02(Exodus 02,01-22) Finding Peace When Life Gets Broken
Have you ever had the feeling that somehow, either through something that you did or something that you were perhaps accused of, that you didn't do, you're in the penalty box? And you've got to sit out the rest of your life there.
Bad marriage. Bad financial decisions. Bad upbringing. Shattered dreams.
Stephen (Acts 7:22) says Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. He was educated at the temple of the sun. And because of that, he had an education in mathematics and astronomy, in chemistry, in hieroglyphics. He had the best education that the world of that day could offer.
Josephus tells us that when an invading army came into Egypt, the Egyptians were losing until Pharaoh put Moses in charge of the troops. Josephus also tells us that Moses was scheduled to be the next Pharaoh of Egypt.
But there was something within Moses that told him that he was to be the deliverer. Stephen said that Moses supposed that his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them (Acts 7:25).
2:11-12. So this child of fame and fortune goes amid all of the slaves and he sees them making bricks. They are his own people. His heart is torn within him. When he says an Egyptian beating an Israelite, he looks this way and that and he kills that Egyptian and he hides him in the sand.
2:13-15. He goes out the next day and he sees two of the Hebrews that were arguing and he wants to make peace. And they said, "Who made thee a ruler or a judge over us? Will thou kill us as thou didst kill the Egyptian?" Moses is terrified and his own people reject him.
Moses thought that his people would understand how that God by his hand would deliver them. To receive the criticism of Pharaoh that was one thing. But to be rejected by his own people hurt deeply.
Talk to people today who have blown it. Oftn what they'll tell you is that it isn't the people of the world that trouble them; it is Christians who shoot their wounded.
It is Christians who make those biting, sharp, cutting remarks, even though the person might be a victim of circumstances quite beyond his control. And that hurts the deepest. His own people, and Moses supposed they would have understood. Don't ever suppose it.
So what does Moses do? Scripture says that he flees and he goes to the desert and he sits down at a well in Midian. Here is a man who is highly qualified. A man who has achieved the highest in terms of education, and he is in an unending gravel pit, sitting by a well.
He had to learn that there are some things that God wants to teach you that you can't learn in a palace. There are lessons that success will never teach you. There are some lessons that could only be learned on the sharp anvil of painful failure.
But what was it that Moses had to learn? What are those lessons that God wants to teach us that we've got to learn at some point in our life as well?
II. Getting broken teaches us how to serve
First of all, Moses had to learn to be a servant. Tough lesson to learn for someone who had been served all of his life. Exodus 2:16-21
Moses ends up a servant, serving the man with looking after sheep, which was considered among the Egyptians to be the lowest form of occupation.
But you see it's in this context that Moses has to learn that you can serve when you feel that you're in the penalty box. You can always serve if there's nothing left to do. Do you think Moses felt at home in this environment? No I don't believe he did. The Bible says in the text we read that when he had a son, he called him Gersham which means "foreigner, I am a foreigner in a strange land." God says I'm going to teach you to serve. He says, "Moses, I want to teach you the great lesson of being able to serve and to serve in obscurity because for forty years you're going to be an unknown."
Here's a man who had instant recognition in Egypt, and he goes to the desert where he is just nobody. All that he could do is contemplate how mean those people of his were to him and soothe his own bitterness and think to the fact that there is absolutely nobody here in the desert that is impressed with my hieroglyphics. There's nobody in this desert who looks up to me and says, "There is Big Mo." Nobody. Just a shepherd.
It is easier to be faithful in those things that are visible. I know that. But we will never be the men and the women that God wants us to be until we can be faithful in obscurity. And Jesus says, "If you are faithful there, on that committee, then I will promote you and I'll give you more to do."
The lessons of servanthood that can't be learned at the wells of success, at the wells of failure and hurt that count. Moses had to learn to serve and he couldn't do that in Egypt. He had to do that in the penalty box.