In quiet moments of prayer and meditation, do you ever contemplate if Yahweh has a work for you to do? That task can be for that morning or over a long period of time. We may be inspired toward one thought, and it may not work out as we plan. For us to be able to and be fully equipped to serve Yahweh, we need to not only understand the task, but also develop a loving relationship with Yahweh. There is a record in Exodus that shows us how a man had a vision, and Yahweh protected, guided, and supported him.
In Exodus, we have a wonderful record of a newborn baby that was to be the culmination of a promise that Yahweh gave to Israel.
Exodus 2:1-2. Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months.
We gather a lot from these two short verses. Two Levites married and had a baby. The mother saw that the baby was a “fine child”. The Hebrew word tov is translated as fine child, beautiful and special. The Hebrew word means good. In this context, the baby was a “special” child, not just a good and healthy child.1 This child needed protection from the Egyptians. At that time, the Israelite male children, as they were born, were to be killed by the midwives by command of Pharoah. Not all the midwives were obeying the command, and by some means, this baby was spared. When he was three months old, somehow Jochebed, the baby’s mother, knew that he was a special child and needed protection.
The record does not say, but for her to take the actions she took, she must have had godly inspiration. The word “saw” (in verse 2) is used with the inference that it was more than just a physical event (Num 22:25; 2 Kings 4:25, 26).
The baby was carefully placed in a basket in the reeds of the Nile where Pharaoh's daughter would bathe. She took him for her own, even though she was aware it was a Hebrew baby. Miriam, the baby’s sister, was close at hand to watch for the child’s welfare and was charged to find a nurse for him. Of course, that would be his mother who then raised him until old enough to be with Pharaoh's daughter. Children were weaned much later than they are in Western culture today.
When the baby was drawn out of the water, he was named Moses by Pharaoh's daughter. After a time, the record is picked up when Moses is a man.
Exodus 2:11-15. One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?” He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.” When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian...
From these verses we learn that he knew he was a Hebrew and others did also. He was concerned for the welfare of his brethren. Moses had a sense of right and wrong, being kind to his neighbor, and standing up to injustices. The Scriptures state he went out among the Hebrews minimally twice and was watching out for them. In his desire to help the Hebrews, he killed an Egyptian and tried to hide it. The word of what he did certainly circulated quickly among the Hebrews. He was warned, and he knew he was doomed if he stayed in Egypt. Pharoah wanted him dead.
One can imagine that when Moses arose that fateful morning, he had no idea that everyone he knew and loved, everything he had including his reputation would be struck down completely. Not only did he lose everything, but he was to be hunted down and killed. What a turn of events to happen. What was Moses to think? He had undoubtedly been taught about Yahweh by his biological mother and father. Being raised in Pharoah’s palace, he was exposed to education and to many different dignitaries from other lands—and all kinds of idol worship. Yet, Moses remained true to his Hebrew roots.
Knowing he must flee for his life; he alone traveled to the area of Midian.
Exodus 2:16-19. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them, and watered their flock. When they came home to their father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come home so soon today?” They said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and even drew water for us and watered the flock.” He said to his daughters, “Then where is he? Why have you left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.” And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah. She gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”
The land of Midian is named after a son of Abraham by Keturah (Genesis 25:1:6). This land was east of the Jordan and the Dead Sea, including south through the Arabah and some land of Sinai during Moses time.2 For 40 years, Moses lived as a shepherd with his wife and two sons. Pondering his life at this point, he must have been wondering what happened? Where was Yahweh in all of this? He was trying to help his people, and now he was an outcast traversing the mountains and deserts with his sheep to find pasture. It would have been easy for Moses to feel very defeated, unimportant, and not worthy.
Forty years is a long time to be waiting when you had thought years ago that you would be able to help your people to a better life in some way and that vision seem to evaporate like water in the desert. Yet, Yahweh knew and heard the Hebrew’s groaning. Possibly this baby boy who was tov was to be the fourth generation that would take Yahweh’s people out of the bondage of Egypt.
Yahweh’s call to Moses from a bush on fire that did not burn up was the beginning of a whole new life for Moses, one that would draw on his leadership ability, his stamina, and his love for Yahweh. He not only had to know about Yahweh, but he also had to experience Him and have communion with Him. There was work to do, and Moses needed to trust and obey Yahweh.
After the 40 years in Midian, he had lost most of his enthusiasm for his ability to save the Hebrews. He was no longer the strong young palace dweller. Now he was coachable to rely on Yahweh for all his needs and those of the Hebrew people. Yahweh worked with him by lovingly teaching Moses to do the tasks at hand, which obviously he did and did very well (Exodus 3-40). A vital piece to this challenge was learning to love and trust Yahweh.
The initial question at the top of this article was about: do you ever contemplate what it is that Yahweh has for you to do? Moses was indeed a special child who answered Yahweh’s call. Like Moses, many of us have had experiences that changed the trajectory of our lives in dramatic ways. Maybe you and I are not to do a grand mission like Moses, but we can do what is within our purview each day.
If you realize that there is work for you to do for Yahweh and you are stymied, stopped, in your tracks by events or people, remember Moses stopped for 40 years. Your slow time may be over in 5 minutes or 5 years. Is Yahweh getting you ready? Are you learning more about prayer, being still, meditating, and how you can be more Christ-like? Then you are in a great space for Yahweh to put you where He can use you for His glory. Moses was special, and so are we. We each have a place in the body that has one or more tasks.
When Moses was born, he should have been killed, but he had Yahweh’s protection around him. It shows a sense of humor that the man who was to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt was brought up as an adopted grandson to Pharoah, even living as a prince in the palace. When Moses’ life was in danger, Yahweh made sure Moses knew and sent him on his way safely on a very dangerous journey. Then, Moses arrived at a certain well and out of kindness to the women, he drew water for their sheep. Soon after that, he found himself a place to safely live and a good wife. After Moses was curious about the burning bush, his life again took on a whole different direction. That direction ended with Israel entering the Promised Land, according to Yahweh’s promise, and himself being described as a friend of Yahweh. Yahweh certainly protected, guided, and supported Moses.
Keep the whispers of ideas Yahweh gives to you in your heart and then be compliant to the training that makes you ready for the task. As with Moses, the moments between the whisper and finishing the task may take time. It takes patience during a season for us to develop being in step with Yahweh, trusting and being obedient to Him. We have much work to do. Matthew 9:37 tells us: Then He [Jesus] said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
1 Revised English Version App., Exodus 2:2 footnote
2 Tenny, M. C., Pictorial Bible Dictionary. Zondervan Publishing House: