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Word from Scotland

    by Sandy Shaw

Is It Ever Too Late for a Comeback?
Date Posted: June 10, 2024

Are there opportunities when it looks as though it might be a seemingly impossible situation? We have missed it – it cannot happen – we are too old or it’s too late. Think of what happened to Moses.

God’s purpose here – as in other places – is to train men – to prepare people – to form character and stability as people come to know GOD – and for us, to know Jesus Christ more and more.

We read in Acts 7 verses 23to 29 - One day when Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his relatives, the people of Israel. He saw an Egyptian mistreating an Israelite.

Verse 30 – Forty years later, in the desert near Mount Sinai, an angel appeared to Moses in the flame of a burning bush.

Exodus 3verses 1and 2 – One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up.

A burning bush - In the midst of the routine when you least expect it, God’s invitation you are surprised by God’s invitation. I remember the day I had the experience of a burning bush .

With Moses, it was God’s presence in the bush, that made this bush special – that changed the whole situation. God is revealing to Moses that HE is the living God. God can surprise us at any time anywhere.

It was an ordinary common bush – it was the presence of God that made the bush extraordinary. God was in the bush – Deuteronomy 33verse 16 .

It would appear that Almighty God has His eye on Moses for 80 years – ever since he was born in these precarious circumstances in Egypt – hidden in a basket in the Nile – and then cared for and educated – in the palace, and in the desert.

God had His eye on Elijah – and Elisha – and Abraham – and Zechariah – and Peter and Paul and John………and YOU!

Exodus 3verses 4,5 – When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. “Do not come any closer,” the LORD warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.”

What makes the ground HOLY – the very presence of God.

We cannot approach God carelessly or casually.

4questions when God turns setbacks into comebacks – I want you to go to Pharaoh - I want you to set the people free – MY PEOPLE.

1 – Who am I? We enter a dialogue – a conversation between God and Moses.

Exodus 3verses 11,12 – Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”

God answered, “I will be with you.” That is what matters!

We are always going to feel inadequate because no matter what our qualifications might be, they are not enough for the big task to which God is calling us. Inadequacy or Inferiority – this can grip people at such an hour – preventing a man from being of service – even paralysing a man. God’s answer – I will be with you .

There can also be a paralysing consciousness arising from past failure – that can make a man flee. The enemy can delight in reminding us of some incident in our past – and this can cripple people. Who am I?

The answer is not in who you are – but who God is – I will be with you. It is not your ability that matters – it is MY CALLING YOU. Most of us experience feelings of inadequacy. 2Corinthians 3verse 5 – our adequacy is from GOD.

2 – Who are you? If you are going to be the one who is with me – who are you – what will I say to people? Exodus 3verses 13,14 – But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” God replied to Moses, “ I AM.

Chapter 4verse 1 – Inadequacy and Ignorance and Ineffectiveness.

Who I am . Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.”

God’s answer – I AM !! – the living eternal self-sufficient GOD!

What is GOD saying – I am the One who can meet every need you may have.

I am your provision – Jehovah-JirehGenesis 22:14 - Abraham

I am your victory – Jehovah-NissiExodus 17:15 – the Lord is my banner.

I am your peace – Jehovah-ShalomJudges 6:24 – the Lord is peace.

I am there – Jehovah-Shammah – Ezekiel 48; 35 – the Lord is there.

I am the One who is going to show up – and I am the One who can meet that need. God reveals and God instructs.

We often say – I wish – I wish I had that – I wish I had done that – I wish they had not said that – and God says, “I AM”. Tell people who I am – tell the people – that is what we have to do – tell the people wherever we can.

3 – What about them? This is not intellectual modesty!

Exodus 4verses 1,2 – But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The LORD never appeared to you’?”

This is the cry of the person who says – I could never do anything meaningful for You, O God.

Then the LORD asked him, “What is that in your hand?” “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied.

People can keep us from doing things – from saying things –what might people keep us from doing? People can try to control our actions and behaviour.
God’s Answer – What is in your hand? Look at what you have –

Verses 3,4 – the staff becomes a snake – and turns back into a staff.

We take what we have and put it in God’s Hand – a cruel cross became a place of forgiveness. This became the symbol of God’s authority.

God is looking for ordinary people who will respond to his Call.

Sometimes what we have can look like nothing – but when we give it and surrender it and offer it, it can be amazing – that ability – that hurt – that decision – think of the five loaves and two fish given to Jesus.

Moses is not finished.

4. How about this? It is as if Moses keeps the big objection to now.

Exodus 4verses 10,11 – But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied , and my words get tangled .” Then the LORD asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth?”

God’s Answer – Do you think I did not know that – I made your mouth – do you consider yourself to be handicapped – do you think you cannot do this Moses because of your supposed handicap?

Now GO – your handicap isn’t in control – I am in control.

He was given his wee brother to help him – to be a mouthpiece.

What if Moses had said “NO” – he would not have seen the Red Sea split open – he would not have seen the Ten Commandments given.

Verse 13 – Send someone else! He took one step and moved forward.

Hebrews 11verses 26 and 27 – He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward . He had his eye on the One no eye can see, and so kept right on going.

It all started with a Burning Bush where Moses heard God call his name.

God released so much of His mercy and love and power into Moses’ life. God deals with his past – and gives him a future at 80.

D L Moody’s famous words about Moses – For 40 years Moses thought he was ‘somebody’ – then 40 years in the backside of the deserts thinking he was a nobody – and then seeing what God can do with somebody who may think he is a nobody. God continues to call uncertain insecure nobodies who may continue to protest.

Joel 2verse 12 – Even now declares the Lord – return to me with all your heart with fasting and weeping and mourning.

Abraham – Moses – Gideon – Elijah – Isaiah – Elisha – Jeremiah – Zechariah – Peter – Paul……and YOU.

“Lord our God – You are a God Who calls – down through the years You have called and raised up men and women to serve You and lead and preach and teach and pray – and You continue to call men and women – and You equip them with gifts and authority and power. As we think of Moses, reassure us that it is never too late for a comeback. We worship You in Jesus’ Name.” Amen.

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Biography Information:

Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!

Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.

Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at wsho.com.

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