This way & that way

November 13th, 2013

Ex 2:12  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. KJV

WHEN I WAS YOUNG – my father instructed me in the rules of the road because I would have to walk several miles to and from school each day.

HE TAUGHT ME about what to do before I attempted to cross a road to the other side. STOP- LOOK LEFT – THEN RIGHT – THEN LEFT AGAIN – and if the road is clear of traffic – I could safely cross the road/highway.

Looking this way and that way is an important principle in road safety.

Sometimes we are called to journey a pathway WHICH IS UNKNOWN TO US – simply because we have not been down that way (direction) before. IT IS UNFAMILIAR TO US

It is similar to what Joshua & Israel experienced as they sought to enter the promised land

 Josh 3:4  Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about a thousand yards between you and the ark; do not go near it.” NIV

Because they had gone this way before – it was unfamiliar to them that they were instructed to remain a certain distance behind the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant so they might see what direction they would take in crossing over the Jordan river.

THE MESSAGE for them (and for us) is was one of DEPENDENCY UPON GOD TO LEAD.
Watch the Ark – watch the priests w
hich way they lead – AND FOLLOW

 They were not left to the process of having to – ‘LOOK THIS WAY AND THAT WAY’.

 Ex 2:12  (AMP) – He looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.  

 Ex 2:12  (Darby)  – And he turned this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he smote the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.

 Ex 2:12  (YLT)  – and he turneth hither and thither, and seeth that there is no man, and smiteth the Egyptian, and hideth him in the sand.

 Ex 2:11-13  (NASU)  – So he looked this way and that, and when he saw there was no one around, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.

 Ex 2:12 

  • 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. KJV

for the purpose of seeing who was watching him in what he had purposed in his heart and was about to do.

 IT IS THIS PHRASE THAT SEEMS TO BE IMPORTANT TO THE HOLY SPIRIT THIS MORNING and I want to use it to hopefully draw our attention to some important Biblical principles for living the Christian life!

WE ALSO find ourselves sometimes LOOKING THIS WAY AND THAT WAY because we are uncertain as to which way we should

 We are looking for directions.

  • We want to know which way to go.
  • We want to know which path to take.
  • We want to know what God’s choice of direction is for us.
  • We want to do his will.
  • BUT – WE ARE UNCERTAIN WHICH DIRECTION TO TAKE in respect to some matter of God before us.

MOSES – when he saw that there was no man – he ACTED – he killed the Egyptian.

Moses acted impulsively, rashly and without God’s guidance.

This is what happens when God’s servants are too much focussed on MAN – rather than GOD

Moses acted in such a way in which it defeated the very purpose for which he knew he was called.

Moses thought because he was called and knew why he was called that he could act on that basis alone, without God permission.

God’s servants must act with God’s permission, God’s timing and in God’s way!

Moses acted on the basis that he was called But this can never be so for the servant of God. To act without God’s permission is to act presumptuously!

God’s servants should never presume to act, they must wait for God’s leading.

RELATING OUR ACTIONS to either the approval or disapproval of man is not God’s way either.It is possible that we in OUR ACTIONS) can be more governed or influenced by man’s approval rather than by God’s approval.

So this leads us to act according TO WHAT MAN THINKS!

OUR ACTIONS (what we do and where we go) are determined and regulated by what MAN’S OPINON IS – OR WHAT WE ANTICPATE man’s opinion might be.

It is important to NOTE THIS PHRASE! – ‘when he saw that there was NO MAN’

In this instance – Moses was more focussed and concerned about what man saw rather than what God could see.Moses was more concerned with what man would say about what HE WAS ABOUT TO DO (which was to kill the Egyptian).

What do you think his response (action) WOULD HAVE BEEN if there was some person watching? (I doubt that he would have killed the Egyptian)

 MOSES looked this and that way – BUT HE DID NOT LOOK UP!

Some of God’s people are governed by what man’s opinion might be, what others think!

It is so easy to allow our lives to seriously influenced by the approval OR disapproval of man.

So often in times when decisions when have to be made we are more man conscious than God conscious.

We tend more look around us – this way or that way for guidance / direction – rather than UPWARD


We are more focussed on conformity to the accepted norms of the Christian community.



MOSES – when he saw that there was ‘no man’ HE ACTED.

He acted wrongly

Instead of being a missionary – he became a murderer

Instead of finding God’s way to deliver Israel – he failed miserably.

Impulsive action is often the result of NOT LOOKING UPWARDS!

Doing what seems to be right because we know we have God’s calling on our lives – DOES NOT MAKE IT RIGHT

THE SERVANT OF God is expected to constantly refer his ways to God for his approval or disapproval.

THE SERVANT OF GOD cannot and should not ACT independently of God’s leading and direction.

TO DO SO IS PRESUMPTION – mere speculation NOT revelation.

LOOKING UPWARD – seeking DIVINE DIRECTION – hearing what GOD HAS TO SAY to our heart – he will direct.

Having a healthy respect for God and his leading and the giving of ourselves to this is THE KEY.

 Ps 25:12  Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. NIV


 Ps 32:8-9

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you and watch over you. 9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. NIV

Often when there is ‘NO MAN’ – ‘we are lost’. We do not know what to do.

We can feel abandoned and then frustration sets in. This is just the right kind of environment for impulsive action to result. BEWARE!SOMEHOW WE HAVE FORGOTTEN TO LOOK UPWARD

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