Saturday, July 21, 2012

Moses is Gripped With Fear and Flees After Pharaoh Tried to Kill Him -- Exodus 2:14b-15


Then Moses was afraid, and said, “Surely the matter has become known.”  When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he tried to kill Moses.  But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.

After essentially being told to mind his own business when he attempted to break up a fight between two of his fellow Hebrews, the nickel dropped and Moses realized that what he thought he had done in secret, was indeed known.  The earlier killing of an Egyptian in the course of defending a Hebrew being beaten by him was no longer private. Knowing how knowledge of this sort spreads, fear started to set in for Moses.  As expected, the news got right up to Pharaoh and we are told the Egyptian ruler tried to kill him.

To avoid his own death, Moses flees to the land of Midian, stopping to rest only once he got there.  Midian, was an Arabian territory, belonging to the tribe that descended from Midian, the son of Abraham by Keturah, Abraham’s wife after Sarah’s death (Genesis 25:1).  It is located for the most part in the desert north of the Arabian Peninsula.  The word itself implies or means ‘strife’ and it is here that Moses fled to.

As we study these verses, I often ponder on what might have been going on ‘behind the scenes’ at the time of the events covered in the passage.  For example, when we realize that Moses had been adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter, we can’t help but wonder a) whether the Pharaoh knew that, b) whether this was still the same Pharaoh or whether he had died and a new one took his place, and c) just what words, if any, were exchanged between father and daughter regarding this.  At the same time, while Moses was being raised among the royal Egyptians, he still must have been allowed to keep in touch with own natural family.  You will remember they had been allowed to raise him for several years after the Pharaoh’s daughter found him in a basket floating among the reeds on the Nile River.  The concerns of his Hebrew parents and siblings with respect to his circumstances must have brought them great angst.  Many Hebrews, upon hearing what happened, were also likely impacted greatly.

The passage ends with Moses sitting down by a well in Midian to rest.  It is there that God continues His dealings with him, bringing even more people and circumstances into his life that will eventually prepare him for the role he is to play in God’s plan for His people.  While Midian means ‘strife’ – going there does not need to symbolize a strife with God that may be expected here, and if it is, it is of our own doing as we reject His will for our lives.  Instead, the ‘strife’ may have more to do with our own will and battling that as we listen to God.  It is ‘strife’ in our human nature, causing us to do things our way rather than God’s.

Sometimes we too have to ‘flee’ a situation – not necessarily because our life is in danger, but rather because it would be prudent for us to do.  It would be better for our families, or for others, and more importantly, for the Body of Christ and the Kingdom of God.  Knowing when and how to do this is something that requires much prayer and earnest seeking of God’s will and direction.  It often means, as it must have meant for Moses, that we give in to our own preferences, our reliance on our strength.  This is not a time for thinking that says “we don’t need to flee or withdraw; we can handle this”.  There comes a time when we do need to abandon our plans, flee, and then stop to rest.

From there, we need to be ready to allow God to speak to us through His word, His bringing about various people and circumstances in our lives, and through our growing desire to rely on Him.  I pray we each will know when it is time for us to ‘retreat’ and allow God to take us to the dessert for further training.

[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

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Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Moses' Own People Question His Motives and Threaten Outing Him Exodus 2:13-14a


And when he went out the next day, and behold, two Hebrews were fighting with each other; and he said to the offender, “Why are you striking your companion?’  But he said, “Who made you a prince or a judge over us?  Are you intending to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian?”

We do not know what kind of a night Moses had after killing an Egyptian who was beating up on one of his own Hebrew brothers.  But we know that the next morning, when he ventured out of his house, things did not get much better.  At some point, he saw two men, both Hebrews this time, fighting with each other – one clearly being more of the aggressor.  Moses asked him a question that understandably could be taken for more than it was meant.  While he may have simply wanted both men to realize they were brothers and thus should not be in conflict to the point of physical combat, the attacker could have taken the question, “Why are you striking your companion?” as a personal challenge to his aggression.

This man must have been one of the earliest to learn that a good way to answer difficult questions is with another question.  And he does.  His pointed question to Moses may as well have been, “Who died and made you the boss over us?”  Good question.  But Moses did not have enough time to reflect on his answer.  The aggressor went on to enquire as to whether Moses was intending to kill him as he had killed the Egyptian the day before.  Wow.  He simply wanted harmony among his brethren and was acting as a peacemaker, but clearly his recent history preceded him.

We need to pause here for a moment and reflect on two aspects of this story.  First, we need to take great care in how we approach others, even if we are trying to do an honorable thing, or trying to help them.  Moses’ approach was straightforward but it was also accusatory.  Perhaps a simple, “Hey guys, can I help resolve any issue?” may have been much more successful and given him a chance to not only understand the circumstances better, but to gain some insight into the characters he was dealing with.  Many times we miss opportunities to be helpful, or worse still get ourselves into trouble, because of how we attempt to convey our good intentions.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, we need to understand that our history does precede us.  One cannot have been convicted of being a child abuser and then attempt to apply for a job in an orphanage.  One cannot commit perjury as a lawyer and then apply to be a judge in our judicial systems.  If you follow any national elections, you will be aware that both the media and one’s opponent are out to discredit a person who claims one thing and does or has done another.  And so on.

And that leads us very nicely to the issue of forgiveness when it comes to past sin.  If the world is not prepared to forgive one his/her past and evil men will use it to their advantage against the individual, is the Church capable of something better?  Does a young pastor who committed adultery in his early years of service; has admitted his falling before others and sin before God; sought and received the forgiveness of his spouse and family; taken ‘time out’ from ministry to rethink his commitment to God and His work; been blessed since; and not sinned in a similar fashion for half a decade – is such a pastor required to bring the whole thing up again when applying for a new pastoral position?  Of course, there are pros and cons no matter what answer one gives to the question.  Yes, it would be nice if the pastor admits his past so that the church is not surprised later when someone who knew exposes him.  But if he does, will he still get the job?  Are we big enough for that yet?   If he does not share his past, and someone exposes him later, will the church understand why he felt he did not need to share his past at the time of his application (he believed his wife’s, family’s and God’s forgiveness were sufficient) and then forgive him for what had happened years ago?  Will they realize that the party doing the exposing at this point was not necessarily pursuing God’s will in the matter? Or will they fire him on the spot?

I can only surmise how difficult a situation we put some of our men and women who serve God in when we ourselves are not sinless or able to cast the first stone.  Yet, many an individual is kept from pursuing his/her renewed service to God in a particular manner because of our inability to forgive.  That individual, should he/she not blame God for his/her maltreatment by the Church, often goes on to be blessed greatly by his/her Heavenly Father.  It is us, the ‘unforgivers’, the ‘holier than thou’, that often come out the losers.

In Moses case, he now was clearly in the position of being rejected by his own people.  Rather than thanking him for protecting one of his own by what he had done to the Egyptian, he has now been given cause to fear for his life.  As I watch what is going on in the world scene, especially in the Arab Spring countries recently, it seems that the world has not changed much since the days of Moses in Egypt.  People who are heroes one day become objects of pursuit unto death by the masses the next.  And oftentimes, those that take their place end up being much worse.

I pray that God will give each of us the wisdom to know how and when to share our past.  But more importantly, I pray that God will give us all the desire to forgive those who are truly repentant and have changed their ways.  If you are one of those who find themselves in that predicament – having sinned but gotten right with God, yet fearing being exposed – may God give you grace and wisdom with how to handle your past, and the knowledge that He still has work for you to accomplish.  The divine purpose that God has implanted in each of His creations does not end until the very second He gives us our last breath.  Keep on trucking for Him.

[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

Thanks for dropping by. Sign up to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends. Ken Godevenos, Church and Management Consultant, Accord Consulting.  And while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.  Ken.


Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.