2017-06-18 - Moses: The Flight of Moses
The Flight of Moses
Now Moses demonstrates one major flaw at this point. He was premature. He was running ahead of the Lord, in this case some forty years.
Dr. McGee, in his comments on Exodus, gives us some background of whom Moses would have been. Keeping in mind that he was raised as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, and might well have been an heir to the throne, Moses had been raised as an Egyptian. In fact, he could have passed. He would have been educated at the Temple of the Sun at a time when Egyptians were phenomenal astronomers, knowing the distance to the sun and that the earth was round, not flat. They had knowledge of chemistry, colors, etc. Moses would therefore have been an highly educated individual. 3
We’ve already noted what Stephen had to say, in Acts, of the wisdom of Moses. By the way, as an aside, Stephen also said that he (Moses) “was powerful in speech,” which comes as a surprise based on what we will see further on. But Stephen also said he was a powerful man, and here we'll see that his use of power gets him into trouble - for it is not God-directed.
One day, Moses observed the plight of a fellow Hebrew. Now whether this is the first time he observed the brutalization of a slave, or the first time he was affected by it, we don’t know. But this time, he identified with his own people and killed the Egyptian. This can be described as a murder. Notice that he furtively looked around before he acted. Keep in mind that nowhere do we read God judging him specifically for this. Consider Stephen’s account:
“As he was approaching the age of 40, he decided to visit his brothers, the Israelites. When he saw one of them being mistreated, he came to his rescue and avenged the oppressed man, by striking down the Egyptian. He assumed his brothers would understand that God would give them deliverance through him, but they did not understand” (Acts 7:23–25 HCSB).
This passage tells us that either through his family (true parents) or directly from God, he was informed he was to be the savior of his people. But it was acting without direction from the Lord, and on his own, that got him into trouble. Nevertheless, he did act in faith.
“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and chose to suffer with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin. For he considered the reproach because of the Messiah to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, since his attention was on the reward.
Moses was doing his best to honor the Father, and God had plans for him that were carried out as a consequence of the murder. … When Moses went out again the next day, he saw two of his brethren fighting.
“The next day, he showed up while they were fighting and tried to reconcile them peacefully, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers. Why are you mistreating each other?’ “But the one who was mistreating his neighbor pushed him away, saying: Who appointed you a ruler and a judge over us? Do you want to kill me, the same way you killed the Egyptian yesterday?
At this disclosure, Moses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, where he fathered two sons.” (Acts 7:26–29 HCSB)
Some assume one of these men was the same one Moses had saved on the previous day. But there is nothing in the passage to support this. Anyway, somehow word had gotten around of his act on the day before, and Moses was afraid. After all, he was still a Hebrew and could be executed for killing an Egyptian. The end result was he had to flee, for when the king did hear about the killing, he tried to kill Moses. And so it’s off to Midian.
Moses, who is a man of God, who had some understanding of his responsibilities to the Hebrew people and his hope in the coming Messiah. But he moved out on his own to do the work of the Lord, and it gets him forty years in the wilderness.
Exodus study to be continued.
All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.