Summary: Moses had talents, but he needed to be trained first. We need to be patient when it comes to serving God.
June 28, 2003 Exodus 2:11-22
One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?” The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.” When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.
Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock. When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?” They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.” “And where is he?” he asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.” Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become an alien in a foreign land.”
If you had the power of God Almighty, what would you do with your power? Would you end starvation in the world? Would you eliminate all diseases in the world? It’s an interesting thing to contemplate. There would be a lot of tough decisions to make if you were God. But the fact is, as much as you may want to be, you’re not God. You’re a weak and limited human. One fish in an ocean of thousands. Chances are that your name or reputation or acts will not make a big difference on our world. That’s hard to accept, because most of us want to make a difference in the world.
Moses was no different. He wanted to make a difference - for his world - his people - the Israelites. Day after day, for forty years, he had witnessed his people be beaten and abused under the tyranny of his very own stepfather. He wanted to make a difference. But how could he?
You may not want to change the world - but your self, your church, your family, or your co-workers. Maybe you feel that they need to learn more about the Bible, to be more loving, or to have some hope. You may have and intense desire to bring about some change. But how? That’s the question we’ll look at today, as we ask -
How Can I Make a Difference?
I. It’s not about ability
Moses wanted to make a difference. He wanted to help his people get out from the abuse and slavery that they were being subjected to. He was tired of seeing them beaten and abused. If anyone had the ability or opportunity to free them - it was Moses. Chapter two said that he was literally “good”. That word can mean morally good, wealthy, something that has good qualities, or beautiful. Stephen also said that he was asteios to God - which means - elegant, beautiful, or well formed. (As well as Hebrews 11:23) Since Moses declared that everyone is born only thinking about evil from childhood, (Genesis 8:21), we would have to assume that this was talking about his physical looks and health. Moses was a nice looking baby - a beautiful baby. But this wasn’t all. Stephen also declared that as Moses grew up he was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. (Ac 7:22) Not only was Moses a nice looking and healthy person, he was also a powerful, educated, and articulated man. He grew up under the “system” of the Egyptians - and he knew how to handle himself among the “royalty.” So if you look at the man on the surface, he was a natural born leader. He had the very things that people look for in their leaders - good looks, great speaking ability, and a royal family - an inside track.
Moses wasn’t blind to this. So the picture we get of Moses in today’s text is of someone who was confident in his heritage, abilities, position and looks. His confidence is exuded in the action he takes. He went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?” . . . Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock. He wasn’t afraid to step in and come to the rescue of those who were being oppressed. Since he knew God had given him courage and strength, he wasn’t afraid to show it. If he was strong enough to kill an Egyptian task master, he must have been quite strong indeed. He must have assumed, “since God gave me my health and my position - he must want me to use it! Therefore, I’m going to help my people.” It seems like a natural conclusion to make.