Part Four, the conclusion of the sermon entitled The Moses Five – Defiant Love which was originally given on Mother’s Day, May 14, 2017 at Midway Mennonite Church in Columbiana, OH.
Sermon Scripture Text: Exodus 1:15-2:10 (NRSV)
Four hundred and forty words make up our passage today. While there may not be a lot of words, there is a lot we can take away from these verses of scripture and the story of the Moses 5. We can see that God can use us when we least expect it.
He also uses those people that you would least expect to be used. In this case, he uses all women behind the scenes. It is the females that Pharaoh considered “safe” and not an enemy to his kingdom that protect the leader God is preparing.
We see that it is possible to be used in God’s work behind the scenes and never see the actual outcome of what God is working. It is most likely none of the Moses Five except Miriam were still alive to see Moses return at the age of 80 to Egypt to lead God’s people out of bondage and into the Promised Land.
The Moses 5 are all women of true compassion and defiant love. From them we learn about faith, courage, hope, perseverance, trust, and resourcefulness. Moses’ mother Jochebed is an incredibly strong woman, but we see that she doesn’t complete her task of raising her child alone. It takes several brave, strong women to do this.
It took a community then, and it still takes a community of strong women today. People who choose do the right thing every time, not just when people are watching. People who know God and who are willing to be part of his Kingdom work here on this earth.
Today we are celebrating Mother’s Day. A day set aside for us to remember our mothers that are no longer with us and celebrate the ones that are still here. Our passage of scripture today shows us a mother, a sister, an adoptive mother, and complete strangers who choose to serve God by doing the right thing despite the rulings of men or standards of their society. Let us remember and celebrate these women today, and the example they set for us. They all use compassion and defiant love to overcome the obstacles they encounter in their lives and carry out God’s love to those around them.
All around us are women of compassion and love. We fill the roles of mothers, grandmothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, aunts, sisters or even as friends who are mentors and teachers. To date in my life I have been blessed with many great and Godly women who have helped to shape me into the person I am today. Some I am related too, some are women God has sent my way at the right times along my journey. Women serving God who have helped me learn lessons of grace and humility.
We can all be people of compassion and love. God’s people. We see this same kind of message repeated in the New Testament as well. In 1 Peter 5:5 we read, “In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”’
Likewise, we read in 2 Timothy 2:24-25, “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth.”
In his book, Cure for the Common Life (pg. 132) Max Lucado phrases it like this, “Jesus entered the world to serve. We can enter our jobs, our homes, our church. Servanthood requires no unique skill or seminary degree. Regardless or your strengths, training, or church tenure, you can…”
The world today is looking for people of compassion and love. God’s people – men and women who choose to do the right thing despite the consequence to them and who always have their trust in God. Even during the hard times.
Our world is hungry for righteous voices. Those willing to reach out and help others. Perhaps it is giving support and encouragement to a young mother who is struggling. Or it could be reaching out to a girl to help guide her through the turbulence of the adolescent years. It could even be as simple as taking a child to the movies here and there and chatting with them on the car ride.
Our obedience to God’s call spans across racial divides and borders of countries. Today we read about an Egyptian princess who showed compassion and love to her enemy, a Hebrew. We see Jesus teaching this same love of enemy in the New Testament in the parable of the good Samaritan. Egyptian or Hebrew, Samaritan or Jew, we are all God’s children and subject to his ways. Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:31-40,
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
God uses us in unexpected ways. We just have to be willing to answer his call, obeying his teachings and meeting the needs of those around us. No matter what the personal cost is to us. We, like the Moses 5, are all called to be strong and courageous people of God who spread compassion and love in a world that is hurting.
Be a person of defiant love.
If you missed Part Three it can be found here.