Muscle Man Moses Forced to Flee
by Sophia Prinsloo
Text Version | Afrikaans
Victor and Kenneth sat next to each other in first grade and, from then on, they became best of friends. Victor was tall and strong and nobody ever tried to bully him, but Kenneth was short and frail and often had trouble with bullies when Victor was not around. It enraged Victor when someone bullied Kenneth.
One day, Kenneth was alone while Victor was at a meeting with the basketball team. A bunch of bullies cornered Kenneth and took his harmonica from his pocket. While two of them held him, the lead bully played a few notes on the harmonica before smashing it under his feet. Just then, Victor arrived. Uh-oh! NOW there was trouble.
Big, strong Victor struck the lead bully and knocked out one of his front teeth just as one of the teachers came around the corner. Immediately the teacher took Victor and the lead bully to the principal's office.
“What's going to happen now?” Kenneth wondered anxiously. “Will they expel Victor from school?”
Moses, the baby boy who was taken from the river, grew up as the son of the Princess of Egypt, but his real relatives, the Hebrews, were slaves in Egypt. In the palace, Moses enjoyed the best of everything. He went to school with all the other royal children in the royal school, which had the best teachers in all of Egypt. He learned how to read and write, how to do math, build pyramids and cities, and how to grow crops. He learned about the son, the moon, the stars, the seasons, the Nile river and about the Egyptian gods.
When he was almost grown-up, Moses learned to conduct himself royally, how to deal with other nations, but also to fight and do warfare. From all the many exercises learning how to combat, Moses became very fit and strong, and he built up big muscles. Moses was so busy with all these things that, for a long while, he had no time to think about his own people, the Hebrews.
One night when he was all grown-up, he couldn't sleep so he went out onto the balcony of the palace, stood there, and looked up at the stars. Suddenly he remembered what his real mother Jochebed had said. She had told him, “God promised our ancestor Abraham that his descendants would become as many as the stars of heaven.” God also said that, for four hundred years, they would be slaves in a foreign land, then God would judge the foreign nation and let the Hebrews depart from the land, taking many possessions with them.
Moses began to count and, sure enough, almost four hundred years had already passed since Jacob and his sons had come to live in Egypt. They had moved here when there was a famine in the land of Canaan and God miraculously appointed Jacob's beloved son, Joseph, as second in command over all of Egypt, to save the Hebrews from the famine.
While Moses was thinking about all these things, he suddenly realized, “The God of my forefathers does nothing haphazard or without reason. I am sure that just like Joseph, God did not give me an important position in Egypt for nothing. He did not make me the adopted son of the Princess without reason. Surely he wants to use me to deliver Israel again but, this time, from slavery in Egypt!” There and then, Moses decided to go and see how his relatives, the Hebrews, were.
Early the next morning, Moses prepared his chariot, harnessed the horses, and rode to the city the Hebrews were building for Pharaoh. There were many Hebrew slaves all around and everybody was very busy, working hard. One group of slaves made big bricks, another hauled the huge, dry bricks toward the building sites, and another group built with the bricks. Moses was astounded, not because of all the buildings going up, but about how hard the Hebrews were working. His heart went out to them because the Egyptian slave masters treated them very badly.
Moses was heartbroken. “No! How can I live in luxury in the palace and be called the Princess' son while my blood relatives are suffering? I definitely have to do something about this!”
While he was driving, Moses saw an Egyptian man striking one of the Hebrew slaves. Immediately Moses got very angry and, with muscles pumping, he nimbly jumped from the chariot. He looked around to see if anyone noticed him, but he saw nobody. Then he struck the Egyptian and killed him with one blow of his fist, and quickly he buried his body in the sand. Moses hoped this murder would be kept a secret.
The next day, Moses went out to his people again. This time, he came upon two Hebrew men fighting. Moses asked the one who was striking the other one, “Why do you strike your neighbor?”
The man answered, “Who has appointed you as a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”
Moses became filled with fright because now he knew that the secret of the murder he had committed was no longer hidden.
Pharaoh also heard about the murder Moses committed and commanded his soldiers, “Go, catch Moses and kill him. I won't allow Egyptian men being killed while Hebrew slaves look on.” He was afraid that all the Hebrew slaves would also rebel and start killing Egyptians. All the hard labor caused the Hebrews to become more muscular and stronger than the Egyptians.
When Moses realized that Pharaoh wanted to kill him, he decided to flee to the desert, to the land of Midian. He wasn't afraid of the wrath of Pharaoh, but he believed the Lord was not done with him yet, even though he had done wrong and tried to help the Hebrews with his own strength.
After making his way through the dusty wilderness, Moses arrived in Midian. His water was finished and he was very thirsty. Fortunately, he saw a well and went to it to fetch some water and rest there for a while. While he was resting, seven beautiful young women arrived with a lot of sheep and goats. As they began watering the livestock, another band of herders arrived with their livestock, chasing away the women and their livestock. Uh-oh! Now there was trouble.
Moses became angry because the shepherds were so rude to the women. When he rose, the shepherds could see that he was a very strong, muscular man and they were afraid of him. Moses started to chase them away and they ran like rabbits. Then with kindness, Moses helped the ladies to water their animals. He found out all seven were the daughters of Rehuel, the priest of Midian.
When his daughters told their father about Moses, he immediately sent them to go and fetch him. He was so pleased with Moses that he invited him to stay with them, and he also gave him his daughter Zipporah to be his wife. Moses enjoyed living in Midian, and he became the father of a son, whom he named Gershom, but he never forgot about his relatives who were still suffering in Egypt.
Choosing anger may seem like it fixes your problem, but usually that only gets you into trouble.
1. Who raised Moses?
2. Where did Moses grow up?
3. Who were Moses' real relatives?
4. What broke Moses' heart?
5. What caused Moses to become fearful and flee for his life?
6. Where did Moses go when he left Egypt?
7. Why do you think Moses named his son Gershom? (See Exodus 2:22.)
A VERSE TO LEARN:
“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, Says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
AN ALTERNATIVE VERSE TO LEARN:
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
Do you think Pharaoh treated the Israelites fairly? Have you ever been treated unfairly, or have you ever seen someone else being treated unfairly, like Moses when he saw the Egyptian beating the Israelite slave? How did it make you feel? Did it make you want to lash out and take revenge?
[After discussion:] God doesn’t want us to take revenge on those who treat us and others badly. Instead, He wants us to leave it in his hands and to trust Him for a solution. Why? Because in anger, we can do some pretty dumb things which can get us into trouble.
Let’s take a moment and pray that God will forgive us where we’ve tried to take matters into our own hands by seeking revenge, without first turning to God for help. Let’s ask God to give us enough strength and self-control to do the right thing in every situation, no matter how angry it makes us.
Heavenly Father, help us remember that You are in control.
Help us to be still and allow You to work in every struggle we face.
Give us grace to trust You more.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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