Exodus 2 -- 4
Moses, the son of slaves, grew up enjoying the luxury of the Egyptian palace! It came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren (the Israelites), and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand (Exodus 2:11-12).
Moses was 40 years old when he executed the abusive Egyptian. This was Moses' legal right, since he was second only to Pharaoh in administering justice. Moses was in the prime of his life and, from a natural point of view, it would seem to be the ideal time for God to use him to set His people free from their suffering and slavery. However, Moses had to flee Egypt since the time for God to judge Egypt and deliver the Israelites had not yet come. Even more important, Moses still needed to be taught by God.
Moses' 40 years in a prestigious position in Egypt were followed by 40 years of loneliness as a shepherd in the desert. But both experiences were vital in preparing him to be the person God could use to lead His people out of Egypt, through the desert, and on to the borders of the Promised Land. By itself, the leadership ability that Moses gained in Egypt could not qualify him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and through the wilderness. Neither can the wisdom of the world qualify us to make right decisions in life. We must be taught by the Holy Spirit through reading His Word. Like Moses, our most basic need is the removal of all self-sufficiency. Before God can use us to fulfill His will, there must come a time when we too can say with the prophet: O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps (Jeremiah 10:23). It was spiritually necessary for Moses to tend sheep on the backside of the desert (Exodus 3:1).
During those 40 years, it would appear that Moses was just doing an ordinary job. Then the Angel of the Lord appeared and said: Draw not nigh . . . put off your shoes from off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground (3:5). Moses could never have learned humility or been able to draw nigh to God in the Egyptian palace. He was too busy and too important. To the natural man it might seem a foolish waste of 40 years for Moses to spend doing nothing "of importance." But, with the Lord, such time is never wasted.
The schooling and eloquence of the world can be used of God, but they are of no eternal value in themselves. It is the Holy Spirit's anointing on what we do and say that makes our lives worthwhile.
We must realize that we are a vital part of God's plan for reaching others in the world with the Good News of eternal life. The highly-educated Apostle Paul wrote: Not that we are sufficient (competent) of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves (to decide anything by our human wisdom); but our sufficiency is of God (II Corinthians 3:5).
2:13 strove = were quarreling; 2:16 of Midian = of the descendants of Abraham through his second wife Keturah (Genesis 25:1-4); 2:23 sighed by reason = groaned because; 2:25 had respect unto = was concerned about; 3:22 spoil = take the wealth of.
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