This post is the third part in a five part series on Exodus 1-4.
At some point in his late 30s or early 40s, Moses turned a corner and decided to engage with his Hebrew heritage. He went out to see the Hebrews working and laboring away as slaves.
He saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite. Looking this way and that, Moses saw that he was alone and could act without getting caught. He killed the Egyptian and buried his body in the sand. Was this impulsive? Was this the beginning of his attempt to lead a slave revolt? We don't know.
But we know that it led to a tremendous rejection in Moses' life.
Shortly after this scene, Moses saw two Hebrews fighting. He lectured the one in the wrong: "Why are you beating your fellow Egyptian?" Pay attention to that word "fellow."
Moses tried to point to the common ground these two men shared. Why fight each other when you have a bigger enemy? Minority groups always struggle with this, infighting at their own expense. Moses was trying to get them to focus on the real bad guys. But it didn't work.
The man Moses lectured pushed back with a sharp barb. The gist of this barb was: Who are you to lecture me about fighting with my fellow Hebrew when you killed a fellow Egyptian. Did they know that Moses was born into a Hebrew family? Was this maliciously cruel? Was this just ignorant?
Moses went away. Ostensibly he ran from Pharaoh. But I find myself wondering, as I spend time in the passage, if the whole story would have taken a different, Spartacus turn if those men had received Moses as a fellow Hebrew. Remember, things didn't end well with Spartacus.
Moses' rejection - and all the pain that came with it - sets the stage for a different kind of story. This is not going to be the story where a mighty hero leverages a powerful position to create a radical revolution. It's the story of a quiet man, a failure, who leans heavily on the Lord and succeeds in liberating God's people only because God was with him.
Where have you experienced rejection? How has that shaped you? How can God use that experience of rejection in your life?