His sin was found out and his entire life, everything he had worked for, killed for, put his own life in jeopardy for went up in a flash. Like the snap of fingers, everything Moses knew was over with.
If you live with unconfessed sin God will find you and ruin you. He will hunt you day and night, giving you opportunities, in over abundance, to surrender to His will. But if you continue to run the day will come suddenly when you turn the corner and He will have you by the throat and the life you want to live will be immediately over. When that day comes you will have no doubt that God is very angry with unrepentant sinners…and that day is coming my friend, it is my prayer that it arrives in this life and not the next. If this thought upsets you, click here.
What Moses thought was done in secret was soon to be shouted from every corner in Egypt. It is amazing how self righteous Moses was considering the dead body he had just buried the day before. He must have had a bit of a swagger about him, thinking that he would serve the Hebrews as he saw fit. Here he is, forty years old, and for the first time he is walking among his enslaved people…lecturing about morality.
Two of the Hebrew men must have had a heated exchange which turned into a fist fight. If you know anything about the world of laborers you know these things have happened before. When your body is being exerted and you are in the heat something must happen in the male blood stream or something…because testosterone freely flows. When this happens, as immature as it might sound, men sometimes can hardly resist the temptation to physically fight. That is a discussion unto itself.
So one of these men got the upper hand and was wailing on the other. Maybe the guy raining down the punches was indeed going too far. Out bounces Moses to break it up. Of course, as a high ranking Egyptian official Moses did have a duty to simply break the fight up. You can’t exactly have slaves wailing on each other…common sense says that can’t be going on no matter what the social conditions are. It’s not like Moses came at them and said, “alright, alright, break it up…that’s enough…” or whatever. No, no, no. Moses came at them and played the morality card! “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?” Do you catch the moral high ground Moses was trying to preach? As if what they were doing was wrong simply because they were “fellow Hebrews”. He was apparently about to lecture them about how brothers should respect each other and yadda yadda yadda…and it was just about all one of them could take.
The bomb dropped. The slave asked the very last question an unconfessed and unrepentant servant of God wants to hear, “who are you to judge me?” The question is not about the correctness of Moses judgment, because as brothers the Hebrews should not have been fighting like that. But the power and effectiveness behind the correction or rebuke is evaporated when the one doing the instruction is living a double life. Of course every servant of God is a sinner and no one is better than anyone else. No one is less sinful or more holy than anyone else. The issue is confession and real repentance…is the servant of God actually confessing his sins, not only to God but to someone else trusted and is he actually turning from his sin? Is the servant of God growing in spiritual maturity or is he simply advancing in the theological articulation? One does not have to be an articulate theologian to carry a big stick when it comes to the spiritual discipline of God’s people. A man, called of God, who has a clean conscious from living a life of confession and repentance exudes an undeniable presence of God and his rebukes are always advantageous. Men of God are like David, who might even stumble into terrible and gross sin, yet literally melt under the conviction of God…and turn (utterly broken) from it. Men of God do not lie about, cover up, make excuses for or continue their sin…a genuine servant of God will learn from his mistakes, will stop making them and will serve as examples of how God’s people are to advance in grace. These servants sin, but are not bound by sin…they operate their growing freedom in grace. So their “authenticity” is a demonstration of “authentic” holiness. While they need not share their struggles with everyone, at the same time, they are not wearing a mask or being phony either (that is not an easy balance, pray for your pastor). So the instruction of Moses rang totally hollow.
This unnamed Hebrew slave fired the shot heard throughout the rest of world history. His rebuke not only ruined Moses life…it also saved it. It was a jolt which ended everything Moses had ever known yet it tipped Moses off enough to know that he only had a little bit of time to escape before Pharaoh learned of this and immediately ordered his arrest...or worse!
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.” Exodus 2:14 niv
I’m finding it interesting as I am combing through the life of this Prophet that little nuances that I’ve been told about the account are not grounded in the text. Was I the only one who was told that this slave actually saw what Moses did? I don’t read that here…the only thing I can surmise was that the word was simply on the street. Anyway…Moses got a clue and was rightly “afraid”.
The Bible is not exactly clear about the details, but we know the heat was quickly on Moses. We read Pharaoh tried to kill him…but Moses fled. Something happened between the time the slave rebuked him and his fleeing…there was an attempt at Moses life but he apparently escaped narrowly and fled and continued to flee all the way to a desolate place along the Gulf of Aqaba called Midian. When he had put enough sand between he and Pharaoh he simply sat down at a well and waited till he figured out what he was going to do next. Remember, according to Josephus, Moses was an Egyptian military hero. People knew him and recognized him. Egypt was the world power of that day…he certainly did not have many options.
The life he knew was ruined. The position he had crafted was in two quick days smashed and now he had no friends, no family, no money and no direction. God literally ruined the life he was living. You can’t live your life anyway you want to live it forever…the day will come when God will tear it apart…and that day will come suddenly…like a thief in the night.
The path of the righteous is level; O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth. Isaiah 26:7 niv