Moses’ errorExodus 2:11-14
“One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labour. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?” The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”
A Hebrew slave by birth, yet adopted and raised by an Egyptian princess, it’s possible that Moses never felt he belonged in either world. The Egyptians would have looked down on his humble beginnings, while the Hebrews might have considered him too privileged to belong with them.
It’s hard not to sympathise with Moses’ impulsive actions in Exodus 2:12. Although seeking to right a wrong and defend his own people, he ended up scorned and rejected by all, and worse, having to flee for his life. His desire to defend the weak and vulnerable was, in many ways, admirable. But he acted _on his own_. Despite it being clear that God had saved Moses as a baby, He is strikingly absent in these verses. Acting on impulse and taking justice into his own hands, Moses’ desire to help led instead to murder, and having to flee from a death sentence. Only God’s grace would eventually redeem and return Moses to his people, to serve them in a way which was completely unlike these tragic early mistakes.
While we may be passionate, even angry, about different situations around us, we should not act without being guided by the Lord. Injustice can lead us to feel outrage, which spurs us into action on others’ behalf. But Paul reminds us, “In your anger do not sin… and do not give the devil a foothold” (Eph 4:26).
Pray: Lord, as I see injustice and terrible wrongs in the world, give me the wisdom to bring them to You first. Direct my passions so that I can make a difference, small or big, in someone’s life today, led by Your Holy Spirit.