QUARTER’S THEME: MOSES – AN EXEMPLARY LEADER
UNIT 2: His Unacceptable Early Ministry (Lessons 5-7)
LESSON 5 4/10/2015
MOSES: HIS WRONG ZEAL
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 196, 197
Devotional Reading: Numbers 25:1-13
Topic For Adults: Please God With Your Action
Topic For Youths: Allow God To Direct Your Zeal
Topic For Intermediates: Look Before You Leap
Scripture Lesson: Exo. 2:11-14
Memory Verse: So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand (Exo. 2:12) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
Moses Got Angry Because People Sinned
While Moses was with God on the Mount to receive the laws, the people had made a golden calf and had begun to worship the calf as their god. God was angry with the people and wanted to consume them. Moses interceded on their behalf and God changed His mind. However when Moses came into the camp and saw the people reveling and cavorting, he became very angry and threw the tablets on which God had engraved the laws on the ground, such that the tablets broke. It is ironical that the same man who pleaded with God to be patient with the people and to forgive their sin, could not be patient when he saw the people. One may argue that what Moses had was holy anger against sin. We note however that man’s anger cannot work out the righteousness of God. If God were to mark sin as we the “righteous” do, no one will survive.
Point of Emphasis: As God is long-suffering and does not deal with us according to our sins, we are called to be long-suffering too.
Prayer Point: Father, help me to put rein over my anger, no matter what people around me do.
Moses was raised up in the palace as the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He grew up learning all the wisdom the Egyptian taught him. He became mighty in words and in deeds (Acts 7:22)
At the age of forty, he acted on impulse to defend the course of his fellow brethren. His intention was mis-understood, he therefore fled to escape the wrath of Pharaoh.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
PART 1: WRONG ZEAL IN ACTION (EXO. 2:11)
One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labour. He saw an Egyptian beating a fellow Hebrew. His anger arose against the maltreatment done against his own people, and with no one watching, he used his zeal to advance the freedom and liberty for his kinsmen.
Verse 11 acknowledges that Moses, though having the taste of kingship treatment, he did not neglect associating with his people. He looks after their welfare. Though the Scripture does not state categorically what led to his rage against the Egyptian, common sense tells us that it should be his hatred against the servitude of his people under the Egyptians and his zeal for his people’s freedom.
Hardly does the urge to kill enter into a person instantly. It develops like a little spark and later burst into flame. He vented his anger against the enemy and not his own people. Moses used his physical strength with his temper to fight his battle.
PART 2: NOTHING IS HIDDEN (EXO. 2:12-14)
Moses killed the Egyptian typifying a victory that was coming for the Jews over their enemy in verse 12. He hid the corpse thinking no one knows about it. After the incident, he was faced with another challenge of decision making. He applied a value check this time to make it right.
The next day after Moses had killed the Egyptian, he came upon two Jews who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by restraining them not to fight each other. He demonstrated his love for his brethren, impugning on the need for brotherly love to continue. Moses seemed to adopt Christ love as standard. John 15:12 says “This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you”.
In verse 14, surprisingly the one who started the fight said, who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian? This action of Moses is worthy of note as his love towards his people. It revealed whom he was and who he would be. He demonstrated his love to agree with his action. Moses’ action showed of his deep love for his people.
Verse 12 – The Bible did not tell us how the Hebrew happened to discover how Moses killed the Egyptian; because with no one in sight watching, Moses killed the man and buried him in the sand.
Man’s action sometimes points to what our destiny holds. Moses had been ordained to lead the Jews from their servitude but when the time has not come, he resorted to physical ability, thinking no one saw him but the bubble burst and the secret was open. Nothing is hidden (Deut. 29:29).
PART 3: MOSES’ FIRST ATTEMPT FAILED (EXO. 2:13-14)
Moses had a tender heart concerning his people in bondage, preferred to suffer and identify with them in their affliction. He resolved to fight for their freedom. Unknown to him, he was demonstrating the great things he would do for God and his people.
A school of thought typified what Moses was to the Israelites as what Jesus is to the Church. It was also postulated by Matthew Henry that the burial of that Egyptian is a specimen of what later happened to thousands of Egyptians when they were buried in the sand of the Red Sea.
Moses demonstrated his leadership skill in verse 13 when he wanted to end a rift between his two brethren which led to his fleeing to Midian to suffer and be tortured for forty years before he was called by God.
Regrettably, there was a resistance put forth against his intervention by his own kinsmen. Those who have a common enemy were fighting themselves instead of pulling their resources together to fight their common enemy. Are Christian still guilty of the same offence?
Moses gave a mild and wise reproof “wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?” with a view to making peace but the wrong-doer kicked against the peaceful move with crossed question (v. 14) challenged his authority “who made you a prince and a judge over us”? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian. Moses’ charge of reproofing was maliciously interpreted as an attempt upon his life.
Perhaps, Moses’ usage of the arm of the flesh as tool to deliver made his first attempt to fail. The Bible recorded the fear of man 35 times and Exo. 2:14 is one of them when Moses feared Pharaoh when he got wind of his murder case. Though Moses had good intention but adopted wrong means. He acted wisely by running away from the wrath of Pharaoh.
Moses must use what was at his disposal to advance the good cause of his brethren from slavery. It is good to fight injustice but this must be done within the legitimate means. Adopting a carnal way may put us in trouble. Moses did his best. What he did remains evergreen till date.
- What is the effect of having a wrong zeal?
- Why should we not allow anger to overcloud our action?
- How did Moses’ character reveal his being?
- Why did Moses’ first attempt to rescue his people fail?
- Explain how wrong zeal can lead to fear.
MOISE SE MIT EN COLERE A CAUSE DU PECHE DU PEUPLE
EXODE 32 :9-19
Pendant que Moïse était avec Dieu sur la montagne pour recevoir les lois, les gens s’étaient faits un veau d’or et s’étaient mis à l’adorer comme leur dieu. Dieu se mit en colère contre le peuple et voulut l’exterminer. C’est ainsi que Moïse intercéda en leur faveur et Dieu changea son fusil d’épaule. Toutefois, quand Moïse vint au camp et vit le peuple célébrer et cabrioler, il s’enflamma de colère et jeta par terre les tables sur lesquelles Dieu avait engravé les lois à tel point que celles-ci se brisèrent. C’est ironique de voir que la même personne qui avait imploré Dieu d’être patient avec le peuple et de pardonner leur péché, ne pouvait pas être patient quand il vit le peuple. L’on pourrait argumenter que la colère de Moïse fut une colère sainte contre le péché. Nous remarquons cependant que la colère de l’homme ne peut pas effectuer la justice de Dieu. Si Dieu devrait garder le souvenir des péchés comme nous les ‘justes’ le faisons, nul n’allait subsister.
Point essentiel : De même que Dieu est patient et ne nous traite pas selon nos péchés, nous sommes aussi appelés à être patients.
Axe de prière : Père, aide-moi à tenir ma colère en bride, quel que soit ce que les gens font autour de moi.