Going Bad When Doing Good

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.” Exodus 2:11-15

Moses, of the line of Levi, rescued from certain death and raised by the Egyptian princess daughter of Pharaoh, instructed in all the wisdom and ways of the Egyptians, never lost his heart for his Hebrew roots. He looked every part the Egyptian, so his people did not recognize him as a fellow Jew; instead of appreciating his bravado on their behalf, they became wary of his impulsive violence. While his motive to defend had been right, his method was all wrong, and tangled him in consequence of accusation, fear, and self-banishment. We know from the whole story that God, in lavish grace, greatly used the next 40 years in Midian to prepare Moses to become one of the greatest leaders in all history, but we will never know how God may have done this had Moses not taken retribution into his own hands. (Acts 7:22; Romans 12:19,21)

Path in Aspen forest, Beaver Creek, CO vertical

What good motives have I that I fail to bring before God to direct and measure against His word? When have I impulsively barged ahead with righteous intention but wrong implementation, only to face a backlash of misunderstanding? We can trust that if the Spirit is inspiring our thought, He will guide our method. He Who plants ideas also orchestrates their execution, according to His truth and pattern, and for the fulfillment of all His good purposes. We need to offer them first to Him and seek His way. (Psalm 119:105)

The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LordAll the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.” Proverbs 16:1-4,9,20

Good Father, when You plant right motives and upright ideas, please prompt righteous action. May I never rush forward outside Your leading, but follow You and follow through in the ways that accomplish all You intend, and that honor Your holy character.

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