So now we actually get to Moses in Exodus 2, but Acts 7:20-29 summarizes it very well so here it is.
20 “At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family.
21 When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son.
22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.
23 “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites.
24 He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian.
25 Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not.
26 The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’
27 “But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us?
28 Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’
29 When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.
This is not about Israelites being afraid of a murderer, it is about them rejecting Moses/God. The Israelites reject Moses as their leader, even though they already have Joseph as an example of how God can place one of their own in very high places in order to save them. We do not know why they rejected him, but they did. And they must have reported Moses to Pharaoh, which not only was a rejection of Moses as their leader, but a rejection of God’s plan and leadership.
Because of this Moses flees to Midian to become a shepherd and does not return to lead the Israelites out of Egypt for 40 years. This is very similar to later on when the Israelites do not want to enter the promised land because they are afraid of the Canaanites and are forced to wait 40 years for the unfaithful generation to die off. Because of their unfaithfulness these people chose to live in slavery the rest of their lives instead of living as free men.
We too have a decision to live the rest of our lives as slaves to sin or to take a leap of faith as Moses did and trust in God. Moses went through a lot of turmoil because of other people’s unfaithfulness, but “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” (Hebrews 11:26). You can endure all suffering if you can keep your eye on the Kingdom reward that we all eagerly await.