Aug 5 2011 - E100.16c – Exodus 2:11-25, Moses makes a mess of things
Moses grew up in Pharaoh's household and was educated as an Egyptian prince, but he never forgot that he was an Israelite. One day he decided to go and see for himself how his people were being treated. He saw an Egyptian foreman beating an Israelite slave. In anger he killed the Egyptian. The following day he saw two Israelites fighting and sought to stop their fight. Moses' attempt at mediation is firmly rejected by the one beating up his fellow Israelite with the words, "Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?"
His hope to relieve the suffering of his people has backfired. The news of what Moses has done soon gets back to the palace and Pharaoh is determined to put him to death – he should have died at birth. Moses has to flee for his life to the land of Midian.
Through an act of kindness, Moses is received by the family of a priest in Midian. Reuel (also known as Jethro) gives Moses his daughter Zipporah to be his wife and together they have a son whom Moses names Gershom, 'alien', as an expression of the fact that he is now living in a foreign land.
Moses may have made a complete hash of trying to alleviate the suffering of his people. He may think that he has had to abandon them to their fate, but God has other ideas. As the years pass, the Pharaoh who had sought Moses' life dies, but the Israelites continue to be ill-treated slaves in Egypt. Their cries are heard by God who is determined to fulfil his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He had told Abraham that his descendants would become slaves to another nation but that he set them free and bring them back to the Promised Land (Genesis 15:13-19). He had told Jacob not to be afraid of going down into Egypt; God would make them into a great nation and would then bring them back to the land he had promised to give them (Genesis 46:2-4). The time of fulfilment is about to arrive.
Lord, I know that I too make a complete hash of things when I come up with my own plans and when I seek to do things in my own way and by my own power. Help me to see that your plans are so much better than mine and that I am powerless compared with you. Enable me to discern your plans and to be used of you in what you are doing in the world rather going my own way.