The One Quality That Separated Moses
From The Average Israelite
AT the end of the first forty years, Moses had both ability and faith (Hebrews 11:24) but he still wasn’t where he needed to be.
Moses ranked well above average in the area of personal development. I doubt he could achieve much more but you need more than personal development alone to serve God.
Moses was in the right place to grow further but he wasn’t fully ready to serve his ultimate purpose. That’s where the second stage is important.
STAGE TWO: THE RESOLUTION STAGE
(Exile in Midian, Exodus 2:11-21).
This stage started with a skirmish but then settled into monotony:
- At the age of 40 (Acts 7:23) Moses kills an Egyptian in a failed attempt at alleviating the suffering of the Israelites.
- Rejected by the Israelites and threatened by Pharaoh, he escapes to Midian.
- In Midian, he defends a group of shepherd girls.
- He meets Jethro, the shepherd girls’ father, and marries one of his daughters, Zipporah, with whom he has two sons.
- He works for Jethro, shepherding his flocks for the next forty years.
At the end of forty years as a shepherd, God commanded Moses to return to Egypt. Only eleven verses cover this stage but Acts 7 provides more details.
A few additional observations are helpful.
Moses continued to learn in this second stage but it involved different lessons. The lessons in the first stage were mostly mental and physical.
- Moses was trained in all the wisdom of Egypt – he could think.
- And he developed the skills of a military leader – he could fight.
But he needed more.
There were still emotional and spiritual lessons to be learned:
- How to follow God
- And how to lead people.
Both lessons were hard to learn and according to his experience, they proved hard to live with.
His Abilities Were Apparent But Insufficient
There’s not much detail from the second forty years but three things are worth mentioning.
- He killed an Egyptian slavemaster.
His excuse for killing the slavemaster was his desire to deliver Israel but the effort was ineffective so it’s a moot point. What he wanted to do and how things turned out were very different. Israel wasn’t delivered and Moses had to run.
Moses wanted to do the right thing and his effort was an expression of faith but the only thing he really did was vent frustrations.
From this experience, Moses learned that his natural abilities, though extraordinary, weren’t sufficient for the job.
- He was an able fighter.
Physically, Moses was no slouch. Killing an Egyptian slavemaster single-handedly would have been difficult for the average individual. Not for Moses. If a problem could be solved with physical dominance, Moses was the man.
But, again, he needed more than his natural abilities to solve the problem.
- He knew God had called him to deliver Israel and he was committed to that calling.
Moses was frustrated with Israel’s continued repression and slavery.
For forty years he watched his parents suffer at the hand of Pharaoh. His parents, particularly his mother, had reminded him often that God had promised to solve their national problem (Gen. 15:13-14) and she surely planted the seed that he was God’s chosen man for that job.
Armed with that knowledge and a determination to follow through, he was going to do something, anything to deliver Israel. [Read more…] about 13 Thoughts From Moses’ Second Forty Years