“One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand… When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled.”
Exodus 2: 11-12, 15a
What would you do if you lost it all? Suddenly, your social status, career, friends, family, and influence all just vanished. From celebrity stardom, business success , or political acumen, stories of sin exposed and the ugly fall from greatness are far too common – think Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, to name a couple.
It’s a scenario that Moses understood, as well. Growing up as an adopted prince in Pharaoh’s household for 40 years, Moses had it all – only to lose it overnight thanks to one impulsive, sinful mistake.
Even with all of his privilege, Moses was aware of his Hebrew heritage. So, when he came upon an Egyptian being physically abusive towards a Hebrew, Moses lost it and killed the abuser. Witnessing such an injustice, Moses’ indignation and anger were justified – but he went about it the wrong way. It’s a classic example of how seeking to do the right thing in the wrong way is always wrong.
We live in a culture where pragmatism is king – that as long as you get the results you wanted, it doesn’t really matter how you got there. But God wants us to recognize that morality always matters to Him, even when fighting injustice.
Moses’ gut-level response in that moment cost him 40 years in the wilderness. One moment, one action, and he lost everything. But God can turn even the worst of circumstances into good.
God used those 40 wilderness years to prepare Moses for greatness and proved once again, that God can redeem even our biggest failures – if we’ll let Him. From 80-years-old to age 120, Moses proved to be a great reminder of that!