Sermon 12 – Transition”From Fierce Freedom Fighter to Fearful Foreign Fugitive”

May 26: Exodus 2: 11-25
14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”
15 When 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.

Discusion/Reflection questions: Have any of you had to break up a fight? Did you make new friends or new enemies? Does anyone have a story similar to the one of Moses trying to right a wrong and actually making things worse all around? In verses 11 to 15, how does Moses identify with the “lowly” Hebrews? Do the Hebrews identify with him? Why or why not? What could have been done differently? How is the story told in verses 15-25 like and unlike the one in 11-15? What character traits in Moses come out in both accounts? What lessons do you see him learning here? Where is God in this?

Summary notes: In this passage we see Moses learning the folly of leading the way Pharaoh does – by use of power and force – he is shocked to find that his own people do not see him as a ‘saviour’ for doing so. He ‘exoduses’ or goes out three times, the last one a going out into the wilderness to escape Pharaoh. At a well he begins to act as a saviour without violence and as a servant (watering the flock). He finds hospitality among strangers, and begins to learn wilderness survival. In these three incidents we clearly see Moses has an eye for injustice being done, and a strong desire to correct it. That is also a God-perspective, but Moses is learning to address injustice at God’s pace, without abandoning living within God’s Creation Forces of Life.

Quotes from the sermon:

Believing himself to be a rescuer, he became a brute force offender himself.

Acts 7:24: Moses saw one of his fellow Israelites “being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defence and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not”

we come full circle – which is something that is big in Hebrew thought…. daughters saved Moses, Moses saves daughters.

Some of the lessons Moses learned are good lessons for us:
Learning, as we saw in the women last week, that even though you seem powerless there are still Life changing possibility in any situation, is a great thing to realize.
Learning that sometimes your own people will not appreciate what you are trying to do and who you are, but outsiders will, is an interesting thing.
Learning not to run ahead of God – is good to be aware of.
Learning not to fight abuse of power with abuse of power is a huge lesson.
Learning that in lashing out in power you become just like what you are striking out at is a really really big learning in God’s playbook.
Learning to learn from your mistakes, is a good lesson.
Finding out that the wilderness is a good place to learn is important.

We already know that these are events which shaped Moses into a great leader in the shaping of a people for God. He was also a prophet. And we know that he does lead them out of bondage into bonding with God. But he had hard lessons to learn before he was ready.
It is that way with us as well.

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