Moses REACTS for his people
Providentially, Pharaoh’s daughter had found an infant, adopted him, and named him Moses (Heb. mawshaw ‘to draw/pull out’, Ex. 2:10). Though ethnically a Hebrew from a slave family, Moses grew up in royal privilege and received the best education of his day (Acts 7:22). When he was forty years old, he was out observing the slave labor of his people, and upon seeing an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. While it isn’t clear if Moses murdered the Egyptian from anger, pity, righteousness, or to show his Hebrew loyalty, his actions were out of place. Divine justice never hides behind the veil of human vengeance (Rom. 12:19). Offended personal sensibilities does not automatically equal divine moral imperatives.
Moses is REJECTED by his people
Moses later saw two Hebrews fighting and offered to settle their disagreement. Instead of accepting his help, they mock him and wonder if he will kill them too (Prov. 26:17). Seeing they didn’t view him as an ally, Moses escaped hundreds of miles east to the land of Midian (modern Saudi Arabia). Though God could have possibly used him as Egyptian royalty to bring about reforms, Moses’ hasty action jeopardized his God-given situation and influence. Whether from immaturity or ignorance, Moses desired to be a savior but didn’t have the necessary skill, right timing, or power of God to perform the task (Acts 7:25). Purposes for God without the power and plan of God, brings failure without God!
Moses RESCUES other people
In the desert, Moses sat down at a well and saw women trying to get water for their flocks, but were run off by other shepherds. So, Moses bravely ‘stood up’ to save the weak (Ps. 82:3, 4). The women were seven daughters of Reuel/Jethro, priest of Midian, a distant cousin who Moses ended up living with and working for (Gen. 25:2). Moses would later marry Zipporah, who birthed his first son, Gershom. From privileged, single prince to poor, married father, God often uses our family and financial situations to mold us. Though Moses’ failed before, God’s people are defined by His promises, not their problems (vs. 24)!
The Pharaoh increases Israel’s BURDEN
After Moses showed the elders the miraculous power of God, word spread that freedom was near—so many Israelites stopped working. Realizing the economic disaster this would create and believing they had too much time to sit around and think up a new God to save them, Pharaoh makes them scavenge for straw to make bricks instead of having it provided for them. What looked like a moment of deliverance had become a moment of dismay both for the people and for Moses. God did not tell Moses he would be rejected by both the Pharaoh and the Israelites—as their lives became more miserable than before—so he wanted to give up. God often allows a believer’s situation to become worse to test their faith and remind them afterward about God’s power and provision. People who exercise no faith in a time of testing either prove their unbelief or show their spiritual immaturity (Prov. 24:10). Often times the darkness is the deepest and most despairing before the dawn. Disappointment from God should not lead to pessimism about God but prayer to God. While the Israelites label themselves to the slave drivers as ‘Your servants/slaves’, God refers to them as His favored ‘firstborn son’ and promised to provide for them as His covenant people (4:22; 5:15). Regardless of the personal situation, believers must never forget who they are based on Whose they are!