Daily Thoughts from Exodus: Using God’s Gifts

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.

Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them, and watered their flock. When they came home to their father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come home so soon today?” They said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and even drew water for us and watered the flock.” He said to his daughters, “Then where is he? Why have you left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.” And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah. She gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”  (Exodus 2:11-22 ESV)

When we have been called and gifted by God we can’t help but act in accord with that gifting.  God has equipped Moses to be a leader and a deliverer.  To everyone he is an Egyptian, but he knows he is a Hebrew and when he sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew he acts to rescue the Hebrew, but not necessarily in the way God intended him to do.  And when he sees two Hebrews fighting he can’t help but challenge this, only to find out that his murder of the Egyptian is known and he must flee Egypt.  But the question, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us,” is answered by, “God.”  But Moses hasn’t asked God how to fulfill this role, acting on his own at the internal pressure he feels to lead his people.

In the land of Midian the same thing happens, with happier results.  He rescues the daughters of the priest of Midian and is rewarded with the man’s hospitality and eventually his daughter’s hand in marriage.  He begins a settled life away from any movement toward saving Israel.  But God is not through with him.

What has God gifted you to do?  Have you failed in your attempts?  Even so haven’t you seen what God has put in you, what drives you to make a difference in our world.  God is not through with you either.  Only when your gifts are used in His service will you be truly successful.

In his devotional book Daily Readings, W.E. Sangster relates the following story: Some years ago, in the midst of much toilsome work and not a few perplexities, I received a letter from a stranger. It was a lovely letter. It seemed to see right into my situation and, with almost uncanny discernment, to sense my need.  Though the letter required no answer (my correspondent explained that he did not wish to add to my work) I sent a word of the warmest gratitude, and some months later we met.  Let me tell you about this obscure disciple and something of his secret service for our Lord.  He is a shy man. It would be wrong to say that he has no gift in public speech, but he has a great gift in writing. Years ago he went to God for guidance, asking how best he could serve the coming of the Kingdom, and it was revealed to him that a ministry awaited him in correspondence. He accepted the commission.  For years he has been fulfilling it. He does it with prayer and (as he believes) under guidance. The number of people he has encouraged must, by now, be immense.  He writes to all kinds of folk, to friends, acquaintances, entire strangers, authors of books which have helped him, people in public life who are carrying great responsibilities, to the high and humble, known and unknown, rich and poor. He writes to sick people and speaks of his admiration for their courage. He lets the lonely know that he remembers them. He backs up those who are battling for social righteousness, especially when they are maligned. A letter of comfort from him has soothed a hundred broken hearts. He is a quietly happy man; happy with the happiness of those who found their work…and do it. He offers no advice in his letters and makes it plain that he expects no reply. He specializes in appreciation. There are enough critics, be believes, eager to tell a man where he is wrong.. So often has he been assured of the timeliness of his letters’ arrival that he cannot possibly doubt that he is working with Another.

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One thought on “Daily Thoughts from Exodus: Using God’s Gifts

  1. To quote from one loved and respected by many, including me, “God is not through with you either. Only when your gifts are used in His service will you be truly successful.” Thank you, and right back at you!

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