When you read through your old testament you will read about a lot of different events that took place that God intends for us to learn from.
- And this event is no different.
We only read 5 verses, but the truth of the matter is, these 5 verses are some of the most tragic in all of the book of Exodus.
- They are tragic not only in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense as well.
- And the tragic nature of this event is what makes the lesson that comes from this event so important to us.
- And so, as we study this event, I hope that you will apply it to your life to either draw you closer to God…or to strengthen the faith and relationship with God that you already have.
So, lets look at this and let me show you the tragedy behind it all. Look at verse 11:
Now it came about in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brethren and looked on their hard labors; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren.
Now, if you go to Acts 7: 23 and read Stephen’s account of this event you will find that Moses is about 40 years old when this takes place.
And notice that the verse says that Moses “went out to his brethren.”
- If you remember, when Moses was born, to keep him from being killed his mother put him in a basket, and put that basket among the reeds of the Nile River where Pharaoh’s daughter would go to bathe.
- And Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses and she hired Moses’ own mother to nurse him.
- And when Moses had grown up some Pharaoh’s daughter took him in and raised him like her own son.
- In fact, Stephen says in Acts 7:22 that “Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds.”
- Now, if Moses was educated in ALL the learning of the Egyptians then he would have been educated in Astronomy, and Chemisty, and law, and math and music.
- And when Stephen says that he was a “man of power in words and deeds” that means he had authority and influence.
So the point is, Moses was well educated and he had authority and influence…and even though he had all these things.
- And even though he grew up away from the other Israelites.
- He still knew who they were…that they were his brothers…or kinsmen.
So Moses grows up, he is about 40 years old and he goes out to his brethren and he “looks on their hard labor.”
- Now, if you remember back in chapter 1 a new Pharaoh came to power in Egypt “who did not know Joseph”…and this new Pharaoh was concerned about how many Israelites there were and how strong in number they had become.
- So he puts into action a plan in which he appoints a taskmaster over the Israelites and he “afflicts them hard labor.”
- In other words the Israelites become slaves.
Now, shortly after this plan was put into affect, Moses is born…and since Moses is about 40 years old here in this passage…these brethren of Moses have been slaves and subject to this hard labor for at least 40 years.
So, Moses goes out to his brethren and he sees their hard labor…and while he is at it he sees an Egyptian beating one of the Israelites.
So, look what he does in verse 12:
12 So he looked this way and that, and when he saw there was no one around, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
- Now, this should have made an impression on these Hebrews.
- Here is a guy who Pharaoh’s daughter considers to be her son…
- He is well educated…a man of authority.
- And he kills an Egyptian to defend an Israelite!
- This should have caught their attention in a hurry!
Now, verse 13:
And he went out the next day, and behold, two Hebrews were fighting with each other; and he said to the offender, "Why are you striking your companion?" 14 But he said, "Who made you a prince or a judge over us? Are you intending to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian?"
Isn’t this sad?
- Here these two Hebrews are, they are slaves burdened with all this hard labor.
- Daily they are subject to being beaten by the Egyptians.
- And what do they do?
- They beat on one another.
And you know, it happens in the church among Christians.
- We constantly live in a world where we are under attack.
- There are all these influences out there that beat on us and try to break our resolve and dedication down.
- And what do we do…we beat up on one another!
- “He should have done this!”
- “I don’t like the way she did that!”
- Let me tell you something folks, just like the Hebrews we need to refrain from attacking one another and work together to defeat the world and the sin that tries to entangle us.
Let me show you what we do.
- A problem comes up…perhaps caused by a difference in thinking…or opinion.
- Have a different idea on the method of doing something.
- Now, I am not talking about doctrine…there is only one way as far as doctrine is concerned...and that is God’s way.
But some problem comes up…and instead of attacking the problem…we attack one another.
- No one attacks the problem.
Here is what we need to do.
- We need to attack the problem instead of each other.
And if that requires some repentance…or some instruction done in love…then that is what we need to do.
- But what we don’t need to do is viciously attack each other like these two Jews were doing.
So here are these two Hebrews striking each other and Moses sees them and he apparently tries to stop it. And look what they say:
- “Thanks for stepping in.”
- “You are right!”
- “Thanks for defending our brother yesterday!”
That’s not what he said. He said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Are you intending to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian?”
- Here you have a guy that is trying to help them.
- He has stuck his neck out for them.
- And he has proven that he will kill to defend them…and what do they do?
- “Who made you a prince and judge over us?”
- In other words, “Who do you think you are?”
Do we sometimes do that?
- One of our elders sees a brother in Christ who is not coming to church like he needs to be.
- And that brothers faith is in jeopardy and his positive influence for Christ is not very good.
- And so he goes to that brother and he says, “You need to be in church.”
- And what do we do?
- “Who does he think he is?”
- “Who died and left him in charge?”
Or a brother in Christ comes to you and says, “You shouldn’t use the kind of language that you are using”…or “you and so and so need to resolve your differences and love one another”…or “don’t be so quick to get your feelings hurt”…and what do we do?
- “Who do you think you are?”
- “You are getting a little too big for your britches.”
What we need to do is recognize when someone is trying to help us and not hurt ourselves by driving them away!
- Everyone of us makes mistakes…and some of those mistakes if not corrected can possibly lead us away from the salvation that is ours.
- And unfortunately, we can be so close to what we are doing that we can’t see it.
- And when someone steps in to sincerely help us…we need to listen to what they have to say.
- And if they are right, accept their instruction, and make the change.
But if you refuse to admit your wrongs, and you refuse to accept the instruction, you only hurt yourself!
- And that is exactly what happened here.
Look at the end of verse 14:
Then Moses was afraid, and said, "Surely the matter has become known." 15 When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.
- The one man who was in authority that cared about these people.
- The one man who had dared to defend them.
- The one man who could make a difference.
- And the one man that God had protected in order to deliver these people…they run off!
- He leaves!
And here is the tragedy of the story.
- Because they reject him…and deny him… and because he leaves…these people will suffer in bondage…and will be burdened with heavy labor…and be subject to being beaten everyday…for another 40 years.
- Because it will be that long before he comes back again.
If they would have taken the hint and accepted Moses right here as their leader and their captain, it is very probable that they would have saved themselves 40 years of sorrow and hardship.
- And let me show you why I say that.
- Look with me at Acts 7.
Now, here in Acts 7 Stephen is before the High Priest and the Jewish council…and they are bringing charges of blasphemy against him for preaching and teaching Christ.
- And Stephen in turn brings about an indictment against them by reviewing Jewish history.
- Now, look starting in verse 23.
- Stephen basically repeats what took place in Exodus 2. Look what he says:
23But when he(Moses) was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel. 24 "And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian. 25 "And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him;
- Moses thought that his brethren would understand what was going on.
- That they would recognize what God had promised them…and that is, they would be delivered from Egypt.
…but they did not understand. 26 "And on the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, 'Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?' 27 "But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, ' Who made you a ruler and judge over us ? 28'You do not mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?' 29 "And at this remark Moses fled, and became an alien in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.
Now, why did Stephen go through all of this? What is his purpose?
51 "You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.
- Stephen tells about all these events in Acts 7, including the events of Exodus 2 to point out to these Jews that in rejecting Christ, they are resisting the Holy Spirit…just as their fathers did when they resisted Moses.
When Moses, at the age of 40, visited his brethren and saw one of them being treated unjustly…and when he defended him.
- And when he came back the next day and found the two Hebrews fighting.
- If they would have rallied around Moses…and followed him then…they could have saved themselves 40 years of heartache…and troubles.
But they didn’t.
- Instead, they resisted the one that God had sent to deliver them.
And the lesson to us is this: Don’t do what they did!
- Don’t resist the one that God has sent to deliver us!.
God sent Moses to the Israelites to deliver them from Egyptian bondage.
- And He has sent Christ to deliver us from the bondage of sin.
- Don’t resist Him, don’t deny Him, don’t reject Him.
- Don’t do what they did.
In fact, they had been rejecting God’s prophets for hundreds of years.
52 "Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; 53 you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it. "
You know, these Israelites in Exodus 2, when Moses tried to help them said, “Who made you prince and judge over us?”
- They didn’t realize it at the time but God did.
And God has made Jesus Prince, and Judge and Lord over all.
- Acts 2: 36 says that God has “made Him both Lord and Christ.”
- Acts 3:15 says that Jesus is the Prince of life.
- In Acts 4:12 we are told that “we can be saved by no other name than Jesus Christ.”
- Over and over again all through the scriptures the Holy Spirit tells us who Jesus is.
- Don’t do what they Jews in Acts 7 were doing.
Verse 51 says that they had “ears to hear and yet they were “always resisting the Holy Spirit.”
- And look at why they rejected the Holy Spirit…and why they rejected the One sent by God to deliver them.
- The verse says that they were “stiff-necked and uncircumcised” in heart.
- In other words they were just being “hard headed, stubborn” and deep at heart, they simply didn’t want to do what was right.
Don’t be that way.
- Don’t look at what this says and say, “Well, I don’t know. Maybe this isn’t right.”
- And if you are rejecting Christ out of stubborn pride: “I am not going to come to Christ because that is what my parents want me to do…or that is what everyone else wants me to do.”
- “And nobody is going to tell me what to do.”
- Let me tell you something, you can reject and deny Him if you want to because of your parents…or to show everyone else up…but when you do you are only hurting yourself.
- Because it is you who stands to be lost eternally because of your stubborn pride…not your parents or other people.
In Exodus 2 the Israelites rejected the one that God sent to deliver them…and because they did they spent 40 more years in slavery.
- I am confident that in 40 years time many of them died as slaves.
- They had lost their one opportunity.
If you reject Christ…you can spend an eternity, not in Egypt, but in hell.
- Don’t pass up on your opportunity to be delivered.
- You may not get another one.