(Pastor Ock Soo Park’s Sermon for Children)
God Appears to Moses
When God works, He works according to His will and plan and in order to accomplish this, He uses people. But first, He speaks of His will to them. So when that person accepts His will by heart after hearing it, God starts to work through that person.
One day, Moses was in the desert and saw a burning bush whose flames did not consume it.
“That is strange, it was on fire a while ago, but it is still on fire?”
When Moses went near the bush to see, God spoke, “Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” And then said, “I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.”
Young Moses had wanted to work for the enslaved Israelites in Egypt, but after he killed an Egyptian he had to run away to the desert in Median. He spent 40 years there tending to sheep and forgot everything. However, when God said that He would lead the Israelites out of Egypt through him, Moses kept saying that he could not go because he felt burdened by the task. But God spoke again and again to Moses, and eventually Moses went to Egypt according to God’s Word. God started to work from then on. Though there were big and small problems, God eventually achieved His work of leading the Israelites out of Egypt and entering Canaan through Moses.
God Who Speaks to Abraham
It was the same for Abraham. God wanted to give Abraham a son so that Jesus Christ could be born through him. But it was not when Abraham was young, but rather when he was 99 years old and Sarah 89 years old that God said, “As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her.” No matter how hard Abraham thought about it, it seemed impossible to give birth to a son at that age. So he laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? And shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?” and said, “O that Ishmael might live before thee!” God said, “Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac.” God continuously spoke to Abraham and led him until he had faith. Eventually, Abraham had the faith that “Sarah will have a son,” and that is when God started to work.
The Angel Appears to Mary
The story of Mary giving birth to Jesus begins with an angel appearing before her and speaking to her. The angel said to Mary, “Hail, thou that art highly favoured.” Mary said to herself, “Why is he greeting me like this?” and was troubled. That is when the angel said, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” After hearing this, many thoughts came to Mary’s mind.
“How can I conceive without having married? And even if I were, what will Joseph think of this? What will other people think?” So Mary said, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” The angel then answered, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
Only then was Mary able to have faith and say, “Oh, God will work. So even if there are problems, God will help and work.” So Mary spoke, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” That is when God started to work through Mary and Jesus was born.
The People God Uses
The works that happened to Moses, Abraham and Mary happen to us as well. It is not that the people God uses have to be diligent and sincere. They don’t have to be smart or kind, either. They have to unite their heart with God. The works that are most burdensome and difficult to us humans are no longer problems when God works. But even though they feel that God is speaking to them and see God’s promise, many people have the heart like this, “I am too weak for this.” If Mary said, “I am a virgin, how could I give birth to a son?” and rejected the Word, how could God have worked through her?
Though Mary was a virgin and could not bear a son, if God works it is not a problem; though Moses did not have the ability to save Israel, if God works it is not a problem; though Abraham is old, if God works it is not a problem. Likewise God wishes to work in us as well. When God speaks to us, you should not look at yourself and fear and run away, but commit yourself to God and have the faith to say, “God, I am Yours. I wish it to be according to Your Word.” That is when God works and accomplishes His will through us and we can witness His glory.