Moses Decides

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Moses could have remained in the palace, living in the lap of luxury. But, as Stephen told the Sanhedrin, Moses had a decision to make: cling to the gold and treasures of Egypt or identify with God’s people. Stephen said, “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites” (Acts 7:23).

This decision set in motion a chain of events that would shape the course of his life. Moses saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite, so he stepped in and killed the Egyptian. He thought the Israelites would be grateful he had taken their side—but the Israelites accused him of murdering the Egyptian. So Moses fled and hid in the desert.

Had Moses not made that crucial decision to visit his people, had he chosen to remain in the palace, we would never have read his story in the Bible. Instead, we would have read about him in the secular history books about ancient Egypt. His whole life would barely have rated a single paragraph—the only Hebrew slave to become a Pharaoh. The entire history of Israel might never have happened if Moses had not made that fateful decision. Because of that decision, he killed an Egyptian, then fled into the wilderness.

Forty years after that first decision, God confronted Moses with another life-altering decision:

After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say: “I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look. Then the Lord said to him, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt. (Acts 7:30-34)

Moses decided to spend the rest of his life seeking not gold but the glory of God. He was fearful, he was reluctant, yet he made a decision that cut off all other options. He decided to follow the Lord.

Prayer: Lord, when faced with trials and temptations, give me the strength and wisdom to choose to follow You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand” (Exodus 4:20).

*Excerpt adapted from Treasure That Lasts by Michael Youssef © 2020. Published by Baker Publishers, Inc. Used by permission.

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon They Were Just Like Us, Part 9: LISTEN NOW

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