(From Don: Some of you know I’ve been “slaying some dragons” and waging a few personal battles. I don’t feel it’s necessary to go into details, but one of the things I appreciate so much about the Apostle Paul is that he was pretty much an “open book.” He didn’t whine or complain, but when he was hurting you pretty much knew what he was thinking and feeling. I’ve always been transparent and those who know me usually could tell if I had something on my mind. I HAVE had some things on my mind and have simply lacked the time to crystalize and verbalize my final thoughts on Moses. Fortunately, you don’t have to have a desk or computer to meditate and pray, but I’ve been busy with some personal things and haven’t been able to concentrate on posting anyting “officially.” I’ll have that behind me soon and be back on track. In the meanwhile, I’ve asked “Ebby Dickens” for permission to use some of her observations.
I’ve NEVER told anyone what to think, but have always encouraged them to think. One of the great blessings of this effort has been to hear from some of you. It’s humbling when someone tells me I’ve said or done something helpful. Even more humbling when they come up with insights which I’d probably never have discovered. I’ll be back “on task” shortly. in the meanwhile, enjoy “Ebby” and let me know what you think.)
Once again, Don, your study and thoughts on Moses inspired me to study and think as well. And while none of my thoughts/comments answer your questions in Scripture Student, I thought you might appreciate what your own study inspired. (smile)
When digging a little deeper in this study, one just cannot help but see that the life of Moses is full of ironies. Chockfull! In order to save her son, Jochebed had to let Moses go – and float him right into the arms of the enemy, daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh. Hence, Moses identified with both Hebrew (by birth) and Egyptian (by upbringing) and ultimately, his Hebrew identity enabled him to feel the pain of enslavement and beatings of his people.
(Remember Clinton’s 1992 comment, “I feel your pain”? Well, Moses really did! And killed an Egyptian while feeling it!! I still maintain this was righteous anger on behalf of his Hebrew people.) He then ran to Midian and was there 40 years (that number will become very, very familiar to us as we study scripture).
But perhaps the biggest irony of all in the life of Moses is that the man who murdered an Egyptian, would be the same man who would later inscribe with chisel and carry to the people, God’s sixth commandment: “You shall not murder”. (Ex 20:13)
And because I believe nothing is left to chance in scripture, I believe God was in each irony, preparing Moses to lead His people out of bondage and into the Land of Promise. If ever there was a Comeback Kid – it was Moses.
(Don again. This is a “study,” remember. We’re in this together, aren’t we? Love to hear hour thoughts.dk)
“Think about Moses, now. Explain his comeback. What relevance does it have to your life today? To mine? Etc.”
Fear = Bondage. In commanding Moses to confront Pharaoh, God was sending him right back to the very one Moses fearfully ran and hid from for so many years. (That brings facing-our-fears to a whole new level, doesn’t it?) However, Moses placed more importance on Trusting and Obeying God, than staying in hiding and nursing his fears. Letting go of fear and learning to trust is oftentimes the hardest thing to do; but trusting and obeying God are necessary stepping-stones to the path to becoming a Comeback Kid.
I always had a difficult time with God continuing to “harden Pharaoh’s heart” thinking that a bit unfair. But I learned in disciple class that “God hardens no one’s heart who has not first hardened it him or herself”. So it is to Moses’ credit that he didn’t allow his heart to become bitter and hardened those many years he stayed in Midian. Perhaps another lesson and stepping-stone to coming back is a softened-heart, even in the throes of a painful experience.
In addition to the influence Moses’ mother had in his life, do you believe his father-in-law, Jethro, had a positive impact on Moses? Jethro gave Moses his blessing and allowed him to return to his people in Egypt- and follow the will of God. We can never under-estimate the influence Holy hospitality and godly people have in our lives and should endeavor to surround ourselves with them. They can be instrumental in helping someone comeback to Christ when they’ve strayed.
So lets see…. learning to trust and obey in the face of fear and bondage; keeping a softened heart and not becoming bitter in the face of whatever-life-throws-our-way; surrounding ourselves with(and extending!) Holy hospitality and godly people and their influences are all worthy lessons-learned. They were relevant in the life of Moses – and still are today in the life of Ebby. (smile)
~Ebby Dickens, “GUEST EDITOR”