moses does not take seriously this call that God has placed on his life. However, Moses does end up listening to God and goes to the Pharaoh. And even though it takes time for the Pharaoh to agree to Moses’s request, Moses remains obedient to what God asks of him, and eventually, the Israelites are freed.
This part of Moses’s story teaches us that we must listen to and obey God, especially as leaders. We need to listen to God’s voice and trust what He is asking us to do, even if we don’t understand or feel ill–equipped to do what He is calling us to do. Relying on our own power or rejecting God’s commands will not cause us to be wise leaders. In order to lead those in our care well, we must remain obedient to the Lord.
God Will Equip You by His Power
Moses may have doubted God’s plans for him, but he was able to see God use him in miraculous ways. He saw how God gave him the power to enact the ten plagues and keep boldly speaking to Pharoah. But most of all, Moses saw God’s power during the parting of the Red Sea. It seemed as if the Israelites were in a helpless position with the Red Sea before them and the Egyptian army behind them. But God gave Moses the power to part the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to walk through. And by His power, the sea collapsed on the Egyptian army once the Israelites crossed, defeating Israel’s enemies.
God would continue to equip Moses in powerful ways as Moses led the Israelites away from Egypt and toward the Promised Land. The ways in which God worked through Moses encourage us in our own lives. God equips us for what He calls us to do. We may be afraid of what God is calling us and leading us to do. We may feel too weak and unprepared for the task at hand. But God will strengthen us and equip us with His power to do what He has asked us to do. Therefore, we can step into His plans with confidence, trusting His power within us.
Moses’s Life Points Us to Jesus
There were many things Moses did right in his leadership, but there were a lot of things Moses did wrong. While Moses was a great leader and called a friend of God (Exodus 33:11), he fell short of being a leader who always obeyed the Lord. He murdered an Egyptian, rejected the Lord’s plans, and took matters into his own hands multiple times. The ways in which Moses failed point us to Jesus, who never fails us. Jesus is the true and better Leader of God’s people, who obeyed God perfectly. Not only this, but Jesus was willing to lay His life down for His people, sacrificing Himself on the cross for our sake. Because of Jesus’s sacrifice, we are forgiven, and we are formed into the people God created us to be. For more on how Moses’s story points to Jesus, check out this blog on Seeing Jesus in Exodus 4:24–26.
These four lessons are just a small glimpse into what Moses’s life teaches us. If you want to learn more about Moses’s life and how his story not only impacts us but points to Jesus, check out our Journey to Freedom: Life of Moses study!
Additional Resources for Studying the Life of Moses:
- Seeing Jesus in Exodus 4:24–26
- Journey to Freedom: Life of Moses study
- Thankful All Year Long: Encouragement from Psalm 100
- The Bible Handbook