Moses - The new Leader

Moses

First 40 years – understanding Egypt

Exodus 2 v 1-10

1 Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.

3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.

4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it.

6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. 7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?

8 “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

Moses flees to Midian

Second 40 years – understanding the Desert

Exodus 2 v 11-25

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labour. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people.

12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”

14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.” When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.

16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.

18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?” They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”

20“And where is he? ” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.” Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”

23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.


The above two passages tell us the story of the birth and naming of Moses. We see how God once again intervenes in the forming of the nation of Israel by calling Moses to be leader of his people.

He was an abandoned baby boy, floating on a river in a basket, but he soon becomes an adopted son of Pharaoh. Not only so, but Moses own natural mother is paid by Pharaoh to look after him. Only God can engineer circumstances to turn out like this.

Moses finds his mission

Third 40 years – understanding his ministry

What an example Moses is to the would be servant of God; he spent 40 years in Egypt in the house of Pharaoh, this was followed by 40 years in the land of Midian, then he received his commission from God which involved a further 40 years leading Israel through the desert where they would receive the Law and the Tabernacle.

There are some stimulating observations to be made regarding Moses preparation and call to service.

Moses was 80 years old when he received and understood his calling!

Moses was 80 years in training for a 40 year ministry

Moses didn’t fully realise what God’s purpose was for his life until he was 80

Moses didn’t realise what all the trials and difficulties during these difficult years were designed to accomplish, until after he received his commission.

The following beautiful text comes to mind:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.