The life of Moses is the ultimate example of “the long game” at work. This prophet of God was destined to lead the people of Israel, and his life’s journey, while not straight forward prepared him for the task of his destiny.
Moses’ preparation began at birth. He was born to a Hebrew family in captivity in Egypt. Not only born a slave, he was conceived at a time when the Pharaoh was suspicious of the Jews. He therefore ordered such newborns, as Moses, to be thrown into the Nile. His birth mother was not prepared to obey such a law, and plotted to keep her son alive. But as he grew it became obvious that her plan to hide hum would not work. She then in an incredibly clever way obeyed the edict. She threw her son in the river, after placing him in a basket, and tarring it first.
Moses was then safe to float with the current, and God’s hand became plain when he drifted into Pharaoh’s own courts. This “gift of the Nile,” was found and adopted by the king’s own daughter. Moses would spend the next forty years being raised and educated in the royal household. Where better to prepare one for leadership?
But Moses’ skill set was still incomplete. Therefore, his life takes another turn, this “prince of Egypt” defends a fellow Hebrew and in so doing kills an Egyptian. His subsequent escape into the wilderness leads him to his second vocation – as a shepherd. Now this slave turned prince learns to survive in the desert. To care for flocks, and to be a husband (a very different kind of leadership).
It is while tending sheep, an additional 40 years on, that God calls him to his ultimate role. He will take the skills of a ruler, and of a shepherd, and lead God’s people to a promised land.
God played the long game. He took an infant in a basket, and with challenge and nurture formed him into a man of God. But not only a man of faith, but a man of purpose. He was equipped with the knowledge of war and of command. He was tempered with the skills of survival and of service. He was made ready to blossom, and to make others blossom.
Eighty years, to be made ready to do yet another forty of service. We will probably not be molded by God for anywhere near that time. But, that does not mean we will meet our potential over night either. We sometimes get frustrated when our “breaks” seem to take so long to materialise. We often want things to happen right now. We seek opportunities that we may not be quite ready for. So today, let us remember Moses, and God’s long game. He will use us in His own time. But remember this, every moment, every triumph (and defeat) along the way is there to make us ready for when He calls.