From being scooped out of the Nile River by Egypt’s princess to later being adopted by that same royal member, Moses’ early life had many twists and turns. However, Moses didn’t stay in the royal house forever. He eventually grew up and needed to walk the path towards the great destiny God had planned for him. So it’s time for the next chapter in Moses’ story.
Raised in the royal family, Moses could have completely forgotten his own people and become an Egyptian in his identity. But he didn’t. Although Moses grew up in the royal palace, he was not unaware of his people’s plight. He knew their burden and saw their troubles. However, the one time he decided to do something, the plan backfired and he ended up fleeing Egypt as an outlaw.
Let’s see what happened and how God was working in the background.
“One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, ‘Why do you strike your companion?’ He answered, ‘Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Then Moses was afraid, and thought, ‘Surely the thing is known.’ When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian.”
Right away, we see that Moses’ heart was in the right place. He genuinely cared about his own people, but he didn’t know how to correctly help them. He had passion, but not wisdom. Instead of actually helping the Hebrew’s plight, Moses acts rashly, takes the law into his own hands, kills a man, and then becomes a coward. However, What he thought would be a good thing and earn him points with the Hebrews backfires. Not only do they reject him, but they also report him to the authorities.
What happened? How could everything go so wrong so quickly?
Moses wasn’t acting under the authority of God, yet. This was all Moses in his own strength and wisdom. And look where it got him. Moses went from a prince of Egypt to an outlaw. He had to flee to the wilderness to save his life. While he had the right desire to help his people, he didn’t have the wisdom or God-given power that could actually accomplish good. He needed to have a personal encounter with the living God first. And God needed to show him that in his own strength, Moses could not help his people.
So Moses flees to the wilderness. His grandfather wants to justly kill him for murder, and his own people hold him in disdain as well. So where else could he go? It seemed like the end of his life, that nothing great would happen again as he ran to the barren wasteland. He probably felt alone, forsaken, and confused. But God had sent Moses to the wilderness for a reason. Because it was there that he was able to grab his attention. It was the desolate, lonely place that God was able to transform Moses from a cowardly outlaw to the leader God made him to be.
Moses’ life was far from over. In fact, it had only just begun. The wilderness was the place of new beginnings, growth, and radical transformation as God revealed Himself in an amazing way.
What about you? Do you feel banished to the wilderness? Does it feel like your productive life is over, that God is done with you?
As with Moses, God needs to bring us to the end of ourselves, so that He can fill us. Because without His power, we can do nothing. Therefore, sometimes the Lord needs to send us to the wilderness in order to grab our attention and show us His glory. Sometimes, we need to feel the loneliness of barren places in order to open our hearts to God.
So when you come to a season of desolation and feel that all is lost, remember Moses and his story. For many times, it is in the wilderness that our life truly begins.
Your turn: do you have a wilderness testimony to share?
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