Exodus, Chapter 2 Continued.
Did you think I forgot about poor Moses? Nope, I just figure that sharing my Pastors’ teachings are very important.
The story so far: Moses has been reared in the Pharaoh’s court, but nursed by his Israelite mom. She has probably whispered the history of his people in his ear, and he has gone out of the palace and seen the hardships of his people. Moses sees a guard strike a Hebrew slave, and kills the guard. We saw that Moses thought no one had seen, but we know that God saw what he did, and also the other Hebrews saw what Moses did. Moses feared discovery and fled from the temple. He will cool his heels as a shepherd for quite some time, and it is during this time in the wilderness tending sheep that Moses will be developed by God to be a great leader of his people. Sometimes God uses those wilderness experiences to form us.
We need to remember that God did not tell Moses to kill the Egyptian. Sometimes we want to act to help God, but so often when we do that, we end up in trouble. See, God can take care of things Himself, in His own way and in His own timing. When we try to “help” God so often we end up hurting ourselves. We have seen this with Abraham and Sarai when they brought Hagar into the picture. We have seen it in other situations. It seems to be a condition of man that we think that God is not sovereign, that He needs our intervention to get His program done. That does not mean that we can’t walk alongside or behind God doing His will, but when we take it upon ourselves to cause a situation or interfere, sometimes it puts us outside of God’s will and God cannot bless what is outside of His will.
Exodus 2:15 When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.
So many key scenes occur by wells – the water (the water of the Word), the Water of the Spirit.
MIDIAN means Strife – and the Midianites came from Abraham’s wife Keturah’s children. He married Keturah after Sarah died, and produced offspring with her.
The priest of Midian had seven daughters and they came and drew water to water their father’s flock. The shepherds would drive the daughters away, but Moses stood up and helped them to water their flock.
I wonder if the seven daughters could be an allusion to the seven churches mentioned in Revelation, and Moses, the Law helps to water the churches with the Word, but the Spirit hadn’t come yet.
The daughters’ father wondered why the girls returned so early. His name is Reuel which means Friend of God (He will also later be called Jethro, and will give Moses good advice about delegating responsibility), In that he will also be a friend of God for it will prevent Moses from being too scattered and unfocussed in his responsibilities to God.
The girls talk about the Egyptian who delivered them from the shepherds and drew the water. So Moses still had the look of an Egyptian.
Reuel tells his daughters to call this Egyptian so that he may eat bread with them – which in that time would have put him under the protection of Reuel’s household, for the breaking of bread was a covenant.
Verse 21 “Then Moses was content to live with the man, and he gave Zipporah his daughter to Moses.
Zipporah means small bird or sparrow- and God does take care of the birds of the field. Zipporah will correct an error of Moses and prevent the wrath of God to come down on Moses. We need to realize how the “little” things can be very important in our life, and give us guidance too.
My mind is also brought to Paul who was content no matter what his lot. Paul had been rich and poor, but his contentment did not have to do with the externals. Moses was comfortable in the field and in the palace.
Verse 22 And she bore him a son. He called his name Gershem for he said, “I have been a stranger in a foreign land.”
Gershem means foreigner. When you come to think of it, Moses was a foreigner in Egypt (for he was a Hebrew), and now he is a foreigner in Midian. We too are foreigners in this world, once we are saved we become set apart from the flesh, and although we dwell on the earth, our Kingdom is not of this earth. We are ambassadors and foreigners, for God has made a transformation in us. Soon God will do an incredible transformation in Moses’ life and he will do many tasks to free his people, stepping outside of his comfort zone, and ultimately painting a picture of the savior to come. Moses will come to represent the law – which was so necessary to pave the way for our realization that we need Jesus – our savior.
verse 23 Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cries came up to God because of the bondage.
So often God waits until we call out to Him to intervene in our lives. If you are anything like me, too many times we try to do things in our own power, or we don’t think to call out to God early on. Sometimes our situation needs to get worse until we realize that we need to call out to God. I am trying not to wait so long to ask for His help in situations. I have hit the bottom too many times to want to go there every time there is a problem. My hope and prayer is that before we take one step, we ask God, then we will eliminate a lot of grief. But they did cry out to God and once we cry out to God, God responds. It is important to remember that God predicted that the Israelites would be in bondage, he told Abraham about it. God put the people there to preserve them. Nothing like being in a powerful kingdom to prevent extermination. See, satan was still bent on preventing the birth of Jesus, and God had to preserve the remnant. Famine drove them to Egypt, and they prospered and grew vast in numbers (just like God promised Abraham his offspring would do). Now they were a threat to the Egyptians, and they cried out to God.
Verse 24 So God heard their groaning and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
When it says God “remembered” His covenant – it does not mean that God slaps His forehead and says, “Oh, I forgot.” It just means that now is the time for God to act on this covenant, it is the right timing. I used to wonder about the vast expanse of years that ensued between certain interventions of God. But as I read and study the Bible I realize that there is a time frame, and these years are important to help predict Jesus’s birth, and ultimately the second coming. God has all in order from before the foundation of the World, and His timing is perfect. I suspect though, that the Israelites were wondering what happened to God, where was God, why didn’t God stop this. Sometimes we spend so much time wondering this, that we miss how and what God has done in the midst of the situation. God was there working, even if they didn’t perceive Him. My problem, and probably theirs, is that they EXPECT God to act in a certain way, and God has a better and different plan. I am learning to trust God, knowing that whatever comes my way is going to be used for God’s glory. But to be truthful, many times I fall short of this, wanting things done in a certain way. God is good, and God is patient, and God will not change no matter what snit fit I throw His way.
Verse 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.
Now God will act. In fact, what the Children of Israel didn’t know was all the “behind-the-scenes” work that God had already done. 1. He brought them to Egypt so they would not starve and they got protection, 2. He toughened them up for the wilderness trek through the hard work of slavery, 3. He preserved Moses’ life and taught Moses the Egyptian way of thinking so Moses would intercede for the people, 4. He sent Moses out to the wilderness to shepherd – and learn how to guide stupid sheep (and we too are stupid sheep in need of guidance), and 5. He gave Moses a sense of his history, through his mother, and a sense of leadership through Jethro’s example. Moses is now in position for the next great move of God.
Just because we don’t see the hand of God in our situation, doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. I have to tell you that for me to write that last sentence is a pure miracle, because a few years ago I did not think that God’s hand was anywhere in my life, but lately He has been showing me just where He has been. We serve an awesome God.
Moses will soon have a burning desire to learn more about God – stay tuned for the next adventure of Moses, leader of the Israelites. (Sorry, for me the Bible sure has a lot of cliffhangers reminding me of the old movie cliffhangers and today has been one of THOSE days. Guess being a bit slap happy is better than the depression I have been fighting.)
Have a blessed day!
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