Always Hope

July 31, 2021

Exodus 2.11-14

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labour. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 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?”

1The 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.”

Moses life in these first 40 years goes quickly in our texts.  And while in some ways life was good for him.  He was well-fed.  He was living life in the palace, or nearby.  He was not put into the forced labour of his people.  Yet there is a different part that is difficult.  He knows who he really is and is not happy with the treatment of his people.  And it seems he does not have enough power to change it, which is why he tries to kill the Egyptian in secret. 

But it is not just Moses who knows who he really is.  We see that the Hebrews know as well.  The man’s response shows that he sees that Moses is not one of the Egyptians who is normally over them.  Moses is alone in both worlds.  He does not belong with the Egyptians who subjugate his people.  And he does not belong with his own people who are enslaved while he is living with royal privileges. 

Moses makes an attempt to rectify things in his protection of his people, getting rid of one of the abusive Egyptians.  But it seems to make matters even worse.  He had position, but now will lose that.  The 40 years in the royal environment are not for him to change things for his people from within the Egyptian political and royal forces. 

There are several situations in the churches today where we are seeing prominent leaders struggling with their place in the church and in society.  We could point out their short-falls, or we can pray that through their struggles they will be used again by God in the building of his church in our society.  We can look at their struggles and feel superior that we have not fallen, or we could pray that we be kept safe in the same temptations so that we can have a different picture of the church to show in our societies.

Most importantly we see that Moses’ 40 years in the palace circles was not wasted.  He was educated in the way to rule people, some of it very good, some not good.  He was able to understand the Egyptian rulers and deal with them again when he comes back for the rest of the people.  Whether it is us, or anyone else, the fact that we might fail is not terminal.  It may be a transition, as with Moses.  It may be time to refocus and be renewed.  It may be that change comes and lasts in us, and in others as we overcome our failings.  God restores and God works in and through all we do, bringing us closer to being who he has called us to be.

God is not finished with Moses, and he is not finished with us either.  We continue to see what God has done with Moses and Israel.  We continue to see where and how God leads us into our own future now.

SongAct Justly, Love Mercy

Prayer

You asked for my hands, that you might use them for your purpose.  I gave them for a moment, then withdrew them, for the work was hard.  You asked for my mouth to speak out against injustice.  I gave you a whisper that I might not be accused.  You asked for my eyes to see the pain of poverty.  I closed them, for I did not want to see.  You asked for my life, that you might work through me.  I gave a small part, that I might not get too involved.  Lord, forgive my calculated efforts to serve you— only when it is convenient for me to do so, only in those places where it is safe to do so, and only with those who make it easy to do so.  Father, forgive me, renew me, send me out as a usable instrument, that I might take seriously the meaning of your cross. Amen.

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