Moses: Bulrushes, Blood, and Bushes

Exodus 1 and 2 gives us the skeletons in Moses’ closet, the “before story,” the “before-God-touched-me” story.  The Pharaoh of Egypt developed a plan to “deal with” the family of Joseph that had greatly multiplied over 400 years and who were becoming a threat in Egypt.  Pharaoh decided to kill newborn male babies but Moses was hidden in a basket in the bulrushes of the Nile and retrieved by Pharaoh’s daughter who “adopted” him.  Moses, that means “drawn out,” would be the one to draw the family of Joseph out of Egypt to be formed into a nation in the desert – but not yet. 

         One day, Moses as a grown up, sees an Egyptian beating up a Hebrew. Moses defends the Hebrew, killing the Egyptian and has blood on his hands and must run for his life.  Bulrushes and blood.  He runs into the desert where he becomes a shepherd, marries and has two sons.  40 years later, probably in his 60s+, he sees a bush that looks like it is burning but is not consumed. God speaks and gives him a task for which he feels totally inadequate.  He argues with God, hummm.

         Bulrushes, blood and bushes.  It is there at the bush, he talks with God who sends him back to Egypt with the famous cry, “Let my people go!”  Our epic hero, God, chose a man with a past, an old man, a man who thought he was not qualified, to lead a group of people who knew nothing about God, into a desert and to a “Promised Land.”  What are the odds that this scheme will defeat our epic villain, Satan?

         Is there a story behind your name?  Many people carry family names.  Others are named after famous people or famous places.  Many children in Kenya were named “Kennedy.”  Our stories of origin often deeply affect the trajectory of our lives even as Moses’ childhood story impacted his.  That a farmer’s son becomes a farmer is not a surprise or that a musician has a talented daughter is logical. How did your family origins affect you? Our stories of major mistakes often deeply impact the trajectory of our lives even as Moses’ murder of the Egyptian affected his.  Can you names any benefits from some of your blunders.  Ultimately when we may kneel at a “burning bush” and bow in relationship with God, our life changes direction.  Like Moses we may feel inadequate.  But note that God came to Moses because God had a plan to bless.  God believed in Moses even when Moses hardly knew God, much less believed in him.  Family origins, blunders, and encounters direct our lives.  Prayer keeps us in touch with God so that we do not get ahead of him.  “It helps us stay in touch with God’s timing and God’s ways. (P.48, Essential 100)”  Spend a few minutes thanking God for your family of origin that has shaped you, your blunders that have directed you, and God’s intervention to use your inadequacies to bless another!

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