Monday, February 23, 2015

Who Ratted on Moses?

Although the Bible records a multitude of historical incidents, often it relates only the main details, leaving us to wonder, how, when, where, or why certain events happened. For example:

In Exodus 2, we read how Pharaoh's daughter adopted Moses, the Hebrew child whom she found crying inside a miniature ark floating among the reeds along the Nile. Later, when Moses was an adult, he spotted an Egyptian taskmaster beating a Hebrew man. We don't know whether this Egyptian was notorious for his cruelty, or whether on this particular occasion he was on the verge of beating the Hebrew to death, but the sight sparked a reaction inside Moses. After glancing around and seeing no witnesses, Moses charged to the aid of the Hebrew and ended up killing the Egyptian in the process.

The Scripture doesn't tell whether Moses actually intended to the kill the man, but it happened. Not knowing what else to do, Moses buried the body in the sand. After all, even the adopted son of Pharaoh's own daughter had no right to kill. However, the very next day Moses learned that at least one other Hebrew man knew what he did. The verse after that one states, "Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses." So Moses fled from Egypt.

So the question arises, "Who ratted on Moses?" Did the man whom Moses saved tell the story, which then spread among the Hebrews? Or perhaps there was a witness that Moses had not spotted? Even if so, how did Pharaoh find out? It's inconceivable that mighty Pharaoh happened to be chatting with a group of slaves around the water cooler when one of them blurted, "Hey, did you hear what your grandson did?" The Bible doesn't say.

Of course, the slain taskmaster must have had friends, family, and neighbors. His absence would be noticed. When it became clear that he'd fallen victim to foul play, who would the Egyptians accuse first, but the very Hebrews that taskmaster oversaw at the jobsite? In that case, it's not hard to imagine the Hebrews, desperate to avoid punishment, crying, "We're innocent. It was one of your people, the one called Moses killed him!" Regardless of who blabbed, Pharaoh was outraged, and Moses fled.

From a human standpoint, these events might seem an unfortunate turn of events in Moses' life. God had planned to use him to aid the oppressed children of Israel in Egypt. If Moses hadn't decided to intervene, the taskmaster would have remained alive, and Moses wouldn't have "wasted" 40 years watching his father-in-law's flocks. At least, so we might reason. Yet, God's thoughts are higher than man's thoughts and His ways above our ways. It may be that Moses had some rough edges that needed filing off before he was suitable to lead his countrymen out of Egypt. Had his education and training as Pharaoh's grandson filled him with pride? Or was it essential for him to master survival in the uncivilized wilderness? We can't answer every "Why?" But when God sent Moses back to Egypt, this man was clearly not trusting in his own cleverness, persuasive words, or intellect.

Friend, in your life there will probably be events that you consider unhappy, maybe even tragic. You might question why God allowed them. Yet, if you know the Lord--if you're one of His people by faith in Jesus Christ--you can rest confident that He remembers you and loves you. The eternity He has in store for you will outshine any hardships endured in this earthly life. Trust Him!


  1. This was a "super" post. I really love how far your website has come...

    1. Thanks Darren. I hope you keep checking back!