A Vital Prerequisite for Service -- By: William J. McRae

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 04:1 (Summer 1995)
Article: A Vital Prerequisite for Service
Author: William J. McRae


A Vital Prerequisite for Service

William J. McRae1

An Exposition of Exodus 4:18–6:8

Introduction

What is the most vital prerequisite for effectiveness in God’s service? How would you answer that question?

Throughout history, both of the nation Israel as well as the Christian church, there is scattered a host of heroes who by any standard must be graded effective servants of God. There is no doubt how most of them would answer this question.

It is a personal knowledge of God for ourselves. One can know a great deal about God without knowing God. One can even know a great deal about godliness without much knowledge of God. But one cannot be a really effective servant of God apart from a personal knowledge of God for himself.

This explains the early chapters of Exodus. As a young child Moses had been taught about God, but that was hardly sufficient. At forty years of age, the Lord led him to the desert of Midian to shepherd a flock of sheep. For forty years he was in relative seclusion and then he experienced the spectacular phenomenon of the burning bush. What had been happening? The servant was growing in his personal knowledge of God.

Having received his commission from God and permission from Jethro, his father-in-law, Moses started out on his epoch-making mission. Moses’ first steps

as a Servant of God, Savior of Israel, led him into three encounters with God, each of which is designed to enhance his personal knowledge of God. First,

Moses Before God in Midian, 4:21-23

And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is My son, My first-born. So I said to you, Let My son go, that he may serve Me; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your first-born’” (Exodus 4:21–23).

Here is a revelation calculated to lead Moses into a personal knowledge that GOD IS ABSOLUTELY SOVEREIGN. The sovereignty of God is seen here on two levels.

God’s Sovereignty in History, 4:21

I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go (4:21).

The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart has been a problem to Bible students for centuries. What can we say...

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