[Feb 03]--Magnificent Failure

Exodus 2:11-25

Remember what we said yesterday about God working behind the scenes? Here’s another example of it. Moses had had forty years of education in Pharaoh’s household: training in administration, science, government, history, etc. Yet somehow, he kept the heart of a Hebrew and knew his heritage. He knew that what Egypt had done to the Hebrews was a monstrous crime, and he intended to do something about it.

However, the Lord wasn't finished preparing him, and the Hebrews weren't ready either. Moses decided that the Hebrews needed rescuing, and he was going to do it his way instead of waiting for God's timing. So the Lord gave Moses a wonderful blessing: a magnificent failure. He was God’s man and had the training from Egyptian schools, but he needed to learn that God’s work must be accomplished in God’s way and in God's timing. In order to learn this, he had to completely fail and thus be completely broken so that the Lord could rebuild him.

Please keep in mind that at this time Egypt was the 900-pound gorilla of the Middle East. It was by far the most advanced nation on earth, technologically, scientifically, militarily, and tactically. There was no other nation on earth which could stand up to them. The Hebrews had no military training, no weapons, and no morale. If the Hebrews had tried to do things Moses’ way, they would've been slaughtered.

Now, just to clarify, there's no indication that what Moses did was murder. I've heard some people claim that, but it would be odd if Moses had committed murder and the Lord never bring it up ever in any conversation later on. God certainly never shied away from recording in his word the egregious sins of his leaders, and he certainly wasn't reticent about holding them to a higher standard than he does the rank and file believer. Based on this evidence (which is the best we have, since the Bible never actually comments on the episode), I don't think it was murder, and it might not have even been a conscious sin. But the very best you can say about it was that it was a failure to accomplish God's work in God's way and in God's timing.

So the Lord sent him out to the desert. The former Prince of Egypt, who had servants galore waiting on him hand and foot, was now herding animals for another forty years, until both he and the Hebrews were ready. Waitaminute, what do you mean, the Hebrews weren’t ready? They'd been enslaved, their children were murdered en masse, and things didn’t change with a new king in place. How could they possibly be any more ready? It was at that point, when a new king arose and continued the policies of his father, that the Hebrews finally turned to the Lord--this is the first mention in the book of actual prayer being sent "to God." They had certainly been groaning before, but the difference was that now they were “[crying] for help,” calling out to the only source of Salvation they would ever find. That was the final piece of the puzzle, and now the "behind the scenes" God would now step out into the open.

Father God, as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are your ways higher than my ways and your thoughts than my thoughts. Let’s do things your way. And if that entails a magnificent failure, then so be it.

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