Moses and 40 Long Years

When you combine Exodus 2, Hebrews 11, and Acts 7, you get some more facts about one of the pivotal figures in biblical history – Moses. What you find is that Moses was raised in privilege as a prince of Egypt (just like the movie says), but that he also had some knowledge about who his people were. He understood he was a Hebrew. And it’s reasonable to assume that he also had an inkling at least about what God’s plan was for him – that he was to be a great deliverer.

So in Exodus 2, you find Moses taking his destiny into his own hands. He was supposed to be the deliverer, so he decided to start delivering, and he killed an Egyptian slave-master. That act forced Moses into the wilderness, the desert of Midian to be more precise, and there he stayed for 40 years.

40 years.

That’s a long time. 40 years ago humanity had no concept of the personal computer, much less the internet. The summer of love had not yet happened; the United States was in the Vietman conflict; both Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated; and Richard Nixon was elected president. I was not alive for any of these things.

Moses was a shepherd, in the desert, for 40 years. He went from being the prince of Egypt and a revolutionary with a dream to a nobody. But here’s what’s encouraging to me. During those 40 years, I’m sure Moses had alot of questions. He had alot of doubts. He had alot of humility thrust upon him. And while he may have felt like he was doing nothing with his life, God was busy. And I believe God was busy in at least 2 ways – one outside, and one inside.

In the outside, God was busy preparing Moses to know what life was like in the desert, which would come in pretty handy when he spent the NEXT 40 years of life wandering around there. The stuff he learned about finding water, sleeping arrangements, wildlife, plantlife – you name it – would be invaluable. Moses had no clue he was learning all this, but he was.

On the inside, God was also busy. He was busy helping Moses become the sort of person would could walk into the court of the most powerful man in the known world and say “Let my people go.” He was preparing him to be the kind of person who could deal with the impatience and bellyaching of a newly liberated people. He was preparing him to be someone who knew what it was like to depend on the work of God and walk deeply with Him. And Moses didn’t even know it. He was becoming someone in the desert, and he thought he was just herding sheep.

God is busy. He’s busy in the palace, and He’s busy in the desert. In our desert moments, in my desert moments, I wonder if I’m so busy being fixated on getting out of the desert that I forget that God is at work at all.

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