When he thought he was finished, he was finally ready.
Lesson 33 from The HOPE Study Guide
Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father–in–law … And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed …God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” …Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. And the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey…”
– Exodus 3:1–8
Moses fled to the desert, and he lived there as a shepherd for forty years. Then one day, God appeared to Moses in a fire in the midst of a bush, yet the bush was not consumed. And God spoke to Moses from the bush. God told Moses to return to his people and lead them out of Egypt. God promised to be with him.
– The HOPE, Chapter 6
OBSERVE & CONSIDER
In the first lesson of Chapter 6, we learned of the very specific vision that God gave to Abraham. God told Abraham that:
- His descendants will be strangers in a land that is not their own.
- They would be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years.
Then, in Lesson 32, we saw how God used Joseph to save his family (Abraham’s descendants) from the famine in their own land by allowing them to live in Egypt (a land that was not their own). In Egypt, Joseph’s family increased in number and was eventually enslaved and treated harshly by the ruler of Egypt. During this time they became known as the Hebrew people. At one point, the ruler of Egypt ordered the death of every son born into a Hebrew family. One Hebrew child was spared, however, when his mother placed him in a basket in the river that ran by the palace of the princess. The princess found the boy, took him in as her own and named him Moses.1 He was raised as a prince of Egypt…but he had been born a Hebrew, and he never forgot it.
One day when Moses was about 40 years old, he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, so he killed the Egyptian. Fearing for his life, Moses fled into the wilderness. There he married a shepherd’s daughter and lived in that place for another 40 years. 2 It is at this point that our current lesson opens. The descendents of Abraham have been enslaved in a foreign land, just as God had said. And at 80 years of age Moses is about to encounter the covenant–making–God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Think about it, as a prince of Egypt Moses received everything that wealth and power could provide. Still he recognized the plight of his people (Exodus 2:11). With his influence, he might have helped his people like Joseph did. But when Moses killed the Egyptian, everyone turned against him, even his own people. With all of his potential seemingly squandered, Moses went into hiding in the wilderness. Continue reading