Marketers tell us that the before and after photos are among the most powerful tools to motivate change and sell products.
We love a dramatic before and after photo.
And in Exodus 2 through 11, we see a dramatic before and after.
We begin with an overconfident, impulsive Moses who dramatically acts and drastically fails, which leads to a passive, withdrawn Moses who has little sense of his self-worth, no self-efficacy, low confidence in his abilities, little desire to change, and no courage to face the challenges before him.
And by chapter 11, through the forging of the plagues and the contest with Pharaoh, what emerges is a Moses who has no words other than the Lord’s, who does not act except what God has asked him to do, and has no position other than a man sent by God. He has been transformed into a man of confidence, calm, and control. He has grown into the job he initially rejected.
The impulsiveness of 2:11-13, the hesitancy of 3:12-4:13, the triumphalism of 5:1, and the despair of 5:22 have all passed, and we see a man of unflustered calm (10.29), total confidence in God (9.5), and a pervasive fearlessness in the face of Pharaoh (11.4-9).
This is on-the-job training for leadership. Moses’ performance during the plagues, especially in his multiple negotiations with Pharaoh, shows his transformation from dispirited self-doubt to confident self-assertion. By the end, he is more than a match for Pharaoh, and he has developed three characteristics that are essential to leadership in any arena, to living well in a contentious and anxious age, and to any personal transformation: clarity of mind, stability of soul, and the courage to act.
This week, we will unpack this transformation and show:
1. The clarity of mind comes from an openness and obedience to the Word of the Lord.
2. The courage to act comes from experiencing the power of praying in line with the Will of the Lord.
3. The stability of soul comes from a conviction about walking in the Way of the Lord.