Exodus chapter 1 through chapter 2 verse 10 gives the details of how God prepared a deliverer for His people in spite of all of Pharaoh’s efforts to keep it from happening. Pharaoh tried enslaving the Hebrews and killing all their male babies as means of controlling the Hebrew population. God planned otherwise.
God used Pharaoh’s daughter to raise Moses.
Exodus 2:10 says, “The princess named him Moses, for she explained, “I lifted him out of the water.”[i]
Her reason for naming him Moses was she lifted him out of the water. A clever play on words for her, and unknown to her an even more clever play on words for God.
God was about to lift a nation out of slavery!
God was about to “lift out” over 2 million slaves.
Every generation since that time has retold the story of the great deliverance God worked through Moses.
We see in Exodus 2 God’s preparation of the deliverer.
First, we see his early training.
Moses was nursed by his Hebrew mother. When he was weaned, he was adopted into the daughter of Pharaoh’s house. Acts 7:22 tells us, “Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was powerful in both speech and action.” Egypt had the best training and knowledge of the day. Moses was well educated. Not only well educated but he was powerful in both speech and action. Exodus 2:11 says, “Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work.”
I want to talk about this word “grown up” in Exodus 2:11. We know from Acts 7 verse 23 that Moses was 40 years old. This is what is meant by “many years later” in Exodus 2:11. Since we realize this, it is natural to translate the Hebrew word of Exodus 2:11 as “grown up.” However, there is a more basic or fundamental meaning of the word. The word for word literal translation would be to “become great.” Follow me now, taking Exodus 2:11 and Acts 7:23 together it is safe to say by the age of 40 Moses had “become great.” He was powerful in both speech and action.
We can now look at verses 11 through 13 of Exodus 2 in a new light. Exodus 2:11-13 say:
11Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of his fellow Hebrews. 12After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand.
13The next day, when Moses went out to visit his people again, he saw two Hebrew men fighting. “Why are you beating up your friend?” Moses said to the one who had started the fight.
Acts 7:25 explains Moses’ behavior by saying, “Moses assumed his fellow Israelites would realize that God had sent him to rescue them.”
Moses identified with his Hebrew heritage, and was great in the Egyptian world. He knew his calling and purpose.
Everything blew up in his face. The Hebrews rejected him saying, “Who appointed you to be our prince and judge?” In addition, the Egyptians turned and tried to kill him because of his actions in support of the Hebrews. The murder was just the excuse for executing Moses. The real issue was what we are told in Hebrews 11:24&25. Moses “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin.”
Rejected by his people and pursued by the Egyptians, Moses spent the next 40 years in the wilderness. Just how much he felt his failure is shown in his words after 40 years. He says, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11) Could this be the same powerful, confident man who at the age of 40 was ready to do the job?
Moses spent 40 years tending sheep in the wilderness. These 40 years were just as important as the education and training Moses had received. God used both to prepare his servant.
God was working a great deliverance. It was not the work of a man. It was the work of God. Many years later the prophet Zechariah expressed it this way, “’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6, NIV)[ii] We see this in God’s preparation of the leader of the deliverance.
At the same time God was preparing the deliverer, He was also preparing the people to be delivered.
Acts 7 gives the example of the people’s rejection of Moses and says, “God sent back the same man his people had previously rejected when they demanded, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us?’” (Acts 7:35) Then this scathing rebuke is leveled against the Hebrew people, “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit?” (Acts 7:51)
They rejected Moses, but 40 years later God says numerous times, “I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers.” (Exodus 3:7) By the end of chapter 2 it is clear that the people’s suffering had become unbearable and they were crying out to God.
Both the deliverer and the “deliveries” were now ready. God enters in and introduces Himself for the first time as “I AM.”
This above all the other names of God is His personal name. He is the Almighty, the Savior, the Provider and we need to know these things. However, at the greatest moment of need and vulnerability we need the “I am.”
God is still working great deliverances every day, and they still follow the same pattern. God prepares his deliverers. Those who would be used by God need to be trained, and they have to learn, “’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.”
Those who would be delivered must learn to call upon the Lord to be delivered. As long as we think we can do it ourselves we will not turn to God for deliverance.
Here is a truth from Scripture. Jesus is the only way for any of us to be delivered. We are all slaves, but Jesus sets us free. Acts 4:12 says, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved."
There are two mistakes we make. One is having been set free we get to thinking that we can set others free by our skill and knowledge. The second is we think we can set ourselves free.
Friends there is a great truth of Scripture that is so simple it is astounding, but it is hard to accept. The Scripture say it in numerous places and in numerous ways. I will quote it from Romans 10:13. It says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
It is that simple. The miracle of the burning bush, the plagues on Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea on dry ground and the crossing of the wilderness all happened because the people called on God. These things did not happen because Moses was brilliantly trained. These things did not happen because the people were brave and courageous. These things happened because the people called on the great “I AM” for deliverance.
If you need a miracle today, call on Him, just call.
[i] Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation. Copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Steam, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
[ii] Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.