Acts 7:29

Heroes of the Alamo Memorial

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Then, at this saying, Moses fled and became a dweller in the land of Midian, where he had two sons. Acts 7:29

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

Moses, being challenged by one of the Israelites he encountered, was asked, “Do you want to kill me as you did the Egyptian yesterday?” With that, Stephen continues the narrative with, “Then, at this saying, Moses fled.” The reason for this, which is left out by Stephen now, is found in Exodus 2 –

“So Moses feared and said, ‘Surely this thing is known!’ 15 When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.” Exodus 2:14, 15

Moses thought that his killing of the Egyptian was done in secret. That was seen earlier in Exodus 2 where it said, “So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand” (Exodus 1:12). He thought his act had gone unnoticed, but it had not. Soon, it became known even to Pharaoh who then sought Moses for punishment. That is when Moses fled. With this context more fully understood, Stephen’s words continue with, “and became a dweller in the land of Midian.”

The location of Midian has never been exactly determined. Those who believe Mt. Sinai is on the Sinai Peninsula (once known as Arabia Petraea) would place it in the body of land going from the land of Moab and extending south along the eastern shore of the peninsula. Others believe Mt. Sinai is where Saudi Arabia is today. If so, Midian would have to be somewhere further east in that area.

Its location is less important than the fact that the Lord was always aware of where Moses was, and He interacted with him there. The Lord is not simply a local god that dwells in the land of Canaan, but He is the one true God who is not bound by physical limitations. He can and does deal with people in any location in order to meet His set purposes.

As for Moses dwelling in Midian, Stephen notes that is “where he had two sons.” While in Midian, he married Zipporah. She was the daughter of Reuel, the priest of Midian. Their first son was named Gershom. This is recorded in Exodus 2 –

“Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. And they came and drew water, and they filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Then the shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.
18 When they came to Reuel their father, he said, ‘How is it that you have come so soon today?’
19 And they said, ‘An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, and he also drew enough water for us and watered the flock.’
20 So he said to his daughters, ‘And where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.’
21 Then Moses was content to live with the man, and he gave Zipporah his daughter to Moses. 22 And she bore him a son. He called his name Gershom, for he said, ‘I have been a stranger in a foreign land.’” Exodus 2:16-22

The second son’s name is Eliezer. He is first recorded in Exodus 18:4.

Life application: Moses was forty (Acts 7:23) at the time he killed the Egyptian and fled to Midian. He was then in Midian for forty years. After all that time, the Lord visited him on Mount Sinai in the burning bush (Acts. 7:30). The Lord determined when He would appear to Moses, and it was at an age when most people were on their way out (see Psalm 90:10). And yet, he was just starting the most productive third of his life.

We may not see the big changes coming that the Lord plans for our lives, but when they come, we should be willing to recognize His hand in what has occurred and use the events to bring Him glory in whatever capacity He has chosen for us.

Moses shepherded flocks for forty years, as can be deduced from Exodus 3:1. Some might see this as a dull existence, but it was a part of the Lord’s plan for him. Today, he is one of the most well-known names in all of human history. Those forty years did nothing to detract from what we think of him. They were simply a part of what the Lord had determined.

No matter what our job is, where we live, or how simple we find our surroundings, let us consider that it is no different than what occurred with Moses. If the Lord keeps us there forever, or if He determines something great and exciting for the future, it really doesn’t matter if we are living for Him. For those in Christ, the days of the life we now live will end, and there will be eternal days of wonder when we are in our true, heavenly home.

Lord God, help us to be encouraged in the lives we live. Whatever our station is, You have allowed it to be so. May we consider this and be willing to live for You, no matter where we are or whatever our vocation may be. As long as we are honoring You with this life, we are doing what is good and proper. Help us in this, O God. Amen.