Why Did God Temper Moses in the Wilderness for 40 Years?

By Xiaoqian

God says, “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried” (Zechariah 13:9).

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This verse reminded me of the story of Moses. Before leading the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses, after killing an Egyptian, fled to the wilderness, where he shepherded sheep for forty years; then God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt (See Exodus 2:11-15). In the past, I didn’t know God’s intention, thinking: Since the Israelites were living under the control and slavery by the Egyptian Pharaoh, leading a miserable life, why did God not send Moses earlier to save the Israelites from suffering but send him to the wilderness and refine him for forty years? What’s God’s will behind this? It wasn’t until I read this verse that I understood God’s intention. Because God wanted to make Moses fit for His use, He arranged this environment to refine and purify him. Before, Moses always relied on his hot blood and temperament to do things; seeing his compatriot being oppressed, he didn’t rely on God or look unto Him, but stoned an Egyptian to death depending on his hot blood. How could he, a man full of naturalness, be fit for God’s use, and take on the responsibility of leading the Israelites out of Egypt? Thus, to rid him of his naturalness and make him capable of the mission, God had him endure refinement in the wilderness for forty years.

After 40 years, the naturalness of Moses, which was not fit for God’s use, was ground out of him; and he truly saw God’s faithfulness, almightiness and sovereignty, and that nothing is impossible for God. Moses lived in the wilderness for neither several days nor a couple of years, but as long as 40 years. Though we don’t know how he made it through those years, there is no doubt that God had always led and helped him. Through such trials and refinements, Moses saw the hand and deeds of God, and thus developed true faith in God, and had the courage to accept the commission of God and face the powerful army of the Pharaoh.

From the story of Moses, I gained much enlightenment, and came to know that if we want to be perfected by God and be fit for His use, we have to undergo His trials and refinements to get rid of our naturalness and corrupt disposition. Only in miserable environments will we truly look unto God and rely on Him, see His wisdom and almightiness, and have true knowledge of Him.

Knowing God’s will, I came to realize that the ridicule, insult, slander, as well as the arrest of the atheistic government that I had suffered were elaborately arranged by God for purifying me and gaining me. Having experienced these, I developed true faith in God, and had a true understanding of my problems such as notions, corruption, and lack. I truly appreciated that the sufferings and refinements set by God were all my need, which contained His kind intention. I am so small, but so lucky to follow God and experience His work in this life, which is indeed God’s exceptional exaltation and grace for me.

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