Exodus has always been one of the books that fascinated me. The tale of the God YWHW attacking the gods of Egypt, a burning bush account, a zero to hero story, Exodus has it all! While I admit I can get caught up in the intrigue of the stories I feel like there a lot of good and relevant messages in Exodus that we can learn from even today. One of these areas that I admit that I use to just read over and not think about is the last part of the second chapter and the third chapter of the second book of Moses. In these chapters, we see Moses- a man that was living in the King’s house- go from being someone of great importance to a humbled man. So let’s dig into this story and see how- and if- it applies to us today in 2017.
In Exodus 2 Moses goes out of the Pharo’s house in order to see what the rest of the Hebrews were doing. Moses happened to come across an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew and Moses decided to take matters into his own hands. He approached the situation with what seems to be clear intentions. The Bible makes it clear that Moses was “Looking all around and seeing no one…” (Exodus 2:12a HCSB). To me, this seems like Moses knew what he was wanting to do this Egyptian. Moses then hid the body of the Egyptian that he beat in the sand.
Shortly after this, the king of Egypt heard about what Moses had done and he called for Moses to die. Moses did what anyone would have done. He protected his own life. He did this by running away from Egypt. He had to go into the wilderness of Midian.
I think there is an important lesson for Christians today in this. Moses is considered one of the greatest leaders of all time- not just in Jewish communities but really everywhere. Yet, Moses had to take some time to be trained. The lesson for us is this: to get to the place where God wants you to be sometimes you need to go through the wilderness. I know that sounds like a stretch from what the text says and, surely, that is true. However, I think if you continue to read this you will find it is not so much of a stretch that it can not be true.
Moses was on top of the world when he killed the Egyptian. He was living in the house of the most powerful man in the entire world and was considered to be a son of a powerful king. If he was called upon by God at that time Moses might have done what God wanted. However, I speculate that the Exodus would look significantly different. If Moses had not gone into the wilderness then his confrontations with the Pharaoh would not be the same. That much is probably true. Moses was humbled by his time in the wilderness of Midian. He went from one of the highest positions in the world to one that the Egyptians considered to be low, according to Genesis 46.
In a similar light, God can use us regardless of what position we are. However, sometimes we are more willing to be used when we have times where we go through our own wilderness. In those times we often reminded of the fact that we should be relying on the One who we gave our entire life to on a daily basis. It humbles us to a place to where we realize nothing that we obtain will compare to what we could obtain in the Kingdom of God. That is what Moses realized in the wilderness.
What wilderness do people go through? There are a lot of them. There is the wilderness of broken relationships, lost dreams, job issues, finical problems, the list can go on and on for a while.
When we are in the wilderness let us not forget that we serve a God who will call us to more. The wilderness is temporary yet necessary. My prayer is that if you are in the wilderness now that you will allow God to teach you through it.