There are many great lessons to be learned from events recorded in the Old Testament –that’s what God intended (Romans 15:4). This is especially true of Israel’s history and Moses’ ministry. A good example of this is found in Exodus 2:11-15, where Moses took matters into his own hand and tried to correct an injustice. Charles Swindoll does an excellant job of describing his mistake and our message:
I’m convinced Moses was doing more than grandstanding. I believe he was absolutely sincere. He didn’t see himself murdering a cruel slave driver as much as courageously striking a blow for God’s people. The desire to do something right overcame him. His problem? He dedicated himself to the will of God, but not to the God whose will it was.
Let that thought sink in. You and I can become so dedicated to the will of God, we can be so driven by a blind sense of purpose, that we might inadvertently take matters into our own hands and leave God completely out of the loop. Been there, done that?
Did that cruel taskmaster need to be punished? Yes. Was it wrong to beat that Hebrew as he did? Certainly. But when Moses stepped in and began his own Operation Deliverance, he was energized by the flesh, not the Spirit.
How easily this can happen to good people, to men and women with the highest motives and the best of intentions. Picture this: You’re a gifted and highly qualified teacher. In your heart, you ache to be in front of a classroom again. With all your soul, you want to feel that lectern beneath your hands and the minds of those eager students absorbing your knowledge. And suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, an opportunity presents itself. If you don’t watch it, my friend, you’ll find yourself elbowing your way through that “open door.”
But all the while, God waits for you to seek His counsel. If you act without discerning His timing, you may lose the smile of divine favor. He will not bless what He has not ordained. You may truly sense that God has something for you to accomplish in a certain area. But if you aren’t vigilant, if you aren’t daily humbling yourself before Him, seeking His face, discerning His timing, operating under the Spirit’s control, you may push and force your way prematurely into that place where God wanted you, but you will not have arrived in His own time.