Friday, May 24, 2013

Still Moving Backward!

Even I find it strange that this week’s posts have moved backward each day, looking at a different aspect of Moses’ life and those around him. Yesterday’s look at Miriam’s self-inflicted wound brings to mind her initial bravery.

Moses lived because Miriam was old enough to watch and care. From a distance she watched the ark of bulrushes that held her baby brother. When it was found, she became brave enough to speak to royalty, reuniting mother and child:

Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? (Exodus 2:7)

What did she think about as they grew up, he in the palace while she remained in slave quarters? Could there have been jealousy that he had so much and she had so little? The Bible doesn’t address that at all. Apparently, though, she or her mother told Moses the story of his birth, for he recognized himself as a Hebrew:

And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an 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 knew he had done wrong.  He knew it even before he killed the man, looking this way and that way, trying hard that no one would see the evil he he had in mind. However, our sins cannot be hidden, specifically from God, but almost always from men. They are discovered.

And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. (Exodus 2:14)

There are consequences for us as news of our own errors spread. For Moses, that spread to Pharaoh, the head of the house he was raised in. The man with all the power of Egypt at his beck and call.

Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses.

Moses could not face Pharaoh. He could not admit what he had done or why it was wrong. Instead, he ran away.

But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well. (Exodus 2:15)

If we are so certain that what we do is right, why can’t we take responsibility for our actions? From childhood our answers lay blame on someone else’s words or actions, causing a reaction on our part.

Moses saw an Egyptian abusing a Hebrew. Instead of working within the palace, his response was to kill – planning on no one ever knowing. There is no mention of God or God’s intervention in Moses’ life to this  point. There is no indication that God might have used his life in the palace to institute changes – what if he had been brought to the kingdom for such a time?

Not many people are called the way Moses and Paul were, stopped in their tracks with specific God-given instructions for their lives. Even they required correction and direction through communication with God. We have that, too. Through Bible reading, prayer and service to His glory, we can know and understand where He leads, where it is to our advantage to go.

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