Over the last two weeks, we are in a study looking into the people of the Bible and what lessons we can learn from them. Thus far, we have looked at Pharaoh 1 (of 3 we’ll be looking at) and Miriam, Moses’ sister. Today, we’ll be taking a deeper look at Moses.
Obviously, Moses lived a long time and there is a ton of information about him in the Bible, so we’ll be jumping around a lot to look at many different aspects about his personality and character. We first see him as a man in Exodus 2 verse 11. It says: “Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.”
The first thing we notice is that Moses saw what the Hebrews were going through; the things that they endured as slaves to the Egyptians. He sympathized with them, since he “looked at their burdens.” Then, when he saw injustice happening—an Egyptian beating up on a Hebrew, Moses took matters into his own hands. He killed him.
I’ve always seen this as a good thing—Moses seeking justice and stopping the Egyptian from doing a bad thing and beating up on a Hebrew slave, but murder is wrong. And he tried to cover up the crime by burying the Egyptian.
Then, the next day, Moses returned and saw two Hebrews fighting and he said, “’Why are you striking your companion?’” The Hebrew replied, “’Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’”
The Bible says in the latter half of verse 14, “So Moses feared and said, ‘Surely this thing is known!” Naturally, Pharaoh sought to kill Moses for what he had done, and Moses fled to a place called Midian.
For a time, Moses fled from Egypt. Whether that was the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do, God used it for good. Moses married and started a family, but God had not forgotten His people. Chapter three is when God appears to Moses in a burning bush, to call Moses to return and free the Israelites.
This is when we see more of Moses’ weaknesses. All throughout this moment, Moses makes one excuse after another. The first comes in chapter 3 verse 11, which says, “But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’”
So, God reassures Moses that He will be with him, but Moses’ response is asking God what he should tell the Israelites when they ask who sent him.
Guess what Moses says then?
Chapter 4 picks up with Moses’ response, in verse 1: “Then Moses answered and said, ‘But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, “the Lord has not appeared to you.”’”
The Lord then gives Moses signs that Moses could perform—turning his hand leprous and back again, and then turning the rod into a snake—to prove that God really did send him.
And, Moses is at it again, in verse 10: “Then Moses said to the Lord, ‘O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’”
The Lord response with one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible, in verse 11: “So the Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?’”
But Moses doesn’t stop there! In verse 13, he says, “’O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.’”
How many of us have made excuses instead of doing what God asks of us? “I’m too busy.” “My work is important and it comes first.” “I don’t have enough money.” “I’m not popular enough.” “I’m too shy.” “What if they reject me?” “What if they don’t listen to me?” “What if they don’t like me?” “What if I say something wrong?” “What if I offend someone?”
Brothers and sisters, those are the exact same excuses that Moses gave to God and guess what God told Him?
- “I AM WHO I AM.” (3: Vs. 14)
- “The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.” (3: Vs. 15)
- “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?” (4: Vs. 11)
- “I will be with your mouth and with his [Aaron’s] mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do.” (4. Vs. 15)
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He’s the same God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and even Moses as He is for you and I! He created you and I and everyone else on this earth—all of us with all our personalities and quirks. He will be with us and He will guide us and lead us into His plan for our lives.
But the first thing we have to do is to obey Him!
After that final confirmation from God, that He would send Moses’ brother, Aaron, to help him, Moses agreed, returned to Egypt, and did as the Lord commanded. The result?
The Israelites were freed. It was a long and difficult road, one where Pharaoh’s hardened heart led to many people getting hurt and dying unnecessarily, but at last, they were free.
Yet, their journey didn’t stop there. Many times, in the wilderness, the Israelites complained and wanted to return to Egypt, even though God provided everything they needed. It even got to the point where Moses grew angry with them and slammed his rod against a rock. For that anger, God told him that while he could gaze upon the Promised Land, he himself would never go there.
Moses became one of the most important men in the Bible. He was likely the one who wrote the Torah—the first five books of the Bible, including the Creation story—as well as the entire Jewish Law. He guided the Israelites out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and almost into the Promised Land. He was the spokesmen between God and the Israelites, and got to see God on the mountain. All because Moses chose to obey God—despite the many fears, concerns, worries, and reservations that he had, all the way back at the burning bush.
Don’t let any of those fears, worries, and excuses weigh you down or hold you back a moment longer. Choose, today, to obey God and follow where He is leading you, even if you have to do it afraid. God will be with you and He will guide you every step of the way.
If God guided the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years and led them into the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership, He will no doubt lead you and I too.