How does a person become a good leader? Some people would say, “He’s a born leader!” Some people would say, “He was groomed to lead!” So are leaders born or groomed? Well, I think it’s a little of both.
You need to be born into the right situation with certain genetic qualities that will enable you to be a leader. But you are still born a baby. So that baby, with all the potential in the world, has to be groomed into a leader.
[Tiger Woods example.]
Moses was born into the perfect situation that God would use to prepare him to be one of the greatest leaders that ever lived. Now his grooming process took eighty years – but the man Moses became was exactly who Israel needed to lead them out of the Egyptian bondage.
Now the three big-picture things that shaped Moses’ leadership style were his values, his abilities and his life-experiences. And really, those are the things that make all of us who we really are. Our values, our abilities and our life-experiences shape and create who we become as individuals. So, we’re going to see Moses’ values, abilities and experiences begin to shape him in Exodus chapter two. As you turn there let’s remember what’s going on with Israel.
Israel as a nation has now been sojourning in the land of Egypt for over three hundred years. Their visitation started out good when Joseph was still alive, but through the years their stance in the land has greatly deteriorated. They’re considered outsiders, they been harshly enslaved by the Egyptians, and Pharaoh has turned all the Egyptians against the Hebrews by ordering them to kill any newborn boy they happen to see. Life is tough for the Hebrews.
But God loves His people and He’s preparing a man to lead them out of the Egyptian bondage and into the promised land. They will be delivered to worship! Moses is that man.
I. Moses’ first forty years of preparation
Now the first forty years of Moses’ life seemed to be influenced the most by three women – his mother, his sister and his adoptive mother which was Pharaoh’s daughter. Now I’m sure there were men who influenced him, but only women are highlighted in this passage.
There’s only a brief mention of his father. Probably because he surely was a slave like all the other Hebrew men so he would be worked harshly all day every day. You don’t hear anything about his older brother Aaron at this point. And there’s no mention of his adoptive’s mother’s husband; (if she even had one.)
So let’s look at the influence of these women on Moses’ first forty years of life.
1. Moses’ parents, (Amram and Jochebed)
[Read Exodus 2:1-2.]
Remember, the Egyptians had decreed that any Hebrew male born was to be killed, so she risked her own safety by hiding Moses those three months. She loved her son so much and would do anything to care for him. But for some reason she realized she couldn’t effectively hide him any longer so she came up with a plan that might allow her son to live. This is where we begin to see the influence of Pharaoh’s daughter on Moses.
2. Pharaoh’s daughter
[Read Exodus 2:3-6.]
Moses’ mom sent her son afloat hoping an Egyptian would find him and care for him as their own. It’s not clear if Moses’ mother intended for Moses to be brought into the royal household, but that’s what happened.
Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby, heard him crying, and had compassion on him. She knew he was a Hebrew boy, she knew the law, she knew she was to kill the boy or at least have one of her maidens do it, and her father was Pharaoh himself! But she decided to care for this boy and adopt him as her own son. She obviously had a true, motherly love for Moses.
But Moses’ sister and mother are still in the picture.
3. Moses’ sister and mother
[Read Exodus 2:7-9.]
Amazing! Moses’ own mother was hired by Moses’ new adoptive mother to nurse him for the next two to three years until he’d been weaned. Moses’ sister’s and mother’s plan had worked! Moses would grow up in a good home and they’d even get to spend the next three years nurturing baby Moses along.
I wonder if Pharaoh’s daughter somehow knew that the woman nursing her new son was his biological mother? You know how women are good at perceiving things. Anyway, the first three years of Moses’ life was with his mother and family. He was then handed over to Pharaoh’s daughter who would raise him into a man.
[Read Exodus 2:10.]
So what was it like for Moses to grow up in Pharaoh’s household?