Old Testament – From Genesis to the Prophet Jonah
Little is known about Moses’ childhood and youth. However, we can assume that he was well cared for, received a good education and was probably fully aware of his Hebrew origins from his mother. He was also likely to have quickly developed strong political views as he watched the exploitation and hardship of the Hebrew people imposed on them by the Egyptians.
At 40yrs (according to St Stephen, although he may have been much younger (Acts 7:23)), Moses saw an Egyptian strike a relative. In his anger and belief that he was not being watched, he killed the man. Moses then buried his body in the sand in an apparent attempt to hide his criminal behaviour.
The next day, when he saw two Hebrew men fighting he approached the aggressor and challenged him about his behaviour. The aggressor replied, “Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Are you planning to kill me like you killed that Egyptian?” (Exodus 2:14)
Immediately, Moses realised that his killing of the Egyptian the previous day had been witnessed and on hearing that the Pharaoh planned to execute him, he fled to Midian on the Arabian Peninsula. (Midianites were descendants of Midian, the son of Abraham and his wife Keturah. (Genesis 25:1-2))
Sometime later, Moses observed a group of seven sisters at a well being aggressively removed by other shepherds as they watered their flock. Moses interrupted, defended them and then helped them to complete the watering of their animals.
When the women arrived home early, their father Reuel, a Midianite priest, expressed his disappointment that they hadn’t invited Moses, the good Samaritan, back to their home for something to eat following his helpfulness. So, they hastily returned and fetched him.
Moses accepted Reuel’s warm welcome to settle with them in their home and over time, he also accepted Reuel’s daughter Zipporah in marriage.
Moses status grew among the Midianites and he became a greatly respected “foreigner in a foreign land”, staying with them for forty years. (Exodus 2:22) (Exodus 2:11-22)
Who made you a judge, the man asked! Moses’ terrible criminal action implied he wasn’t a peacemaker at that early stage in his life!
Lord Jesus, remove the anger from my heart that I allow to boil inside me. Replace it with your everlasting peace and love. Amen.
Prayer: For Those Who Will Die Today (Canticle of Simeon)
At last, all-powerful Master,
you give leave to your servant
to go in peace, according to your promise.
For my eyes have seen your salvation
which you have prepared for all nations,
the light to enlighten the Gentiles
and give glory to Israel, your people.
O Jesus, who for love of me,
didst bear thy cross to Calvary.
In thy sweet mercy, grant to me
to suffer and to die with Thee.