You pick up your Bible and wonder, is there more here than meets the eye?
Is there something here for me? I mean, it's just words printed on paper, right? Well, it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than ink.
Join us for the next half hour as we explore God's Word together, as we learn how to explore it on our own, as we ask God to meet us there in its pages. Welcome to More Than Ink. Hey, when you were a kid, didn't anybody ever ask you, what do you want to be when you grow up? Oh yeah, all the time, and I wasn't sure. All I knew was I thought I'd get married and have kids. Yeah, and now that you're grown up, are you doing what you ever thought you would ever in a million years be doing?
Not in a million years. Well, neither did Moses. Yeah, so today as we start into the Moses story, we find him all grown up today on More Than Ink. Well, good morning. We're around our dining room table today, and across from me is the beautiful Dorothy. And across from me is the handsome Jim.
Right answer. Good job, good job. Yeah, we so enjoy just looking at these passages of Scripture, and we hope that that's why you're with us too. Just as exploring through Scripture is not only fun, but it's extraordinarily insightful into the nature and heart of who God is. Well, it's good for us as we bat these things around together and we gain from each other's insights. Yeah, so if you're not in some kind of circumstance where you can share study with someone else, I'd really encourage you to do that. It's a great way to kind of work off each other's independent observations as you go along. And that's all we're doing here.
We have not compared notes. I have no clue what you want to talk about. And I know what I want to talk about, but they're often sort of one and the same, but with slight variations it makes it just fun. And sometimes when we get done with the recording, we go, oh, that's where we went. Oh, yeah.
Didn't expect to go there, so. So if you're not in kind of a context to do that with someone, do that. Do that. It's just growing up as a young Christian, that's where I found almost all my best encouragement was discussing with other people. Well, it doesn't have to be limited to a time that's designated Bible study. Yeah.
Because God said, you know, after he said, now hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one, and gave them this great Shema, this listen up. Yeah. He said, now, talk about it when you walk on the road and when you get up in the morning. Yeah, it should be part of everything you talk about.
It should just be part of a natural conversation between believers. Yeah, yeah. And today we're jumping into Exodus. Not jumping, we've already started it. We're in chapter two. We're in chapter two. But it's, you know, we said this last time, so if you're with us for the first time, Exodus is just a narrative story about a real thing that happened. And it centers on God getting the Israelites out of the captivity of Egypt and into the promised land.
I mean, that's all it's about. Okay, and a lot of people these days doubt that the Exodus ever happened. Yeah. Or that it happened the way the Bible records. But 4,000, 5,000 years of Jewish history, this story has been handed down, father to son, father to son, father to son. Right, right.
It happened. Right. And interestingly enough, probably the top of the Jewish calendar in terms of holidays is Passover. Is Passover.
And Passover, we'll figure many chapters later in here, but to this very day, Jews gather around their table with their entire family and they tell this story. And there's no explanation for that. Right. If that was something that was made up a few centuries ago, you would have known. And it's— It would have been traceable.
It's amazing that for a people who are geographically dispersed— All over the world. —that they would maintain this memory. They would maintain this idea, this whole story. So for them, this story is emblematic of so much about the care and the sovereignty of God. Well, and this is the central story of the nation of Israel. Right. This is how they became a nation.
Right. And in fact, later on in the narratives in the Old Testament, God will remind Israel when they're kind of— Right. —when they're kind of feeling like, I don't know if I want to trust God. And God says, hello, I'm the one that got you out of Egypt.
I would almost say it shows up in every book in the Old Testament. Yeah. I'm the God who brought you out of Egypt. Yeah. Listen up.
So this is a big deal. This just isn't a nice story. This is the backbone of the Bible in many respects. So last time we went through chapter one and a little ways into chapter two, and we got to the birth of Moses, which is miraculous, by the way.
Go back and take a look at it. And now we skip between verse 10 and verse 11 of chapter two. We span 40 years. Essentially Moses' whole growing up lifetime. Right.
The first third of his life. Right. When we left him back in verse 10, he was a child.
No question. Now we start off in verse 11, one day when Moses had grown up. Grown up. And when you read Stephen's account, when Stephen before he was stoned in Acts 7, he says that Moses is 40 at this point. So we just lost decades in Moses' narrative coming into verse 11, and that's where we are today. But we know that his toddlerhood, his very, very early childhood, was in his own mother's home.
Right. Being loved, educated, and nurtured. As a very young child. By his mother. Yeah, very young child. And he was delivered into the palace of Pharaoh where he was raised to adulthood. Right. By Pharaoh's daughter.
So that sets up a sort of an internal conflict to start with. Who am I? So here's this kid that comes out of the Jewish community. He's raised by his mom as a very young child. And then he's taken by the daughter of Pharaoh. And he's raised as an Egyptian in the court of Pharaoh. In the king's family.
Which gives you status and education and training. I mean, he is by training an Egyptian. But he still. But he always knew who he was apparently. He's still Hebrew. And so that's where we pick up the story today.
He's all grown up. So here we go. Chapter 2, verse 11. Okay, I'll start. Moses had grown up.
Okay. So one day when Moses had grown up, there it is. He went out to his people and looked on their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. And 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? And 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 he thought, surely the thing is known. Well, 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. Wow. Oh, my goodness. Wow.
We need to camp here for a minute. I had such great hope for him. And now he's not even in Egypt anymore by verse 16. It only took five verses for him to be not in Egypt anymore. Yeah. Yeah. So he went out to his people.
You see how this phrase? His people. Yeah. He sees himself in an official role, in a sense, as a deliverer, as someone who's important as a leader. You know, maybe that's part of the reason that he was raised in the palace. Yes.
He could be a peacekeeper. Yes. Right. Oh, look, we have a representative of you whom we are holding down as our slaves.
But we have one of you in the palace. Yeah. Yeah. So that could have been. But at least he was self-aware that he had some kind of leadership position in the Hebrews. So one day he went out and he looked on their burdens. He did a tour.
He did a tour around to see what was going on. And they were still enslaved. That's the burdens part. He looked on their burdens. And in the process of that, he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew. So he decides, well, I'm a leader.
I'll intercede. Well, he has an innate sense of justice. Yeah. So this is unjust.
It's impossible that he had not witnessed it in this way before. Yeah. Yeah.
So what do you make of that thing in verse 12 where it says he looked this way and that? Well, he knows what he's about to do is wrong. Yeah. He's crossing a line here. That's what he knows. He doesn't want to be seen doing this.
He looked this way and that. We do this in movies all the time. When the character on screen looks this way and that, you know, oh, something bad's going to happen. Well, never mind the movies. We do this personally.
Yeah, we do. If you're about to do something you think might be questionable, don't you look around, make sure nobody's watching. Make sure no one's watching.
Don't let anyone see what you're doing. I mean, it probably isn't murder, but maybe it's just something you think might be misinterpreted. That's right. So you're careful about who can see it, but in this case, it is murder because with all it says in verse 12, he struck down the Egyptian. That means he killed him.
I mean, he killed him. And it's clear that he was observed. Yeah.
Yeah. He was observed. Because the next day when he goes and tries to apply justice in a different way to his own people, they're like, well, who do you think you are?
Who made you ruler over us? Isn't that a funny question? Sometimes I wonder if he just did a bad job hiding the body because … It says he buried him in the sand. It says he buried him in the sand.
And if you know anything about the sand in Egypt, it blows around. Maybe he buried him in the sand and it all got blown. It was exposed by … I don't know.
We don't know what went wrong. But clearly … The weather was just God-revealed. Exactly. This guy knew. Closes had done it.
Clearly his attempts to kind of make the secret just are not going to hold water for not even a verse. Yeah. And Moses' conscience is guilty. Yeah. And so suddenly he feels like he's been exposed. Right. Everybody knows.
And then of course everybody does know because they start talking about it. Right. Well, clearly in 13 it says he goes out the next day.
Right. So he thought he'd gotten away with it and covered his tracks, everything's cool, I'll go out tomorrow and I'll be a leader again like I was yesterday. But isn't it interesting that in the first instance he thinks he's bringing justice on behalf of his people, but his people don't understand it. They don't recognize him as a leader. They don't recognize him as theirs. Yeah.
That's an important thing here. And in fact it could very well be if we use a little godly speculation, they might have resented the fact that he actually lived in the palace as a Hebrew. Oh, probably.
As opposed to being a slave. And so they probably would have written him off as being a Hebrew technically speaking because… He's a sellout. Yeah, he's a sellout. You know he works in the palace. He's not one of us anymore. So he's not our leader. He might be from the palace, but he's not our leader anymore. So clearly they look at him as being sort of out of place, especially as a deliverer, especially as someone who's going to bring justice.
And in bringing justice in his first attempt, he kills a guy illegally. Right. Right. So this isn't going to work out well. So as I was reading this, kind of freshening it in my mind in preparation to talk about it today, just as I read just these first couple of paragraphs, I suddenly thought oh, Moses goes out to his people and they reject his authority. They reject him. And that sounds to me like just a little pre-figuring echo of John 1-11 when John says, He came to his own, but his own did not receive him. So we are going to be pointing out as the Lord brings them to mind these teeny little pre-figuring types that remind us of Jesus. Now this is not an exact parallel, but there's an echo here of that idea. Yeah, that's exactly right. We did some parallels with Jesus last time, but they'll keep propping up.
Oh, they're going to come up big time. Wait a second. Yeah.
Yeah. So he came to his own, but they didn't receive him. They didn't receive him. Of course, this first foray into being just was not well done. That might be part of his problem. Well, we know later on that they will at first receive him as a leader and then through 40 years in the wilderness continue to reject him as a leader.
This is not the first time he will be rejected. That becomes the life story of Moses. So maybe this is part of his conditioning from God's part.
We don't know. You are a leader, and I've chosen you, but don't get used to the fact they're going to follow you. But this is kind of the capstone on the first third of Moses' life. We know that Moses lived to 120, so this is the first 40 years that he hits this turning point here. Uh-oh. You messed that up. We're moving a different direction, and suddenly he's out of Egypt. He's out of Egypt.
He's out of Egypt. He runs away. And this Hebrew guy says, so what are you going to do? You're arguing, and you're going to intercede with a huge justice, you're going to kill one of us?
Is that what you're going to do? Yeah. We don't want that kind of justice.
And they shouldn't expect that kind of justice. That's not right. Right. That's not right. So he gets to the key of it in 14 and says, so who made you the prince?
Who made you the judge? Well, God actually did. Later on.
This is all the prep school for that. That's exactly right. But it really freaked Moses out.
He was afraid at this point. And I get it, because if this gets back to Pharaoh, man, he's toast. Well, it says when Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill him.
That's exactly right. So Pharaoh's like, this was a bad idea from the get go. We're done here. So it was a good thing to run off to Midian. It's a big deal.
Okay. So let's talk about Midian for a minute before we get there, because the Midianites were people who were related to the Hebrews through Moses' wife, Keturah, and her child, Midian. So they were blood relatives back at Abraham's day and had not continued identifying themselves necessarily as the people of Abraham. But they seem to have retained an understanding of Abraham's God. Yeah.
Yeah. The speculation is they're connected by blood and spiritually to Abraham. That's a good case.
You can make a good case for that. So in a second, we're going to talk about him meeting this guy, a priest of Midian. We're not talking about a pagan priest. We could be talking about actually someone who follows Jehovah. Because we find later in the story that Moses' father-in-law actually counsels him as to how to lead these people that God has entrusted to him.
That's a few chapters on from here. Where is Midian? Oh, Midian is actually your only option if you're Moses. If you're going to run away, you run to the east by and large. But you don't want to run to the northeast. That's where the Hittites are. I mean, from Syria down through Palestine. So you still have to go east, but you have to go kind of east, southeast. And so go as far that direction you can go and you hit Midian. You hit actually the top Gulf from the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aqaba today. So friends, get out a map. Get out a map and look at it, because this will be very helpful to you. You realize that the route Moses took is straight across the Sinai Peninsula.
Oh. Yeah, he's going to do the Sinai. He heads straight into the wilderness, out, and he runs as far as he can until he comes to a well, which is clear on the other side of the wilderness. So he's going about as far as he can go and still live. If you go past Midian, there's not much place to live out there.
There's not much water. He went basically as far away as he could go. This is what he did. So that's where he goes. He goes off to Midian. And there's really not much to do in Midian, but he does find a job. So it says in the end of 15, he fled from Pharaoh. That's really – he wasn't going to Midian. He was going away from Pharaoh. He was running from Egypt, yeah.
And I love how it caps off. And so he sat down at a well, which, by the way, if you know any of your Bible history, a lot of action happens at wells, especially if you go back and look in Genesis. You know, a lot of wives are found at wells back in Genesis. Well, because the women would draw the water.
Because the women would draw the water, yeah. So now he finds himself sitting at a well, and now our scene moves to Midian where Moses is clearly dressed like an Egyptian, so he's recognizable as an Egyptian, as a stranger. And now he's sitting at this well.
I'll pick up a story of 16. So now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. Hey, look. There's daughters. Well, there's a priest. There's daughters. What more do we need? So the priest in Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.
Now the shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them and watered their flock. Huh. Huh.
How about that? What a nice guy. Hey, Daddy. We met this guy at the well. And he drew water for us. And he scared off those nasty shepherds who were pushing us away.
The one named drawn out draws water. But it's interesting to note, it took seven daughters to water the flock, and now here Moses is doing it single-handed. So he's, you know, for a guy who's been raised as a prince in the most powerful country in the world, he's doing some pretty menial labor here all of a sudden. But he's watering their flock. And he's doing it on behalf of these girls who were being bullied by the local shepherds. Right. Right. So it's interesting because here God has made Moses his deliverer, and he's delivering someone out here in Midian.
Can't get away from that job. I mean, it's a great thing. It's a great thing. And of course, this is, you know, when the word gets back to their father, this plays really well. So if you pick it up in 18, so when they came home to their father rule, I don't know how you say that.
I think rule. Yeah. They said, well, you've come home so soon today. See, Moses wasn't with them.
They just came back. And they said, well, an Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and he even drew water for us and watered the flock. Oh, you could say watered your flock, dad, because it's his flock. So he said to his daughters, well, where is he? Where is he? I mean, why have you left the man there?
That's right. Go get him. Call him, then he may eat bread. So this is a wonderful Middle Eastern hospitality saying, this guy did something great for us. Why didn't you bring him home to me, dad? That's right.
What were you thinking? Yeah, this guy sounds like a really good catch. So go back and find the guy.
Well, they do. Why have you left him? Call him, then he may eat bread with him. It's a hospitality thing. We want to see this guy who's been so kind to my family. We want to say thank you. Yeah.
And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughters support. Whoa. Okay, so there's some time. Story moved really fast there. There's some time that took place here, right? It wasn't that afternoon. Cheers, have my daughter and thanks for watering my sheep at the well.
It wasn't that. But suffice it to say, the meeting with dad went very well, and this man and his daughters is the only people that Moses knows out here. So he makes a really good connection with them, because he started by serving them and delivering them from the shepherds.
Started from that. And so, yeah. So when you get into the verse we just read, it turns out, I don't know how long time has transpired, but it's not just a day or two. I don't know.
It's quite some time. Because it says that Moses was content to dwell with the man. So he actually said, I'm going to stay here.
I'm going to stay here. And the man probably offered, you know, why don't you stay with us if you don't know anybody. And then eventually, you know, the beautiful zipporah catches his eye, and Raul, or however you say his name, allows her to be married to an Egyptian, which is an interesting thing, but he's non-Egyptian. Well, by this time they probably discovered that he is by birth a descendant of Abraham, so they have some common background.
And you know, again, fast forward between verses 21 and 22. And she gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom. And here's the meaning, for he said, I've been a sojourner in a foreign land. So this son's name commemorates the fact that I've been a stranger here, and God's given me a son. Right? That's essentially given me a heritage here. Yep.
A great blessing out here in the middle of nowhere, while I was just running away as far as I could from there. Now, we're going to find out later in the book that Moses actually has another son with a different name. And we'll get to that in a couple of weeks. Yeah, that's right. It's an interesting thing.
It's very interesting. But here, at this point in Moses' life, he's saying, I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm a stranger here, a sojourner here, and God's given me a heritage. Yeah, and the fact that he's setting up home here kind of signals to me that he's not intending to go back to Egypt. He doesn't need to go back. I mean, he's married a woman, he's starting a household, you know, it looks like he's saying, this is pretty good, I'll stay here, I've got a family here, and everything's just fine out here. Just fine. That was then, this is now. Yeah, that's right. And we realize that what he ends up doing is shepherding his father-in-law's flock. And so, you know, it's like, I'm happy out here, and I don't have all the stress of being in Egypt and all that kind of stuff. And sure, my people may be under the thumb of Pharaoh over there, and they're captured, but you know, what can I do?
I tried to save them, and they just kind of said, forget it. Who made you judge? And we've noticed, and it's kind of woven into the text here, that Moses has an inherent sense of justice, and he is inherently, in some way, a servant. He draws water.
He's willing to draw water. And cares for their sheep. Right. And even in perilous life with shepherds, plural. Right.
Right. Let's get to these last verses in the chapter, because this is just incredible. Meanwhile, back at the ranch.
Back at the ranch. That's kind of how it picks up, and kind of back up, reframe it, verse 23. During those days, in the meantime, many days, the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery, and they cried out for help.
So things got worse after Moses left. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God, and God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel, and God knew. God knew.
Yeah. Even though Moses doesn't know how it's going down, God knows. God saw. God has not forgotten. God has not forgotten. Now, that's an important part, an important turning place in the story. Oh, yeah. It's huge.
It's huge. And even though Moses is determined to get himself out of the circumstance in Egypt, and we know that's going to change pretty soon, God has not lost his focus on his people in Egypt, even if Moses has lost his focus on his own people. And these are four very important statements lined up in a row here.
Let's list them, because they're really pretty interesting. Yeah. God heard. God heard their cry. God remembered his covenant. Does that mean he had forgotten it?
No. It means he recalled it to mind and said, now's the time. He kept it forward in his thinking. He brought it forward and commemorated it.
Yeah. His promises. God saw the people of Israel. He saw their affliction. And God knew.
Yeah. He knew them. And that word, know, shows up in a bunch of different ways in the Old Testament. But that's the word that the early Hebrews used for that intimate relational knowledge. Yeah. God knew his people.
God knew. It's kind of an experiential knowledge. Right. Like, I'm in your midst, and I know what you're going through. Right. Yeah. So God hasn't forgotten it all. However, you would think, if you didn't know where the story's going, you would think, yeah, well, it's too bad, because your hand-picked guy is off in the other side of the Gulf of Aqaba, and he's tending sheep for his father-in-law, and he's fat, dumb, and happy, and he's gone.
You're going to have to come up with a new deliverer. So God, you're kind of stuck. You're playing. It doesn't matter how much you understand the suffering there and how much you love your people. I'm sorry.
The guy you picked was a bad pick. I mean, that's what you'd think if you're reading this story. Well, that's going to come clearly into highlight in the next chapter or so, because Moses himself presents some excuses. And in good storytelling, you like to point out these tensions.
This is a tension right here. So now God hears, and he's moved, he's deeply moved, always has been about the plight of his people. But this guy, this guy would rather tend sheep than deliver his people back in Egypt. However, you could speculate and say, well, you know, the years he spent in Midian, which by the way, isn't it 40 years he's in Midian, I think? I can't remember now. Yeah, roughly. Yeah. But at this point, it's too bad about this detour in Midian.
Maybe it's not a detour. Maybe this is a necessary part of Moses' training before he can come back. And in fact, I mentioned before speculatively that they didn't recognize his leadership because he might have just been seen as a sellout to Pharaoh and stuff like that.
This is a phrase I heard from someone a long time ago. Maybe God needs to take Moses, and whereas in the Court of Pharaoh, he learned how to be a somebody, in Midian, God had to teach him how to be a nobody, and that humility is what had to come back in order to equip him to be a good leader. It has nothing to do with his training in the Court of Pharaoh.
It has everything to do with training his heart in humility and service. And in the meantime, while God is training Moses out there rattling around in the wilderness of Midian, in the meantime, the political system changes. There's a regime change in Egypt. That king died. The slavery increases.
The burden on the people increase. God does not seem to be in a hurry here to let the story fully develop. Right. And God's timing is perfect. And we have to remind ourself of all of that all the time. Many times if you despair and say, well, I've had about as much as I can take, nothing's changing, you've got to realize that God's timing, he's got this down. God's doing something. He doesn't flinch and act too soon or too late. He's doing something bigger and other than you may be able to see.
I find myself kind of going back to that a lot. God's doing something bigger and other than just what concerns me. But you know, if you've been paying attention since last week, a question is raised in your mind, well, now wait a minute. Moses had a brother and a sister who were both older, and they've been in Egypt enduring all this stuff all this time. Did they know where he was? Did they know what he was doing?
It makes you wonder, doesn't it? Well, we're going to find out as the story goes on that they actually sort of did know where he was. So yeah, that's just a teaser. So you read ahead, listeners, and see if you can figure that out.
Yeah. And in fact, as we come back next time and we turn into the chapter where God acts, now here he sees, he hears, you'll find in the beginning of the next chapter, he'll repeat these things that he does here that God hears and he remembers and he sees and knows. We'll say that again when he comes to chapter three as kind of the reiterating the story. This is now why God is going to act because God saw and God knew. God initiates because the time is right. God never forgot and now God takes action. So in the next chapter, he's going to act and Moses is going to be pretty darn surprised.
By the meantime, camp on that. God heard, God remembered, God saw and God knew. Right. And when you're in the midst of Pharaoh-like oppression in your life, does God see? He does. Is God not taking action because he's just, you know, he's capricious?
No. His timing is perfect. Because he forgot. He didn't forget.
He didn't forget. So we'll see this thing come up all through the Bible. So we're glad you're with us. Come back with us next time. We'll pick it up in chapter three. I'm Jim. And I'm Dorothy. And join us on More Than Ink. More Than Ink is a production of Main Street Church of Brigham City and is solely responsible for its content. To contact us with your questions or comments, just go to our website, morethanink.org. Okay, I'll start. This may take a few takes.
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