Many years after the death of Joseph, the nation of Israel had descended into slavery in Egypt until another individual arose who was led by God to deliver them. His name was Moses. Even from his birth, we see God’s overruling providences in Moses’ life and how he grew up to be the deliverer of Israel. But this did not happen easily. We can look at Moses’ life as 3 equal sections of 40 years each, from birth to his death at 120 years old.
The first 40 were his growing up years during which Moses learned the Egyptian ways from Pharaoh’s daughter who found him in a little ark in the river Nile. Moses also learned his Jewish heritage from his own mother, Jochebed, who was allowed to care for him up as a young child because Moses’ sister, Miriam, offered to find a Hebrew woman to nurse Moses for Pharaoh’s daughter. Here, we see the overruling of God.
At the age of 40 Moses saw how his own people were being mistreated and killed an Egyptian who was smiting a fellow Hebrew and then hid the Egyptian’s body. Thinking no one saw him, Moses sought to stop 2 Hebrews from fighting the next day. In response, one asked him, “Who made you prince and judge, do you intend to kill me too?” (Exod. 2:13,14) Moses became fearful because what he had done had become known and he fled into the wilderness.
The next 40 years Moses learned to live in the wilderness. There he met Jethro and became a shepherd of his flock and married one of his daughters. During this period, Moses learned meekness, humility, faith and developed a deep respect for God’s promises. He was prepared to be a faithful servant of God and deliver Israel from Egypt to a land flowing with milk and honey—Canaan.
Moses’ last 40 years begins with Israel’s exodus from Egypt. Then he led them for 40 years in the Wilderness becoming the mediator between God and Israel. Finally, he led them to the Promised Land. However, Moses could not enter the Promised Land with the nation because of his failure to speak to the rock (Numbers 20:1-12) He only got to view the Promised Land from afar.
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