I was listening to an audio book talking about how God led His people through the wilderness and provided for their every need. In the book, the author described Moses’ life and all he went through to become the person God would use to deliver Israel. Although I knew the story, I had never given much thought to Moses’ life and his experiences before and after God called him. Let me share my thoughts.
God called Moses even before he was born. Why do I say this? Moses was born when baby boys were being killed by the order of the Pharaoh. He was to be killed along with the other male babies born. However, God gave his parents the wisdom and ability to protect him and keep him away from the sword. Later, when they felt they could keep him no longer, they put him in a basket on the Nile River, committing him to God’s care. His sister, Miriam, was assigned to watch over the basket and see what happens.
As God would have it, Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby and took him as hers. Miriam was available to suggest a wet nurse, and Jochebed, Moses’ mother, was employed to be his wet nurse. Only God could have put together those circumstances. Moses became a prince of Egypt, nurtured and trained in the Pharaoh’s palace. According to God’s plan, the first forty years of Moses’ life were in the palace, right under Pharaoh’s nose.
Then Moses made a mistake. He tried to save his people before time. He killed an Egyptian who was beating up an Israelite. Word got out, and he ran. That was how his forty-year sojourn in the wilderness began. He lived in the wilderness, got married, had children and tended flocks of sheep for a living. The prince of Egypt became a shepherd in the wild. However, this was also God-ordained. It was preparation for the work ahead of him. He needed that experience to put him in readiness to lead God’s people through the wilderness. Such training had not been available in Pharaoh’s palace. But it was essential to his ministry, so God arranged it.
When the training was complete, God called Moses through the burning bush and commissioned him for his designated ministry; to free His people from the grip of Pharaoh and take them to the Promised Land. This was to take the last forty years of Moses’ life. We all know the story. Moses died at the edge of the Promised Land, when he was a hundred and twenty years old. He saw the Promised Land, as God showed it to him, but he did not enter in.
Moses’ life was in three parts and each phase lasted forty years. God orchestrated every step to fulfill His purpose. Every aspect was pre-planned and executed according to God’s will. This is how God works. And I daresay, even in our own lives, He is also at work. We have the privilege of analysing Moses’ life because we can see the total picture, as is captured in the Bible. Our own lives may not be so easily analysed. We do not have access to full information. We do not know the ‘why’ of some of our experiences. But one thing is sure. God is very much at work here too. He says to us today, the same thing He said to Jeremiah in Jeremiah Chapter 1, verses 4 and 5:
The Lord gave me this message:
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart
and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
God knows everyone of us specially. He has plans for us (Jer. 29:11) and He wants to see those plans come to pass (Eph. 2:10) and they will come to pass, as we press into Him, discovering what His will is and following the way He leads us through our lives (Phil.3:14).
How are you doing on your own journey? Remember, God is just a prayer away. He loves you and He has a plan for you. Reach out to Him. He is waiting to hear from you.