But the way must be long, and as there were the thorns and rocks for his feet, so must there be bruises to his spirit.”
–Zane Grey (Wanderer of the Wasteland)
“But if you fail to drive out the people who live in the land, those who remain will be like splinters in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will harass you in the land where you live.”
–Proverbs 33:55 (NLT)
“Any nation at any time–however spiritually alive–is always potentially only a generation away from paganism and mind-defying evil.”
I was reading the story of the birth of Moses and his early life on Sunday. It’s hard, I know it’s hard to get that magnificent film of Cecil B. DeMille’s out our one’s mind when thinking of Moses. Look with me for a bit at Moses and the situation in which he came into the world.
The Hebrews were in slavery, bondage to cruel taskmasters. The Egyptians had gained their country back from the rule of the Hyksos and were determined not to be ruled by foreigners, hence they placed the Hebrews in bondage.
The people cried because of their oppression; they sought, prayed for, and begged for deliverance. One thing was missing–to have deliverance you must have a deliverer. On the scene–God.
It is important to remember that Satan always, has always, and will always try to destroy God’s people, whether it be with Israel or Christians. In Egypt, the order was given that all baby boys were to be killed; they were to be thrown into the sacred Nile River, there drown and food for the crocodiles and fish. Notice, they were to be drowned in the religion of the society (ponder that). The purpose was to destroy a generation of men. After a generation the women would be forced to intermarry and thus the people would lose their identity. Look at society today with abortion, the downgrading and demasculization of men, and the gender confusion, or as C.S. Lewis puts it, “men without chests.” (Ponder that as well.) A generation or two and where are the “men”?
Moses, when he was born was supposed to have been thrown in the Nile, but was instead hidden in the Nile. Get this picture, Pharaoh’s daughter hears him crying and secures him. A side-note, God’s work and deliverance often begins with tears. His name was Moses. There is some interesting thoughts here: Moses in Hebrew means to “to draw out,” while in Egyptian it means “child” or “son.” Now here is something else to ponder. The Nile represented deity to the Egyptians and Moses was hidden there, and drawn from the water, therefore, he could be considered a gift from the Nile god. Ahh, but he was a gift from Yahweh, just waiting for the right time.
Being the son of pharaoh’s daughter he was being trained for leadership. He learned all the wisdom of the Egyptians and became mighty in words and deeds. Subjects he would have known would have been engineering, mathematics, astronomy, and religion. Soon he would learn the ways of the wilderness. He knew he was a Hebrew, and one day seeing an Egyptian and a Hebrew fighting he became a “deliverer.” Because of this deed he had to flee for his life to the land of Midian. One of the first things that happens to him there is that he again becomes a “deliverer” by defending the daughters of Jethro. From that point on he learns the ways and laws of the wilderness; he is being equipped and prepared for the special ministry that lay before him. A good point to ponder is that God doesn’t immediately thrust people into ministry.
Forty years of learning, developing leadership in the halls of Pharaoh’s realm, and now forty years of learning, developing leadership in the great temple of God called the wilderness. The people of Israel were in bondage and needed a deliverer; God prepared and sent Moses. Mankind is in even deeper bondage to sin; God sent His Son, Jesus. The problem is that many prefer to remain in bondage.