Devotional Thoughts for Today
“His Love, His Way”
Exodus 2:11–15 (ESV)
One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people.  He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.  When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?”  He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.”  When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well.
After many years of ministry, I’ve learned profound lessons like “pray a lot,” “smile more,” and “people like it when you buy them food.” Another important ministry principle I’ve learned is that wanting to help someone is not the same as knowing how to help or having the power to do so.
When we see our children or our friends struggle, the solution can seem so simple and clear. Just follow our amazing advice and all will be well. Yet experience tells us that our wisdom and power have not solved all of our own problems, and therefore, have very real limits.
In today’s text, though Moses is living comfortably as part of Pharaoh’s household, he is distraught over the condition of his people. When he sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, Moses kills the Egyptian, longing to deliver the Israelites from their suffering. Unfortunately, all Moses manages to do is anger Pharaoh, and as a result, earn himself exile. The Israelites do not appreciate Moses’s attempt to deliver them and their experience of oppression and slavery remains exactly the same.
Certainly Moses cared for the Israelites and he was even willing to sacrifice his place in Pharaoh’s house to help them, but Moses chose his own method and relied on his own power to bless his people and he utterly failed.
When it comes to loving the people in our own lives we can have compassion in our hearts and a willingness to sacrifice, but if we continue to stubbornly cling to our own methods and wisdom, we too will fail to bring lasting blessing.
Only God is able to give the joy, freedom, and new life that we desire for those we love. Only by caring for others His way, in His strength, for His purposes will our love impart eternal blessing.
Prayer: Father, forgive me that I am so wise in my own eyes. Teach me how to be a better parent, spouse, child, friend, coworker and neighbor. Guide me that I may love with Your love, in Your way, for Your glory. Use me to impart freedom and joy to those around me.
Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 44
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Samuel 13:8–13 (ESV): He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him.  So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering.  As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him.  Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash,  I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the LORD.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.”  And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the LORD your God, with which he commanded you. For then the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever…
Questions to Consider
- Why does Saul offer the burnt offering?
- When confronted by Samuel, is Saul repentant?
- What is the result of Saul giving in to fear and taking matters into his own hands?
- Saul is afraid that Samuel is not coming and that his army will entirely desert him before the battle with the Philistines.
- No, Saul blames Samuel for being late and feels like he had no choice but to offer the burnt offering.
- Saul’s reign as king will come to an end, ruining his own legacy as well as the future for his descendants.
Reflect on your day. What opportunities were you given to trust in the Lord as you related to other people? Ask God that your obedience would bear the fruit of His blessing in their lives.