Biblical Interpretation from Someone with no Training in Biblical Interpretation
Paul wrote in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Most Christians hold onto this verse during difficult times, but do we really believe it? The Holy Spirit showed me this promise in action through the life of Moses; let’s check it out!
So Moses’ story (as far as we’re concerned today) starts when he kills a dude- yes Moses, that Moses, the Charlton Heston one…
…he straight up killed someone. History records,
One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand (Exodus 2:11-12).
This act of violence severely messed up his plans; we read,
Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, “Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?”
But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us?” (Acts 7:25-27).
So Moses ran away:
The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”
When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well (Exodus 2:14-15).
Ok, so things couldn’t have really gone worse. Through trying to help, Moses ended up alienating himself from his people and becoming a wanted man in Egypt. So he found himself in the desert reclining against a well. But it just so happens, that at this well, Moses met his future wife. The story continues as his wife’s family discusses the strange new man,
When the girls returned to Reul their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”
They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock” (Exodus 2:18-19).
This act of (nonlethal) heroism brought Moses into his new life in Midian:
Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become an alien in a foreign land” (Exodus 2:21-22).
This new life lead him to Mount Horeb, “Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God” (Exodus 3:1). And Mount Horeb is where Moses met the Lord,
When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am” (Exodus 3:4).
And, after meeting God, an older and wiser Moses was able to save the Israelites:
This is the same Moses whom they had rejected with the words, “Who made you ruler and judge?” He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. He led them out of Egypt and did wonders and miraculous signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the desert (Acts 7:35-36).
Needless to say, Moses had a fairly interesting life path.
Take note of all of this though: Moses didn’t really do anything himself. In fact, his whole story got started after he sinned by killing somebody and then cowardly ran away. But the Lord looks past all of that for a believer, for those who trust in the Lord have been called by God. It is written,
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).
Since we are chosen by God, he keeps a close watch over our lives and helps to navigate all of the troubles we may get into in order that his purposes are fulfilled. That is why Paul wrote,
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified (Romans 8:28-30).
We often think of the first part of this too small. We think “Ok, God will help this to get fixed or to work in the right way.” But the power of the Lord is so much more than cleaning up after you and fixing problems. According to what is written, those in Christ Jesus have always been part of the plan and the Lord has set everything up for the believer. So, do you still have free will? Of course you do- however, God already knows what you’re going to do since he already saw it in the beginning- but the good news of this is that since he knows the outcome, the Lord has already planned accordingly!
You will screw up and make mistakes (I know I do, daily). But if you’ve been called through the Holy Spirit to worship our Lord Jesus Christ then nothing can take you away from his love; for Romans 8:35 tells us, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Moses killed someone; what did you do today? Paul continues in Romans 8:37-39,
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God is always with the believer and will help them through all things. In good times and in bad- you can’t surprise God, nor can he really be all that disappointed in you since he already preordained your life and saw the choices you’d make. If you are already a follower of Christ, take heart and don’t lose hope when you screw up or seemingly destroy the plan for your life- the game’s not over and the Lord doesn’t give up on people he’s called (as that would imply failure on his part- something he is incapable of ). If your life is not yet in Jesus’ hands; what are you waiting for? Give your life to Christ and be a part of his glorious plan!