Monday, December 10, 2007

Once you’ve been broken down and God has stripped all your self reliance’s you are ready to be equipped for service. That’s what the entire born again way is all about…it’s not “Protestant” religion that you just sign up for. Not at all...something spiritually happens where the sinner is striped of his self righteous confidence and laid bare before the Almighty and then infused with power from on high. One can not be sorta saved, or half way converted…narrow is the way and few be there that find it. Once this rebirth happens the rest of life is a struggle between self reliance and the molding hand of God…we are now His possession…we have been bought with a price.

God broke Moses down and removed him from all his confident leverage. God had set him apart to serve as the great deliverer of Abrahams children, but it would be on the terms of the Lord and in the super natural strength of God…not in any synergistic partnership between Moses and YHWH. This is the way of the Master, He breaks and then He heals. He is more concerned with His own glory than with our comforts, preferences, style or predilections.

Have you ever found yourself, broken and sitting near a well without the foggiest clue what you are to do? Remember, Moses knew he was in danger…very real danger. This is no spiritual fable, his was being hunted down by Pharaohs minions and the heat was on. I wonder why he just sat down, from the way it is reported, it sounds like he must have just tired of running. It’s not like we read of him having any kind of plan or direction. It doesn’t seem that he had any hopes of rallying his former military generals to follow him back to Egypt to overthrow Pharaoh. It just seems like he didn’t care. His ambitions seem to have faded. He appears broken, lost and emotionally impotent…

And then God begins to rebuild him. There was a God fearing priest in Midian who had seven daughters (seems like an interesting number). These girls came out to the well to draw water for their fathers flocks. While they were approaching, area shepherds came at them and drove them away. What is not clear is if the shepherds intended to simply drive these girls away…or more likely…if they had other plans for the girls and young women and came at them with perverted motives, which obviously drove them away.

Context, context…CONTEXT. Never forget the context, because it is the foundation of the art and science of interpretation (of any text). Women, in that day, existed to serve men and make babies. That’s it…they were not given any higher expectations of personal fulfillment or advancement. You, along with possibly another sister or two, would marry a man, fulfill his sexual needs, bare his children, care for his children and keep the home clean and well fed. If your husband loved you, well, all the better. Of course there were many husbands who loved their wives, probably most. But don’t confuse the way love looked then by today’s standards.

So here is Moses, on the run and trying to keep a low profile. He must have been lying low and could see all of this happening. Remember, according to Josephus, Moses had at least one wife already back in Egypt…it has been conjectured that she had died at this point, we don’t know. But here is this renegade warrior prince watching these young women who he does not know being harassed and possibly threatened by a bunch of skuzzy, earthy, uneducated and probably sexually inflamed shepherds. Moses rises up from his place of refuge and once again demonstrates his overwhelming since of justice, indignation and moral outrage… risks his life and defends these girls who he does not know and chases the perverts off.

Remember…this is the Moses who was forty years old before he went down to see how his own people were slaving. This is the same guy who lived a life of privilege, influence and prestige without much care for the sufferings of the “less fortunate”, his own people none the less. I’m fairly confident that at the age of thirty or thirty five Moses would not have revealed himself in such a similar scenario. He would have probably been much more pragmatic and would have certainly been plotting his return to Egypt and would not have made a fuss over the protection of young women he did not know or care about. I think at one time, Moses was a very cold, cunning and self serving man.

But something had changed within Moses and he could not sit there and put up with what he was seeing. Such changes are not acts of the will…one can not chose to care for something he doesn’t care for. No, only God can change the heart and it is clear that this self serving warrior had been broken, dispirited…changed. He had ignored injustice his entire life and by the grace of God, he would ignore it no more. We see his immaturity and hot headedness just a few verses before when he actually killed an Egyptian in his moral outrage…now he comes at these shepherds and only God knows what would have happened had he caught them. I have a feeling they would have been the next ones buried in the sand. Think about it…the Bible says there were “some shepherds” involved here. Shepherds were neither girlie men nor hermaphrodites. No, they were very masculine and very armed with tools and weapons in order to fend off wild animals. And there was only one of Moses…I have this feeling Moses was one bad dude. He was probably not much like Rob Bell or Joel Osteen…I bet he came right at them with a war cry and in full attack mode. I bet he drove them off, indeed…and I bet they didn’t come back either.

And then he was left…alone…with the women.

This is fascinating. He serves these women by watering their fathers flocks for them. There was no repayment required…they were not saved from a bunch of perverts by another pervert. He honored their sanctity and took upon himself, this warrior prince, the role of a servant…and served these defenseless women, generously, heroically and yet humbly.

What a great picture God painted for us in the life of Moses at this point. Is not Christ our warrior “prince” who willingly removed Himself from His comforts in order to rescue us from certain doom? And after delivering us, does He treat us as a tyrant or does He not, amazingly, serve us despite our complete inability to repay Him? Did He not take this initiative upon Himself apart from any “good reason” intrinsically found within us?

Not only does Moses not take perverted advantage of these young women, he does not request (or demand) any form repayment at all. He delivers them, serves them by watering their flocks and then turns them loose to head home. Of course he had not a remote clue as to where he’d be sleeping or eating…but he did not defend them to earn any right to go back to their father. A pragmatic warrior might very well have done just that. Such a man would have reasoned that these women were coming from somewhere and with flocks that size that “somewhere” would probably be prosperous. A wandering, hungry, running, tired, stressed out yet advantageous warrior could have reasoned to himself, “If I save these girls I will certainly be rewarded…in more than one way of course….” But not Moses, he defended and then served them out of some new found moral integrity which had compelled him into action. Perhaps he couldn’t even explain it if asked, but God had called Moses to be a deliverer and he probably didn’t even really ‘get it’. He was just acting and making free choices upon the unction of this new heart of his.

You can imagine the near shock their father priest Reuben experienced when his girls ran home and told him that “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.”
Exodus 2:19-22 niv


Community Gospel Church said...

Wow! Great narrative! What an amazing, beautiful picture of Christ through the life of Moses. Thanks for sharing, my friend!!

irreverend fox said...

thank you Joel! it's good to get you Pentecostals in tongue talkers keep things from getting too stiff around here! I always hope we Baptists could get a bit of Pentecostal passion once in a while for crying out loud! Jesus saved me and He’s coming back to get me! WE NEED TO GET THE LEMONS OUT OF OUR MOUTHS AND SHOUT PRIASE THE LORD!!!


thanks for the encouragement my brother in Christ!

of course...Pentecostals are far more than just excitable tongue talkers...but, however, you all are no less than that!

Community Gospel Church said...

Shazzam! Shazzam! Shazzam!