Exodus 2:11-22 (ESV)
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. And he sat down by a well.
Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them, and watered their flock. When they came home to their father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come home so soon today?” They said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and even drew water for us and watered the flock.” He said to his daughters, “Then where is he? Why have you left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.” And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah. She gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”
Here we see two early examples of Moses standing up for righteousness. Moses is a strong fighter, and when he sees an injustice he violently cleans house – too violently in the first case. We know he intended to be this rough because he looked around for witnesses first.
But there has to be at least one witness – the Hebrew who is being beaten. Not surprisingly, word got around, and Moses ends up on the lam in Midian – where he’ll have plenty of time to think about controlling his temper.
There he encounters the injustice of a bunch of shepherds picking on the daughters of the priest of Midian by driving them away from the watering troughs. Single handedly, Moses stood up and saved them, and watered their flock. When their father hears about this he incredulously wonders, “Why did you let this guy get away?”
Sure enough, Moses marries “the farmer’s daughter” and the rest is history.
Anger at injustice channels the image of God in us. Violence in response to that anger channels our sin.
The problem is always the same; we want to play God – to take matters into our own hands. We’re not content to let God be God of his own creation.
Everyone wants to be in charge. That’s how man fell into sin. That’s how the Devil became the Devil.
Funny thing is, God eventually does put Moses in charge – and he whines and pouts about it.
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