As I read through Exodus 16-20 this week I got thinking about Moses the man instead of Moses the superhero. We really don’t know the time frame of the first fifteen chapters. We know that Moses came back to Egypt from Midian bringing his wife & two sons with him.
We don’t know how long Moses wrestled with Pharaoh before the final plague convinced him to let God’s people go.
The only mention of a time frame comes in Exodus 16:1. We find them in the Desert of Sin (between Elim & Sinai) 1 month after leaving Egypt.
Moses is clearly tired & overloaded.
He has faced a food shortage. Check out the manna & quail story. I wonder why they didn’t eat some of the livestock they brought with them. What’s your theory?
Then they faced a water shortage- not surprising in the desert in late spring or early summer.
Those crises were mitigated & they then entered a battle with the Amalekites. As long as Moses held his arms in the air the battle went well but when he dropped them the game turned in favour of the other side.
Aaron & Hur came along bringing the old guy a big rock to sit on & held his arms up.
It was their first Superbowl game. Have you Seahawks fans recovered yet?
Moses & H.A.L.T.
He was hungry, angry, lonely & tired. He missed his family.
At some point in the story he had sent his precious wife & children back to Midian to live with his father-in-law.
Leading sheep somewhere in the Saudi Arabian desert was looking like a dream job !
His main responsibility was to spend time listening to God for directions in how to lead these people to freedom.
Moses got sidetracked by the demands & complaints of the people. He took on acting as a judge – resolving their conflicts from morning to night.
It is interesting to note that it was not the big things like crossing the Red Sea or solving food & water crises that were breaking Moses. It was the daily routine of listening to people’s problems that wore him out.
Moses’ error was taking on uncommanded work. God had never told him to try to solve all the people’s problems.
Moses had lost focus. He was being driven by the tyranny of the urgent. I suspect he felt defeated & often wanted to quit.
Just when Moses was at the end of his rope God sent Jethro to bring perspective and counsel to Moses.
- You continue to be the people’s representative before God.
- Bring Him their questions.
- Listen for His answers
- Then tell the people God’s decisions.
- Teach them God’s laws & instructions.
- Show them how to have their own relationship with God.
- Teach them how to conduct their lives.
- Find some capable, honest men who fear God & hate bribes.
- Let them act as judges, resolving the ordinary cases.
- Let them take care of smaller matters.
- They will help you carry the load.
- You will be able to endure the pressure
- All the people will go home in peace.
Moses found himself overloaded, exhausted & probably very cranky.
He had lost his peace & may have doubted the call of God on his life.
Are you feeling that way? Is the problem with life is that it is so daily?
We again see the importance of daily time with the Lord; time pouring out our hearts to Him; time hearing his agenda for our day.
We need to model Jesus who spent time alone with the Father & doing only what He saw the Father doing.
Jesus was never driven by the tyranny of the urgent.
At the pool of Bethesda (John 5) there were crowds of sick people waiting to be healed but Jesus healed only one.
Was he responding to the Father’s specific instructions for that day? I think so.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted & cranky
- Take off your Superhero cape, hat or apron
- Go to your Tent of Meeting & just listen.
- What can you let go?
- What can you embrace that will bring joy today?
- Ask Father to send a Jethro, to bring a fresh perspective?
- Maybe you need an Aaron or a Hur to come alongside.
- Ask for help.
Be brave, share your story in the comments below or on my Facebook page- Linda Fode, Writer.