God’s Time-Out Place


For the last week or so we have been reading an interesting book, Moses- Steps to a Life of Faith by Bob Saffrin.
Chapter 7, entitled The Backside of the Desert, could probably be better titled, Your Backside in the Desert ! The chapter starts out telling about how Moses was such a vibrant, well-educated man. He was trained to be the next ruler of Egypt. He was a military giant, a man of letters. But, he had been trained as a child by his Hebrew mother. Told many times of his mother’s dream that he was born to set his people free of Egyptian bondage.
I can imagine his typical school day as a young man. Trying to reconcile what he was learning in the Egyptian school with what his mother had taught him, and coming to the conclusion that God must have placed him in this position to train him for deliverance. When his day came and he had his opportunity to start that process, it ended in failure and Pharaoh tried to kill him for his efforts.
It was then that God sent Moses to His time-out place. The place where he has sent so many others who have tried to out-guess God’s plans for their lives… the desert. Before the desert Moses had rescued ONE Hebrew and almost lost his own life. When he got to Midian he risked his life again to rescue seven sisters from some bullies. After forty years in God’s time-out box (the desert), God again asked him to deliver His people, but instead of eagerly saying, “Yes, yes God, send me! His response was so different. “Who am I (just a failure) to bring your people out of Egypt. I can’t even speak the language anymore.”
In the Old Testament book Numbers, we read that Moses was the meekest man in all the world. After forty years in the desert, God’s Time-Out chair, is it any wonder that he would be rather humbled? Of course, he wrote the book so this had to have been his self-assessment.
So what DID he learn out there herding his father-in-law’s sheep? From the sheep, he must have learned patience. Of all the four-footed animals that I have had occasion to work with, they are about the dumbest critters in existence. Is it any wonder that humans use dogs, llamas or goats to help herd and protect them?
After his desert experience God was able to use him to lead four million people out of bondage. When, (not IF) you are led to your desert experience, don’t fight God or get angry with Him. Use your time there to let God comfort, educate, and care for you. He is preparing you for something better.  Learn to have faith in Him. Trust and lean on Him.

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