Don’t Assume Too Much!

Hope for Today (English)
Hope for Today (English)
Don't Assume Too Much!

Exodus 2:11-22

Hello friend, it is good to have you with us today. We are Heralds of Hope, and we believe every book in the Bible is inspired by God and will give us a better understanding of Him and His plan for us. This belief leads us to prioritize Scripture in all we do. This starts inside at a personal level; then, it works its way out in many of our day-to-day choices. We thank God for His Word and the influence it has in our lives, and we want to see that influence become bigger and bigger.

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Let’s go now to our study in Exodus, where today’s lesson is, Don’t Assume Too Much, and it is taken from Exodus 2. We are challenged from the life of Moses to not get ahead of God. Allow God to accomplish His will in His time. This is certainly easier said than done, especially when God’s ways don’t line up with what looks obvious to us. We must be patient and let Him work. Let’s give our attention to Pastor J. Mark for the rest of today’s teaching.

Sometimes in our zeal, we may go beyond what we should. I imagine that all of us are guilty at that point. We get so zealous, so in earnest about the thing we’re doing, that we sometimes go beyond what is right and proper. How can we know where to draw the line? How do we know where to stop? Do we sometimes assume too much?

My caution is, DON’T ASSUME TOO MUCH! That’s what we learn from Exodus 2:11-22.

11. And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, one of his brethren.

12. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.

13. And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? 

14. And he said, who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killest the Egyptian? and Moses feared, and said, surely this thing is known.

15. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.

16. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.

17. And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them and watered their flock.

18. And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, how is it that ye are come so soon today?

19. And they said., An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.

20. And he said unto his daughters, and where is he? Why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.

21. And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.

Moses assumed too much, and I will point out to you the RESULTS that came to him because of that. From this, we can learn a very important lesson in life: Don’t assume too much!

When Moses went out to visit his brethren, he assumed too much. Thus, the first result was

I. Premature Action                       

Remember, Moses had been raised in the court of Pharaoh. He had become Pharaoh’s grandson. He was, in fact, heir to the throne. He had been raised in the court of Pharaoh and educated as part of the royal family. But one day, he went out to visit his blood brothers, the Hebrews. Because he was born of Hebrew parents, both from the tribe of Levi, he identified himself with his brethren.

He went out, we are told, to look upon their burdens. Remember, the Hebrews were the slaves of the Egyptians. So, when Moses saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave, he couldn’t stand it. He thought this was wrong, and probably it was. But because he assumed too much, he engaged in premature action: he killed the offending Egyptian and buried him in the sand. 

He misunderstood really what his role should be, what he should be doing. He assumed too much. He thought he could take justice in his hands and correct the injustice he witnessed.

I’ve seen people in minor roles assuming too much and acting prematurely, just like Moses. Moses was not yet the king of Egypt. He could not pass this kind of judgment. He may well have been heir to the throne, but he assumed too much, and he acted beyond his proper role. It was premature action. The Bible tells us in other places that Moses assumed that he was ready to do the job that God had called him to do. He must have had some deep feelings about the needs of the Hebrew people in their distress, but he acted prematurely because he assumed too much.

Moses may have had a clear sense of God’s call on his life as the deliverer of his people, but his timing was off. He made a snap decision without waiting for God’s direction. His premature action only made the situation worse.

You and I must be very careful that we don’t assume we know what God’s plans are before he reveals them to us. In Scripture, most people who were called to positions of leadership often experienced a significant time lapse between their call and the fulfillment of that call. Moses was no exception; neither are you and me. 

Another result that came out of assuming too much was

II. Polarizing Reaction

Because Moses assumed too much and took justice in his own hands, and acted prematurely, Pharaoh reacted too, and his anger was aroused against him. Even though he was an heir to the throne, he would not have this young man assuming a role which wasn’t his. Pharaoh was so incensed by this event that he would have killed Moses.

We agree that to kill the Egyptian was not right. When Moses realized his crime was known and that it had come to Pharaoh’s ears, Moses decided to disappear. He thought that was the only way to save his life. He needed to flee for his life because there was a polarizing reaction to his premature action. Maybe you have experienced this sequence personally.

I have seen people in deep trouble today because they assumed too much, and it aroused a polarizing reaction. Taking authority that is not ours, like Moses did, usually does not end well, nor does it accomplish God’s purposes. It is important for us to find our particular place in life and realize the joy of being right where we are supposed to be without assuming too much or too little. Then, if and when God wants to expand our sphere of authority and influence, He will let us know when the time is right.

Two results from Moses assuming too much were his premature action and the polarizing reaction of the king.

This further led to a

III. Primitive Satisfaction

Moses fled for his life. He left Egypt. He went down to the land of Midian and lived there. By that time, he had learned a better way. Instead of killing the opposition, he helped these young women to water their flocks. This time he didn’t assume too much. He knew he wasn’t there as a judge but a helper. It turned out much better. So, he became a shepherd for the priest of Midian and lived there in that land for forty years. Can you imagine this man who had grown up in the luxury and wisdom of the court of Egypt exchanging that for the life of a shepherd out in the bleaching, burning desert, on the backside of Mt. Sinai?

It was quite a comedown from the court life of Egypt to be a shepherd on the backside of the desert. But that was the result of Moses’ premature action. He had to accept a primitive satisfaction. I’ve known some people who have assumed too much and needed to be satisfied with much less than they might have had.

It never pays to assume too much, even though, in this case, God provided some benefit to Moses. We are informed in the Bible that Moses acted prematurely because he thought that his people would understand that God was going to deliver them from the bondage of Egypt by his hand. He must have had some idea of God’s purpose, but he was ahead of his time because he assumed too much.

We like people who know their limitations and gladly fill the roles for which God has chosen them. One of our biggest challenges is to be people who do not assume too much but work right where we ought to be. Let’s ask the Lord to help us be that kind of people.

Thanks, J. Mark, for this teaching from Exodus, and thank you for joining us. It is a privilege to study God’s Word and grow in our understanding together. Now let’s take what we’ve heard and allow it to affect our lives. As James tells us, we are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. If we just hear the Word, it’s like seeing ourselves in a mirror then going away and forgetting what we just saw. Don’t let that happen; allow God’s Word to change you from the inside out.

We bless you as you walk with Jesus and put His teaching into practice. If you have any questions or if you would like today’s teaching, please contact us, and ask for it by title or passage. We also have a study guide available designed to help you learn more from each of these lessons in Exodus. It is called the Hope Herald, and if you would like one, we would be happy to send you one.  

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We thank you again for joining us for today’s program. I encourage you to join us again next week as we continue our journey through Exodus. We look forward to being with you then and will leave you with this thought from II Thessalonians 3:16, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” 

This episode is an exposition of Exodus 2:11-22 by J. Otis Yoder, re-recorded by J. Mark Horst, with an opening and closing by Arlin Horst.