“Taken From The Water”
II.) Vs. 11-15 Without Water
III.) Vs. 16-25 Drawing Water
We now come to the second and third events in the early life of Moses. It was not Moses up bringing or characteristics that set him apart to be a deliver, it was clearly Gods handy work. There is a gap not filled in by the text of some forty years and according to Steven’s words in Acts 7: 22 “..Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.” The intellectual development of the man Moses was clearly influenced by the time he spent in the courts of Egypt, he was trained and raised in their culture. According to verse 19 Jethro’s daughters all mistook him for an Egyptian which can only mean that he looked like an Egyptian, talked like an Egyptian and acted like an Egyptian. As such when Moses went any as the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter he would have heard the words of his body guards, “bow the knee” and every body would have to bow the knee.
Yet at some time according to the author of Hebrews Moses “when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” Moses parents must have told him of his heritage as well as the promises of God towards the Israelites. Moses turned down, wealth, power, popularity; the best that Egypt had to offer, for all the worst it had to give! He chose to suffer affliction with the people of God. Suffering was not put upon him, he made a conscious choice to leave the lap of luxury for a life of hardship. In this world people don’t go with losers, they stay with winners, Moses wanted to be with the loser’s and he left everything to be on their team. The question of WHY is more about his spiritual development as we are told that he; “esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” Moses placed the right value on the right things. There was a point in Moses spiritual development that he backed up his belief by how he chose to live his life, “reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.” And as we are told in Hebrews, he looked to his reward. That is the background to what takes place now in Moses. Here is a guy who has been living under the worlds way of thinking and doing things, he makes a conscious choice to become a believer and follower of the Lord at great cost to him self, yet joyful knowing the riches in Christ. But how will that all play out in every day life?
II.) Vs. 11-15 Without Water
Vs. 11 In Acts 7:23 we read Steven’s account of this, “Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.” There ought to be in every believer’s life a time when just saying you are a Christian is not enough, when just going to church once or twice a week isn’t doing it. Some times this is gradual, as you begin to pull away from the things of Egypt, to others it is almost instantaneous. Moses had grown, not just physically but spiritually and just understanding the truths about his people was not enough, he had to go see for him self. Moses observed, their burdens and we are told that their burdens are best explained as that of an Egyptian beating a Hebrew. And Moses could not stand for the oppression of his people not even one of them.
Vs. 12 So with all the training of the Egyptians behind him and a passion for what God wants Moses does what a lot of us immature Christians try to do, conquer the world with the principals of the world. On a Christian front I see this all the time. The Church having the right desire, “to reach a fallen people in bondage to the world”, yet they do so by employing the worlds ways. The world has been in the entertainment business a lot longer then we have & they know how to appeal to the flesh. What brought me out of the world of sin and bondage was not entertainment it was TRUTH! And my Bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Notice, Moses “looks this way and that way, and saw no one”. Moses acted with premeditation as well as passion. He was trying to fulfill the call on his life by the energy of his own flesh. He had manned wisdom and mans power and all it did was kill and bury. If what Moses had done was what the Lord wanted why did he attempt to hide it?
Steven in Acts again gives us insight into Moses thinking in killing the Egyptian, “For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand.” Now let’s see if we get the picture here? Egyptian’s persecuting Hebrews, Egyptian prince who is Hebrew yet looks and acts like an Egyptian kills an Egyptian beating a Hebrew. “Yay, that does it for me and the rest of the three million sheepherders turned brick layers were ready to follow you! Oh by the way what was your name? Moses? Well you only have a few million more to kill and we are right behind you!”
Vs. 13 Moses goes out the next day and sees two Hebrews fighting one of them oppressing the other and stops the fight. The word in verse 11 rendered “beating” and the one here rendered “striking” is the same word. Yet this time it is not two different people they are both Hebrews and Moses can’t understand why the one would beat the other. Moses, has not learned that you can not lead people that you are not amongst. It is a simple truth, but a profound one, “You can’t lead people if you are not following God.” Steven words this, “that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand.” God would deliver them but it would be His hand working through an X-Egyptian prince turned shepherd. What was it that the people did while they were in Egypt? Why they were shepherds! Moses had to learn how to follow before he could learn how to lead!
Vs. 14 Their response to Moses attempt, “Who made you Prince and Judge over us.” Moses was the prince and judge over all of Egypt which would include them as well. Moses came in as an Egyptian trying to lead the people by the ways of the Egyptians but they could only by led by the ways of a shepherd. You can have all the credentials, but that does not make you a man that can lead others only God can do that and it is always the way of humility not power and authority! What was lacking in all of this was not Passion, Effort or Forethought. Moses had all of this what he did not utilize was the Holy Spirit. You can never do the work of God in the energy of the flesh it will only kill! All the training to lead Egyptians did nothing to lead Hebrews. Moses looked this way and that way but he did not look up towards God.
Vs. 15 Often you can learn a lot more about a person in defeat and failure then you can victory and what we learn about Moses is that God has more work to do in his life. Look at what Moses does with his failure:
- Vs. 14b Moses feared: The self confidant Moses is now afraid. When we get out of the plan of God all our confidence goes. Now I’m not so sure that this is a bad thing for our confidence is not to be in ourselves but rather in the Lord.
- Vs. 15 Moses flees from his Grandfather: All the passion for his people left him when he failed. Simply put he quit and ran! I see this a lot with Christians, we even have a word for it “burnout”. It happens when people with a passion for something do it with all they have only to not achieve what they wanted fast enough. Moses failed and his failure was because he attempted to Gods work in his power now he has lost his taste for Gods call. Yet God is not done with him.
We read here that Moses fled to Midian. This land here was most likely chosen by Moses for several reasons:
- It was the land of Abraham’s younger sons through Keturah his wife after Sarah died. They settled on the southeastern Sinai in what today we would call west central Arabia.
- The people of that land the Midianites were monotheistic and believed in the same God as the Hebrew people did. In fact, his father in laws name (Ruel) means friend of God.
- The land of the Canaanites had an extradite treaty with Egypt, so that Moses knew that if he had fled their he would of been brought back to justice.
Moses must have felt as one big failure at this time, a big loser. He had abandoned his people, his call, his way of life. He left with nothing but the clothes on his back. I think that all of us at times experience Midian. The name Midian means “strife” and the strife was the warring in Moses members. And at the time we find ourselves there we are certain that we will be there for the rest of our lives, but the desert is part of Gods plan. It is out in the desert that Egypt and its ways get strip off of us. If you are in Midian right now, learn the lessons of it for you won’t be leaving it until you do. Moses came to Midian a prince but he would leave it a shepherd. He came to it a son of the queen he would leave it a son of a slave. He came to it wealthy, he left poor. He came to it a mighty warrior, he left it a meek man. Thank God for the Midian experiences in life as they fit us for service.
III.) Vs. 16-25 Drawing Water
Vs. 15b Moses failed because he went away from dependence upon the Holy Spirit and right after this failure he ends at a well of water. Nothing like blowing it to make us realize that we need the Holy Spirit. The word “dwell” means to make your home there or to settle there. The key to Christian living is sitting down and making your home by the well of the Holy Spirit. “We need to keep ourselves under the spout where the Sprit comes out!”
Vs. 16-17 God does not put Moses on the shelve, old Jethro had seven daughters and no sons, so they would get to the well real early and remove the stone and start watering the sheep only to bullied by the other shepherds who would come later. This was an everyday occurrence, until Moses steeped in to deliver them. God is showing Moses that His call on his life is still there but that he needs to learn how to lead. The word here “helped” means to deliver in the Hebrew. He just stood up, the root word here means to “abide”. Moses abided by the well! And just refused to move from the place of the well he stood his ground. I love the simplicity of the victory it was not about Moses kicking some bully shepherd tails, he just abided by the Holy Sprit and let Him do the work.
Vs. 18-20 Moses drew water for all of them the ladies and the sheep which indicates he is changing already. He has gone from doing it his way to doing it Gods way and more then that he has become a servant. People will follow a servant before they will ever follow a prince. In verse 20 Moses is so humbled out he does not even ask for anything in return.
Vs. 21-22 In the taking of Zipporah, “lady bird” and the naming of his son Gresham, “an alien here”, Moses still has more to learn and it will take 40 more years for he to be prepared. Moses saw himself still as an Egyptian but as time would pass he would see himself not as an Egyptian but as a Hebrew longing to take his people home to Canaan.
Vs. 23-25 When Moses left they fought with each other but in time they only cry to God. They moved form trying to do things by themselves to realizing only God could save them! The basis of God hearing their cry’s was the covenant between Abraham and God. It was not their faithfulness that came into Gods heart it was His own agreement He made with Abraham their for-father.