Exodus 2:11 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.
12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.
13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?
14 And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.
15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.
16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.
17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.
18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?
19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.
20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.
21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.
22 And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.
Moses’ life began in the home of a God-fearing couple. He then was raised in a pagan environment. However, when Moses was old enough to choose his course in life, he chose to identify with his birth family, not his adopted family. The training he received in his early years affected him in a positive way. He never forgot where he came from. He knew he did not really belong in Pharaoh’s court. He was no doubt well looked after, physically. He probably was well educated in the paganism of the Egyptians. However, in his heart he knew better than what he was being taught. The book of Hebrews tells us that he chose to walk with God rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin which last for a season. Moses made a wise choice. Few follow his way.
Being raised in Pharaoh’s court, he did not need to work hard like his brethren did. He had the liberty to go and visit his people and see how they were doing. He witnessed an injustice one day and he took matters into his own hands. He thought he was being a good Hebrew and in his efforts to help a fellow Hebrew, he killed the unjust Egyptian. He assumed this kindness would be appreciated among his people.
In verses 13-14 we see that the Hebrews did not see things the way he saw them. He thought his Hebrew brother would appreciate his efforts and would not tell anyone else what had happened but he found out that his actions were soon broadcast to others. When Moses saw two of his own people fighting with each other, he did not seek to kill either of them. He sought to help them to see this was not the way brethren should behave.
The Hebrew people were struggling in more than one way at this time. They were hated by the Pharaoh and his people. However, they were also not walking in the fear of the Lord. Their lives were not being spent for God’s glory. They could not see anything good in what was happening to them. Thus there was a frustration there that caused them to take out their frustrations on one another at times.
Moses witnessed this and thought he could help resolve the problem. He did not fight with the two Hebrews, but rather he sought to give them some wise counsel. His help was not appreciated. They despised him and mocked his efforts.
Moses found out that his efforts to try to be a peacemaker among his people was not appreciated. Moses now feared for his own life. If the Hebrews knew about his act of seeking to help one of his brethren, and did not appreciate it, then he assumed that the Pharaoh would soon find out as well.
We read in verse 15 that Pharaoh did find out and he wanted to kill Moses. Pharaoh had no time for this kind of behaviour. Moses chose to flee from the hands of this ungodly king. God had some things for Moses to learn yet before he could be used in his future role.
Moses fled to a safe country and sat down by a well. Wells are important places. Today most people do not have any understanding of wells and their importance. They just turn on the tap and water comes out. If there is a problem, they call in a plumber or they call their representative to find out where the problem is.
In Bible times a lot of work went into digging a well. Then there was the struggle to own that well, at times. In our text we see that the well Moses found was a community well. It was a meeting place. It was where the shepherds would come at certain times to water their flocks. It was where people would come to get their drinking water as well.
In verse 16 we see that the priest of Midian had seven daughters. He did not have any sons. His daughters needed to take on the task of looking after the flock. However, we see that because they were women, they could not defend themselves against the more aggressive men. These men were obviously not taught properly and they were not willing to give these women any help watering their flock. It was the battle of the fittest. Long before evolution became a popular heresy, the evil heart of man revealed itself in an ungodly manner.
Moses was one man against these others. He did not know just how aggressive those men might be. He saw the need of these women and he stepped in to help them water their flocks. These women were likely grateful for the help and they went back home to their father with their flock.
Reuel, their father, took note of the fact that they were home much sooner than normal this particular day. We do not know if he had tried to resolve this tension between his daughters and the men that gathered at the well earlier or not. We do know that he noticed that something different had happened this particular day.
Upon further inquiry, he discovered that a stranger had stepped in to help his daughters. Having these seven daughters, he was interested in finding husbands for them. Thus he wanted to know why his daughters had not brought this stranger home with them. Reuel had Moses brought to his house and he fed him there. Moses was content to dwell with this man and Reuel gave Moses his daughter Zipporah to wife. God blessed them with a son whom he named Gershom.
In the Bible we find that names were chosen and given because they had meanings. It was not based on some nice sounding name or because it was the name of some famous person. We see that Moses chose the name Gershom to remind him and his son that he had been a stranger in a strange land.
God was continuing to work in Moses’ heart and life in preparation for what He had in store for him. Moses needed to be willing to accept God’s call upon his life. God made it very clear that He had a plan for Moses.
Again we see how that God has a plan, but He does not always reveal that plan to us in great detail. He wants His children to choose to follow Him for this day. We need to learn to trust God for today and we need to learn to submit to His will for today. We do not always understand what God is doing, but if we know Him, we can trust Him to do what is right and good for us.
As Moses would learn, God’s plan does not come without His enabling to fulfil the plan. God prepares His child for the work He has in store for him. If we do not want to follow Him, we miss out. His plan will go forward. He will find a willing person. He wants each of us to know Him and to live our lives for His glory rather than for our own selfish ends.