Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of his fellow Hebrews.
After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand.
The next day, when Moses went out to visit his people again, he saw two Hebrew men fighting. “Why are you beating up your friend?” Moses said to the one who had started the fight.
The man replied, “Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?” Then Moses was afraid, thinking, “Everyone knows what I did.”
And sure enough, Pharaoh heard what had happened, and he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in the land of Midian. When Moses arrived in Midian, he sat down beside a well.
Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters who came as usual to draw water and fill the water troughs for their father’s flocks.
But some other shepherds came and chased them away. So Moses jumped up and rescued the girls from the shepherds. Then he drew water for their flocks.
When the girls returned to Reuel, their father, he asked, “Why are you back so soon today?”
“An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds,” they answered. “And then he drew water for us and watered our flocks.”
“Then where is he?” their father asked. “Why did you leave him there? Invite him to come and eat with us.”
Moses accepted the invitation, and he settled there with him. In time, Reuel gave Moses his daughter Zipporah to be his wife.
Later she gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, for he explained, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.”
Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God.
God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.