Monday, August 06, 2012

Moses’ Life Takes a New Direction At a Well -- Exodus 2:16-22


Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came to draw water and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.  Then the shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and helped them and watered their flock.

These verses begin a new chapter in the story of Moses’ life.  We learn of a priest who was part of the tribe that descended from Midian (the son of Abraham by Keturah, Abraham’s wife after Sarah’s death -- Genesis 25:1).  You will remember that Moses himself was from the tribe of Levi.  Much later it was charged with the responsibility of providing the duties of the priests for the Israelites.  So, in one sense, Midian’s family was from a good or acceptable line.

The storyline moves to a well, where Midian’s daughters came to draw water for the family and to fill the troughs for their father’s flocks.  Even this early in the Bible, wells have played a repeated important part in the unfolding of God’s plan for His people.

In Genesis 16 we read of the angel of the Lord visiting Hagar by a well and telling her she will bear a son, and she names the well Beerlahairoi reflecting her joy that God was “a Living One (who) sees me” and responds to her need.

In Genesis 21:19 God provides a well for Hagar to feed her sickly son, Ishmael, so that he may live.  Later in the same chapter Abraham and Abimelech have a disagreement over a well which led to a covenant being made between them.

In Genesis 24, a servant finds a wife for Abraham’s son, Isaac, by a well.  Later in that chapter, we read of Isaac on his way to meet Rebekah his chosen bride, going by the well where Hagar had been met by the angel of the Lord in Genesis 16.  And in Genesis 25 we read of Isaac living there and prospering after his father Abraham had died.

In Genesis 26, Isaac’s servants, after the entire family had left Abimelech’s area, dug a series of wells in order to determine where best to settle.

In Genesis 29, it is by a well (verse 2) that Jacob first meets Rachel and helps her get water for her family which was later to become his family.

In Genesis 49:22, Jacob in his last blessing to each of his sons, utters that Joseph is like a “fruitful bough or branch, by a well or spring”.

So, it is by a well again that Moses’ life takes a whole new direction.  It is by a well that he stands up for the daughters of Midian (seven of them if they all came to draw water), allowing them to have priority in their drawing over the shepherds who had tried to drive them away.

We would be wise to stop here and reflect on the “wells” God has provided along our life’s path – to change our direction, our destiny and the means by which we would serve Him and others.   Wells provide water.  Both God in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament use these sites to introduce men and women to spiritual water – living water.  Many of us live years on end without seeing any wells these days, but God still uses the “or equivalent” in our lives to either draw us to Him in the first place or to strengthen our relationship with Him.  I pray we will be sensitive enough to recognize it when He meets us in those pre-ordained appointments, be it personally, via His angels, or His human servants.  These are appointments we don’t want to miss.

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