15When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. 16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.
18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”|
19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
20 “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”
21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”
23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.
Moses traveled until he reached the land of the Midianites.The founder of these people was Midian, a son of Keturah, wife of Abraham (Genesis 25:1-6). Midian was located in the Arabian Peninsula along the eastern shore of the Gulf of Aqabah. It was a desert land which made it quite different from Egypt.
Since Keturah was a wife of Abraham, it is quite possible that these were a people of faith. God has led Moses to a place where his faith can grow. Moses sat down by a well and God ushers in the next season of his life, a new home and family.
Reuel is the priest of Midian and his daughters arrive to water their cattle. Shepherds run the girls away but Moses comes to their rescue and waters the cattle for them. This kindness and protection gets Moses an invite to Reuel’s home and a wife. Moses agrees to stay with Reuel and marries his daughter, Zipporah who gives birth to a son. Moses names him, Gershom. The name Gershom reflects Moses heart at this time, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”
Moses lives with Reuel for 40 years as a shepherd caring for his flock. Truly, Moses has moved from the palace to the desert. Certainly, Moses didn’t have any idea that his choice to leave the palace would include leaving his people. I wonder if he felt like he had failed God and the people? After all, even if the people didn’t realize God’s calling on his life as a deliverer, Moses did and that deliverance did not take place. Here he is 40 years later and the Israelites are still enduring slavery and he is in a foreign land, living in the desert watching over the flock. Somehow, I don’t think this is what Moses had in mind when he walked away from the palace.
You know, a lot happens in 40 years. Sometimes in life the only way to ease the pain and disappointment is to let it go and move on. Sometimes, there may be a tinge of holding on but you realize that it is best to cast it all to the Lord and leave the past behind. While we don’t know exactly what Moses was thinking, feeling, experiencing during the 40 years after his fleeing from Egypt, we know the end of this story. Moses was not aware but God is not through with him and was taking him through process.
Moses is in the desert and God has him there for His purpose. There is character development taking place along with transformation into the ways, plans, and purposes of God. Leadership skills are being honed and Moses is learning God’s perspective in the lonliness of the desert.
Perhaps Moses suppressed it all and made his focus simply on being faithful to God by being faithful to his family and Reuel’s cattle. Perhaps somewhere in this 40 years he stopped rehearsing it all in his mind and forgot his people in Egypt believing he would never see them again.
But that doesn’t mean that God moved on. There is still the principle of God’s timing…GOD never left his plan, not even for one second…and His time has come.
Exodus 2: 23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died.
The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out,
and their cry for help because of their slavery went up
to God. 24 God heard their groaning and He remembered
His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.
25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.
I’ll just leave you with the keys words to meditate on until tomorrow:
cry for help
God looked on
God was concerned
God’s timing for deliverance has come and
He has prepared his servant in the desert.
Perhaps this is a desert season in your life…
take note of these Scriptures for God uses our desert experiences
to prepare us for the new season of life that He has planned!
40 years is a long time and yet God had not forgotten Moses nor His covenant with Abraham. He has not forgotten you or His promises to you either! Keep trusting!