Horse & Mule Tendencies


In Exodus 3 and 4, Moses is challenged and just like us, he exhibited horse and mule tendencies!  What are horse and mule tendencies you  ask? In Psalm 32: 8-9 God gives instructions to stubborn and reluctant people ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. 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.’

God has promised to instruct and guide us, we just have to do our part! Our part sounds simple, yet God tells us not be like the horse or the mule! So what is characteristic of a horse? Well, simply put, they love to run! They were born and designed to run. It’s in their veins! What about mules? Well, they have a characteristic of being stubborn and refusing to move at will!

This passage tells us that a bit and brindle are needed to control these animals – but for  different reasons! For the horse, you are generally pulling on the reigns trying to gain control and slow them down! With the mule, you are standing in front of them pulling forward in a desperate attempt to get them to move! With their legs dug in, their neck straining, and their teeth nearly popping out, it can be a bit of a mission!

Moses exhibited both of these qualities! In Exodus 2:11-15, after he was grown, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?” The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.” When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.

Moses, approaching the age of 40, with all wisdom, education and power of Egypt within his grasp, still jumped ahead of God.  Moses’ heart was still for his own people – the Israelites. As he watched their hard labor, and heard their cries for help, he couldn’t help but think that he must do something. And do something he did – He murdered an Egyptian!  Although Moses was genuine in his actions and desire to deliver his fellow Hebrews. It wasn’t Gods timing, Moses was 40 years too soon! Moses, the horse, was racing  ahead of the plan of God.

Does this sound familiar? Have you ever raced ahead of God’s timing for your life?

Then when the time comes in Exodus 3 7-10, the LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey… So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.

Moses becomes a mule…The command of God is to ‘GO!’ but Moses says ‘NO!’ This is definitely a different Moses from what we have previously seen. Gone is the worldly confidence that marked ‘Moses the horse’ 40 years earlier . You know the story and you know the numerous excuses that Moses came up with!  For each objection God answered…until Gods anger waxed against Moses!  Moses was being a full mule and Gods patience was surely being tried!

40 years earlier he had been  confident in his own abilities but in doing so had not relied on the Lord and had raced like a horse ahead of God’s plan. Now, after 40 years contemplating his failure, he was a mule and very difficult to budge.  Despite Moses stubbornness, this is the Moses which God chose to use. Humility and meekness are virtues that the Lord loves to mold into a person’s character and Moses definitely had these . We must not use our weakness as an excuse for disobedience!

After this slow start. we see in the rest of Moses’ life the testimony of a humble yet obedient servant of God and as you all know, Moses would be greatly used of the Lord in Israel’s deliverance.

So what has God asked of you? Better yet what horse and mule tendencies have you exhibited in your own life? Are you reluctant to move? Keeping your blessings at a standstill, because of fear. You already have the victory! Walk in it!

God requires us to rest, to listen for his voice, and then to be obedient once we hear his call. Jesus is our Shepperd…. He is fully able to direct us in our Christian lives.

Guard against the horse and mule like tendencies that are within you….Trust God! and Move when God says MOVE!

Today and always!

Be smart, courageous and listen well!


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