Having fled for his life, Moses is soon welcomed into a new community. The Midianites would have been a people living in the Sinai Peninsula area between Egypt and Israel. There is not a lot known about them from what I have read. What we do see is how God has opened their hearts to be part of Moses’ story. Moses’ own people, the Israelites, don’t recognize him. The people who adopted him, the Egyptians are out to kill him. Yet the Midianites have welcomed him with open arms.
Moses is given a wife and we hear about his first son, Gershom. Moses recognizes he is a foreigner in a foreign land. I understand how that feels now that we live in Mexico. I had never given it much thought for the 50+ years I lived in my home country. Living in different cities always posed a new challenge, but the culture was the same. In Mexico, so many things are different from anything I’ve ever known. It goes way beyond the language barrier of which I’m crushing. I’m embracing the fact I am now the foreigner in a foreign land. I rely all the more on God to show me how I can make a difference here.
Can you imagine what it was like growing up as an Israelite wearing Egyptian clothes? Moses had to be so conflicted. He was probably immune to the suffering of “his” people living in the palace with his princess mother. It was probably a very posh upbringing, compared to what it would have been had he stayed with his birth mother.
In today’s passage, we see a frustrated Moses. He obviously knew they were “his” people and wanted to connect. His visit was probably innocent enough, at first. What he saw, an Egyptian beating one of the Hebrew slaves. That behavior wasn’t acceptable, but it seems Moses’ anger burned deeply as if he was the one being attacked. What did he do?
When you know a Bible story because you have read it, watched it on the big screen (The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston), taught it in Sunday School for years, and read it some more…it can be hard to read it fresh. If this is your first time through the book of Exodus, fantastic! I’m so glad to have you here. But, if you’re like me, I challenge you to read as if it’s the first time. Allow God to show you something new.
That’s really my hope in writing these devotionals. As I am reading through the passages and reflecting on what they mean to me, I’m doing my best not to look ahead. The story will never change, but how it speaks to me can and will. If I let it. With all that being said, was there something that jumped out at you today?
Exodus continues where Genesis left off in terms of the Israelite nation narrative, approximately 400 years later. If you need a little refresher on Genesis, I have reflected on that entire book previously, and you can search on previous entries. The setting that opens Exodus is the land of Egypt. You will recall Joseph and his entire family had moved to this land when the severe famine attacked their homeland. Joseph had been there much longer and had a very prestigious position, having helped the Egyptian people in a big way. But unfortunately, it seems, his legacy did not live on in the memories of the new Pharaoh and officials.
The legacy did continue in terms of being fruitful. God promised Abraham he would be the father of a great nation. That multitude of descendants was now enslaved because of the Egyptian’s fear of losing power or control to such a mass of people.