Remember Moses? Moses was a Hebrew, adopted by an Egyptian princess and brought up with all the trappings of Egyptian royalty. One day, walking around the massive building works in progress, he sees an Egyptian slave driver beating a Hebrew slave. Something flips. He muscles in, pulls out a knife, and the next moment the slave driver is dead. He scrabbles together a makeshift grave under the sand and gets out, hoping no-one has seen what happened.
Imagine his horror next day, when one of his own people, one of the Hebrew slaves, taunts him with the murder! So Moses flees. He leaves everything behind him and flees to the desert. He marries, he works for his father-in-law, but he is a fugitive on the run, living in exile.
Years after these events, Moses is drawn to the burning bush in the desert and there he encounters God in His holiness and authority. God talks with Moses and personally commissions Moses to a job. The job God has for him resonates with everything Moses has wanted. Moses has spent his life being angry and upset and is now powerless to do the one thing he wants more than anything: to see his own people freed from slavery.
So why does Moses make every excuse? Why doesn’t he just say “Yes!”
I wonder what part shame plays in Moses’ response to God. What a terrible mess he has made of his life. His passion has been to see his people set free. That’s why he has murdered the slave driver. And now he is living with shame and rejection – from both Egyptians and Hebrews. Shame cripples us. Shame makes us not want to go back to that place.
I love the way God listens to Moses’ objections to doing what he is being asked to do. God knows what his passion is. And I think God also knows his shame. So God gives him Aaron to help, and promises to teach them both and to go with them. And, best of all, Moses is to go, taking the staff God has given him. That staff represents all the power and the authority of God Himself, going with him.
We know what happens. The shame is lifted. God uses all those years of exile and failure to His glory and Moses leads the people out of slavery.
Prayer: God, thank You that You know who I am and what my passions are. Thank You that, when I obey You, You will teach me, You will come with me and You will be glorified. Amen.
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