December 31, 2017
By Faith Moses Did Not Compromise, Part 1
Text: Mark 10:17-31, Romans 12:1-3 Exodus 8-10
Pastor Matthew Burt
Wellspring Church Springfield, Ma.
SCRIPTURES: Mark 10:17-31, Romans 12:1-3 Exodus 8-10
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
BIG IDEA: By Faith Moses Did Not Compromise
For many weeks we have been looking at Hebrews 11. The phrase we have looked at is “by faith” As we come to a new year, people make resolutions. A lot of time they are more well intended than actually accomplished. Today, out of the life of Moses, we are called to live with resolve rather than resolutions. I will resolve not to compromise when asked to by the enemy of my soul. We start with Exodus 8. You know the background of this setting. God had met with Moses in the wilderness and given him a commandment – Let my people go. The commandment is given 10 times in the account. Nine times Pharaoh hardens his heart and God responds with 9 separate plagues. Four times in this interchange we see that Pharaoh seems to relent. He seems to soften and he offers to Moses an alternative. Pharaoh is negotiating with God. This is not a good idea. Your arms are too short to box with God. He hears the commandment – let me people go – 10 x – into the wilderness that they may sacrifice to me. Pharaoh says no. The offer to compromise is given in contrast to Romans 12:1. Do not be conformed to this world but rather be transformed. Conformity to this world is always where we will compromise. We are to be conformed to the very person of Jesus Christ. Today, we have this commandment regarding conformity.
OUTLINE FOR TODAY:
- Commandment to conform
- Four compromises given to Moses
Point 1: Call to conformity.
In brief, when the scripture tells us not to be conformed to the world it is telling us not to pattern our life after the world – don’t let the world squeeze us into its mold. Do not have the same goals, patterns, pursuit after pleasure that the world has. It is talking about the system of the world around us. That’s exactly what Moses faces. Pharaoh askes Moses to compromise. By Exodus 8:25 – there have been 4 plagues.
Point 2: Four compromises Pharaoh gives to Moses
- Compromise #1: Stay in the landAfter six repetitions of the command and the first four plagues: Water to blood, Frogs, Dust, and flies Pharaoh relents and says,“You may go and sacrifice within the land.”I’m sure that Pharaoh thought he was making a reasonable offer. He offered to tolerate them and their practices. He was saying the same thing to these people that Satan says to people everyday. Yes, you are disobedient. Just add a little religion to your life. Stay in the land – don’t go away. Did you hear what the young man asked Jesus – what must I do to inherit eternal life? Don’t repent; don’t humble yourself but rather stay in the land – just do a little more – be better. This is the compromise that comes to folks when they first hear the gospel: don’t leave your pleasures just add some sacrifices to your life. People begin to make a move toward God and Satan says don’t leave. This is the exact warning that Jesus gives in the parable of the land – choked by the cares and worries of this world. There will be no fruitfulness. Moses response is NO – it is not right for us to do this. God said we are to go out from the land. He calls upon the word of God rather than come up with reasons.
- Compromise #2: Don’t go very far away OK, Pharaoh says, you may go and worship your God and you may go out of the country—but just a little bit, a short distance. Go but stay near the border.This is where many of us are tempted. We have left the world but the call to compromise is to stay close enough to the world. There will be times when I want to have the pleasures/comforts/applause/acceptance of this world. I want to stay close enough to the world to get what I really want. In high school PB wanted to be popular; to be cool, to be accepted. He was a believer and yet he wanted to stay close enough (Egypt) to enjoy the acceptance. That whole history came tumbling down when at age 23 he was in prison. If he had not cared so much about the acceptance of people, he would not have made those decisions. Thank God it was not the end of the road. Not everybody has that mercy and grace given to them. I am a Christian on Sundays but I am still going to have the money goals during the week. Moses responds and says NO. He leaves Pharaoh and there are 5 more plagues after that. Finally, it comes to the place where even Pharaoh’s advisors ask how long he will be so stubborn. SO Moses is called back into Pharaoh’s presence.
- Compromise #3: Keep your religion private/personal . Yes you can go Moses – you and your men. But leave your children in Egypt. Let your children grow up and make up their own minds about religion. Let someone else teach them. You take care of your own life and don’t force it on anyone else. It’s a very attractive offer. It is threatening for us to share the gospel with someone else. It is easy for us not to want to force the gospel on others. This is such a horrible business when a parent falls for it. The world system we live in seeks to tell us that we can live life just fine – no need to have a god – in fact we are not sure there is a god. The world around us tells us to use our brain to figure things out. The world around us teaches us there are not absolutes, morals are situational, and ethics are flexible. The world around us says you are defined by what you own – secular materialistic world. Just be kind and good – moralistic world. If we follow these things, it will become nihilistic and empty. God says – you teach your children. Moses rebuffs Pharaoh again.
- Compromise #4: Leave your flocks. Your stuff is still your stuff; your time is still your time – you don’t have to consecrate that to God. We do not know what God might ask of us that we might serve Him properly. It is easy for us to say you can have my money but my time is my own. We need to respond to that temptation – “not a hoof will be left behind”. Take all of me and use it for your glory. It may be the hardest one we face. We may be like the young man in the parable – Jesus says go and sell all you have and he walked away sad because he had many possessions. If my heart is in this world it won’t take long before my whole body is in this world. God’s kingdom has a different set of priorities
Point 3: Applications
We resolve to say no to compromise. One of the questions we ask wrongly: Is it OK for a Christin to do (fill in the blank)? Instead, we should ask what can I change? Instead of listening to the compromises, we need to set our affection on things above. Seek to imitate Jesus Christ in all He is. Look at His holiness, His mercy, His steadfastness, how He is sent by the Father and does the will of the Father.
CONCLUSION: By faith Moses refused to compromise.