May 15, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, ‘Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?’ The man said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Then Moses was afraid and thought, ‘What I did must have become known.’ When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.”—Exodus 2:11–15 (NIV)
“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” This idiom stems from a 2003 ad campaign. Nowadays, it signifies any scandalous activities that need to be kept hidden. However, as most of us know, nothing stays hidden forever. And in the world of Twitter and Tik Tok, what happens in Vegas stays online forever.
In today’s passage, Moses, the adopted prince of Egypt, “went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor.” Many scholars believe that Pharaoh’s daughter never concealed Moses’ Hebrew heritage from him. She may even have allowed him to communicate with his people.
Now, here’s something you may not have realized. According to theologian Charles Ellicott, this wasn’t “a mere visit that is here spoken of, but a complete withdrawal from the palace, and renunciation of his position at the court.” This passage is telling us that Moses had left behind his royal position and instead “resolved to venture with them and for them” (Benson Commentary). This is confirmed in Hebrews 11:24–25.
And as he surveyed the trouble of his kin, he saw an Egyptian taskmaster beating a fellow Hebrew, made sure no one was watching, killed the taskmaster, and then hid his body. But friends, what happens in Vegas never stays in Vegas—or Goshen/Egypt. Word got around amongst the Hebrews who even called him out for it, and it eventually reached Pharaoh. So, what did Moses do? He fled to Midian, which was almost 800 miles away—about the distance of going from Miami, Florida to Raleigh, North Carolina!
I want to point out that this is one of those descriptive, not prescriptive, passages. Moses committed an egregious sin here. He murdered a man. There’s no justification for this. As Benson points out, Moses “had neither legal office nor Divine call, justifying him in making himself an executioner.” And then, instead of owning up to it and facing the consequences for his actions, he just ran. Again, descriptive not prescriptive.
What does this show us? Well, it shows us the Bible doesn’t hide the sins and shortcomings of the people it highlights, and that’s a good thing. Why? Two reasons: 1) It shows us that God can and will still use us to accomplish His good purposes even though we’re sinful and imperfect, and 2) our transgressions do not disqualify us from God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will for our lives.
God knows everything about us—before laying the foundations of the earth, He knew every sin we’d commit and every selfish impulse we’d have. And yet, He still delights in delivering, redeeming, adopting, indwelling, and having a relationship with us—and using us to accomplish His great work!
So, rejoice, friend! Nothing you do will disqualify you from all He has for you because of His love and faithfulness. Now in light of this, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1 NIV).
Pause: Read Hebrews 11:1–12:3?
Practice: Are you holding onto guilt from the past? Are you fearful that your mistakes and sins have ruined your ability to walk in God’s plan for your life? Please know that God isn’t done with you! He can still use you and work in and through your life, and He still has a plan for you! If you’re walking in unrepented sin, ask the Lord (and anyone you may have wronged) for forgiveness. Then, walk in His forgiveness.
Pray: Father, I thank You that through Jesus, I am forgiven and free. I thank You that despite all my past transgressions, sins, and shortcomings, You still delight in having a relationship with me and use me to accomplish Your great purposes in this world. I pray You would forgive any sin in my life, guide me into righteousness in those areas, and by Your Spirit lead me in Your will. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.