Read Exodus 3:1-22. For further reflection, read Exodus 4:1-17.
God orchestrated the life of Moses to prepare him for the great responsibility in leading God’s people out of slavery from Egypt. Moses was born in a situation in which Pharoah ordered the murder of any male Hebrew child. Moses’ parents hid him for 3 months and when it was not possible to do any more, they placed him on the river Nile. As God would have it, Moses was discovered by Pharoah’s daughter and she “just so happened” to pick Moses’ mother to raise him in Pharoah’s palace. This meant that Moses grew up in a very privileged position, in which he most likely learned the language, custom, and perhaps even knew Pharoah himself. Eventually, Moses is at the point of his life where he was passionate about the plight of his people, no doubt nurtured by his mother. But that passion was misguided and mistimed. It caused him to murder an Egyptian and he had to flee to Midian for 40 years (cf. Acts 7:30).
However, after those 40 years, God was ready to act upon his promises. In our passages today, we see God revealing himself to Moses through a burning bush. What is even more remarkable is the fact that God revealed his name to Moses – “I am who I am”. Scholars have called this the Tetragrammaton, meaning “four letters” in Greek. It is also where we get the name Yhwh. The covenantal promise to Abraham is at the heart of this name (3:15), and it is based on these promises that God sends Moses to lead his people out of slavery from Egypt.
However, Moses seemed reluctant, even after numerous assurances from God himself. God even gave him physical signs in Exodus 4. Many have read Exodus 4 in a negative way, stating that Moses should not have doubted God’s calling upon his life. However, taking into consideration the kind of experience Moses had, it is completely understandable that he was hesitant. His earlier attempt at trying to help his people ended up with him fleeing the country. In fact, instead of focusing on Moses’ actions, we should praise God for his kindness, grace, and reassurances to Moses. It is only after Moses asked God to send someone else that God’s anger burned against Moses (4:14). Even then, God in his grace offered to send Aaron, his brother, together with Moses to help him. It is as if God knew that Moses needed all the help and reassurances that he can receive as he takes on the monumental task of freeing God’s people from slavery in Egypt.
There are times in our lives where the task before us seemed insurmountable. Perhaps you are dreading the new year to come, because you know all the struggles or changes that you will be going through in your life. Perhaps you are not looking forward to Christmas itself, feeling left out and lonely. Perhaps your family has been a source of conflict this year, and you are wondering how your family can be whole again.
God hears our cries and struggles (2:24-25) and he provides us with comfort and assurances. Like Moses, the only way that we can forge ahead with the hardships of life is to have a grand vision of who God is and his promises to us. Out of sheer grace, God revealed himself to him. Out of sheer grace, God has revealed himself to us in a far greater way in the person of Christ. God sent Aaron to accompany Moses, but God sends his Spirit to be with us as we go through life’s journey. At the heart of God’s covenantal love for us is the person of Christ, who has loved us and gave himself for us. “Born that man no more may die; born to raise the sons of earth…glory to the newborn king!”
- Pray that you will have a grand vision of who God is as we read through Scripture this advent season
- Pray that we recognise and give thanks for God’s grace shown to us repeatedly in our lives