Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.
In Acts 7 we find Stephen preaching to the Jewish ruling council, and he describes Moses’ life and work. Stephen’s words reveal how first-century Jews understood the outcome of the first forty years of Moses’ life: “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.”
But what did Moses learn during the next forty years, after he “fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner”? Fleeing his homeland, tending sheep, and living as a foreigner for forty years broke down whatever pride Moses’ Egyptian education had produced in him. In fact, as we read in Numbers 12:3, Moses became deeply humble, “more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.”
In the first forty years of his life Moses gained knowledge and power in Egypt. In the next forty years Moses gained humility in Midian. In the final forty years of Moses’ life, God used Moses, now sufficiently educated, to lead Israel to the promised land.
Consistent, God-honoring humility is a very difficult thing to learn. For Moses, it took forty years and lots of sheep.
How is God teaching humility to you and me?
Father, our hearts have much to unlearn: pride, self-reliance, and self-importance. Teach us to be humble. We know that may be difficult for us to learn, but we also know that your patience and love will help us to learn humility. Amen.
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