Moses: The man before the miracles

Moses: The man before the miracles

Why did Moses become such a great leader?

03/06/20245 min

By ActiveChristianity

Moses: The man before the miracles

Many have heard the story of how Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, but what about his life before this? As for ourselves, we can long to be a useful instrument for God, without thinking about what has to happen in our own lives before God can use us.

Growing up as a prince among the Egyptians, Moses had always loved his fellow Hebrews. He wanted to do something for them. God saw that Moses could be a valuable tool, but there was a lot of his own strength and “wisdom” that had to be broken down first. It was very important that God’s will would be done and God's name would be glorified, and not Moses’ own.

Understanding what mankind is worth

Moses had to escape from Egypt at the age of 40. For almost 40 years after that, he was a shepherd in a foreign land. All the strength, influence, honour and knowledge he had as a prince of Egypt, became worthless. (Acts 7:20-35.)

Finally, he came to understand who he really was. Psalm 90 is a prayer of Moses, which says this: "They [mankind] are like grass that grows up in the morning. In the morning they are fresh and new, but by evening they dry up and die." Psalm 90:5-6 (NCV). Now he understood that mankind and human knowledge was worth nothing without God’s guidance and wisdom.

He also got to understand more of the nature and greatness of God: "Lord, you have been our home since the beginning. Before the mountains were born and before you created the earth and the world, you are God. You have always been, and you will always be." Psalm 90:1-2 (NCV).

Day after day, God imprinted this truth on Moses' heart, and the result was very great. For the rest of Moses’ life, despite the many powerful miracles he performed with God’s strength, he never became great in his own eyes. Instead, Moses started to seek what is most precious on earth: "Teach us how short our lives really are so that we may be wise!" Psalm 90:12 (NCV).

Forming an unbreakable bond with God

While Moses was alone with God, he learned. He learned to watch out for the flock of sheep that were in his care. He led them, cared for them, and sought what was best for them. He protected the sheep from all unsafe places and dangerous animals. Although he didn’t know it at the time, this was preparing him for the day that he would no longer be leading sheep, but all of the Hebrew people.

Those were the days that Moses formed an unbreakable bond with God, and learned to trust Him without doubting. He learned the same as David did when he was a shepherd: "The Lord is my shepherd, I have all that I need!" Psalm 23:1 (NLT).

Finally, the day came that God saw that Moses was ready for the task He had for him. Moses’ confidence in himself had been broken down over the years, and he had become the most humble and meek man on earth. (Numbers 12:3.) He was now wiser and stronger than any other person alive.

From then on, God could speak to Moses directly about what His will was. This was the beginning of the famous story that is still seen as one of the greatest in human history – the Exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt. It was because of this strong bond with God that he later held out his hand over the Red Sea at God’s command. The sea opened up, allowing the people of Israel to cross safely and escape the Egyptian army.

God needs workers

There is also a great need in the world around us today. Many people are slaves to their own sin, and don’t know the way out. God needs people who are willing to go through the same training as Moses so they can become shepherds and examples, leading people out of sin into the freedom that is in Christ.

Do you listen to what God wants to teach you, day after day? Are you willing to humble yourself under God’s leading and will, and leave all your own opinions and human understanding behind? If so, you will also get an unbreakable bond with God. It was the hidden faithfulness in the daily life, small situations that nobody could see, that prepared Moses to be an instrument in God’s hands. Because he was humble and meek, he put aside his own thoughts, ideas, and stubbornness, and God’s will could be done, and God could be glorified.

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This article is based on an article by Bessie Wong originally published on and has been adapted with permission for use on this website.