Exodus 2:11-21

Dr. Gary Baker is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email him at pastor@gracebaptistpaso.org.

When Moses was forty years old, a huge transition took place in this life. The first forty years of Moses’ life was spent in extreme luxury and privilege as a prospective Pharaoh. However, Moses committed a serious mistake that changed his entire life. A prince would become a despised shepherd who fled Egypt to the wilderness of the land of Midian. This occurred because Moses committed murder which he thought no one knew about. 

Moses killed an Egyptian who was mistreating and beating a Hebrew slave. This caused Moses to get angry, and he intentionally killed one of his fellow Egyptians. Moses discovered as he grew older that He was a Hebrew man and that, in reality, the slaves were his own people. 

In the book of Hebrews in the New Testament, we learn that Moses personally rejected being an Egyptian and by faith identified himself as a Hebrew (Hebrews 11:24-27). This, in part, explains why Moses got upset at seeing one of his Hebrew brethren getting beaten. In Acts 7:23-29, we gain more insight about Moses from the words of Stephen. We learn that Moses identified himself with his Hebrew people and actually thought that God would use him to deliver the Israelites from slavery. 

Getting through this together, Paso Robles

The book of Exodus doesn’t say anything about this. It appears that Moses thought he could begin his work of deliverance by killing an Egyptian who was mistreating a slave. A very important divine principle is revealed in this situation. God will never use a sinful act to promote or carry out His divine will. Moses could never become Israel’s deliverer by becoming a murderer. What Moses thought he did in secret was clearly known and resulted in Moses having to flee from Egypt in order to save his life. 

This is a clear demonstration how one serious and sinful mistake can result in great disaster. Pharaoh learned about Moses murdering another Egyptian and desired to kill him. This caused Moses to flee for his life to the land of Midian, which was east of Mt. Sinai. Moses was forty years old when he left Egypt and would become a shepherd for forty years before God would call him to become the deliverer of Israel from slavery (Exodus 2:11-21). 

One murderous act of sin changed his whole life. Moses got married and started to raise a family. It seems that Moses was happy to remain a shepherd for the rest of his life. At eighty years old, God personally met with Moses on Mt. Sinai and commissioned him to be the deliverer of Israel from slavery. It does seem that Moses never thought that God would use him in such a great way as a murderous failure.

Lessons to be Learned

  1. All it takes to ruin a person’s life is committing ONE serious and sinful mistake.
  2. Failure doesn’t make a person useless in God’s service for the rest of his life.
  3. God can forgive sin and remake a sinful person into a profitable servant. Moses became one of the greatest servants that ever lived.