The story of Moses begins in the Book of Exodus. The family of Jacob had settled in Egypt during a great famine after God used his son Joseph to deliver the populated world from certain death. But after time the Egyptians forgot about the story of the great famine and had enslaved the Hebrews who had now become quite numerous as to pose a threat to Pharaoh himself (Exodus 1). When the cry of the Hebrew people for deliverance went up to God (Exodus 2:23) a Deliver would be sent. This Deliverer would need a servant, and he was already being prepared.
The preparation of Moses is a rag to riches to rags story that has been the backdrop of various Hollywood productions, and why not, this is truly a great story in which the hand of God leads in a dramatic and theatric way. Moses was born a slave, then adopted and brought up in Pharaoh’s household with a better education than a person could buy. Surely God’s deliverance will come from the family in power through Moses. What a set-up – right? No, that is not the way the LORD chooses to operate. God is more concerned with character development than He is in using circumstances to accomplish His will. Don’t get me wrong, God certainly does use circumstances to accomplish His will, but when it comes to His special creation, man, the LORD will desire to develop the person. The person to be used of God is transformed in character to become poor in spirit. We learn something from an early mistake of Moses who already knew his calling to deliver his people:
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. 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. 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?”
But he said, “Who made you a prince or a judge over us? Are you intending to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”
Then Moses was afraid and said, “Surely the matter has become known.” 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. (Exodus 2:11-15, NASB)
There is no finding fault in the fact that Moses felt compassion for his people and that he identified himself with their plight. This was God-given passion. The problem is in the method by which he sought to help the Hebrews. Moses brought it upon himself to deliver the people instead of allowing God work through him. What strikes me is what was said of Moses by his fellow Hebrew was probably the very attitude of Moses: “Who made you a prince and a judge over us?” What a cutting question! Moses was indeed a prince and judge over Egypt, and legally over the Hebrews as well. But God did not place him in that position, at least not yet. The LORD develops the leader before He puts him into leadership. Man often puts himself in leadership and that is contrary to being poor in spirit. It will take God forty years to humble Moses enough to place him in leadership for the deliverance of His nation. We will see this character development takes time – often a long time.
Do not rush into leadership positions or to try to do the work of God in a way that is inconsistent with what He desires to accomplish in your character development. Take your time and allow that the Holy Spirit direct every step. Do not step ahead of God.