When the religious leaders and Roman soldiers arrived at the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus, Peter sprang into action. The former fisherman drew a sword and swung wildly, cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Any dreams of glory faded quickly when Jesus rebuked him, told him to put away the sword, and healed the servant’s ear (Matt. 26:47–56; Luke 22:47–51).
In today’s passage, the “grown-up” Moses experienced that same feeling (v. 11). He, too, was a man of action. Pondering the plight of his people, he went out to observe them. He might have felt caught between two worlds—the luxury of the palace and the dreary existence of the slaves. In any case, he spontaneously intervened in an unjust situation, killing an Egyptian who was probably a slave taskmaster. Perhaps because he panicked, Moses hid the body.
The next day, he went out again but discovered that his vigilante murder had become known. Although the Israelite who told him didn’t sound grateful that Moses had tried to strike a blow for freedom, the phrase “ruler and judge” (v. 14) is exactly what Moses would indeed become.
Running from the wrath of Pharaoh, Moses fled to Midian (v. 15). The writer of Hebrews interprets Moses’ flight as primarily an act of faith, not fear (Heb. 11:27). Once again, God preserved Moses’ life against the king’s hostility, and He sovereignly brought him to the household of a leader and priest—Reuel, meaning “friend of God”—who apparently knew the one true God.
We can be sure it was difficult to adjust to life in the desert after growing up in a palace. But Moses settled down, married, and fathered two children. The stage was being set for God’s plan of liberation (vv. 23–25)!
>> Moses’ timing was different from God’s timing. How difficult it can be for us to wait on the Lord! The ability to show patience, no matter how difficult the situation we face, is something we ask of God.
Lord, many of us are waiting for an answer, an unmet need, or some indication of what our next step should be. You are the only One who sees the whole picture; help us believe and trust You as we keep waiting.