This morning, I joined with some other people for a tour of Liberty Commons High School. This charter school lead by former Congressman Bob Schaffer, has been recognized as one of the highest performing schools in the country. This afternoon I had a workout with my fitness trainer. After my day yesterday and the tour this morning, my energy level was challenged.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “Now Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken in Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her back, along with her two sons, one of whom was named Gershom (because Moses had said, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land”) and the other Eliezer (because he had said, “The God of my father was my helper and delivered me from Pharaoh’s sword”)” Exodus 18:2-4 HCSB
It is interesting that we have Joseph in Egypt with two sons, whose names reflect the significance of his experience, and we have Moses who flees Egypt who has two sons whose names reflect his experience.
Gershom’s name (“I have been a foreigner in a foreign land”) speaks to Moses life experience. For Joseph Egypt was the foreign land where he prospered and for Moses, Egypt was his home that he fled from in fear of Pharaoh after he killed an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave.
What is of interest is, the land Moses associated as being “foreign” was the land that would be related to his new life and home. “I will certainly be with you, and this will be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you bring the people out of Egypt, you will all worship God at this mountain.” (Exodus 3:12 HCSB)
To me, this challenges us about being too entrenched in our life, where we are at, or what we associate as our place of identity and comfort. We all, especially as we get older, become fixed to what is familiar and comfortable. Certainly Egypt was comfortable for Moses (even though it wasn’t for the Hebrews as a people).
In order of the Lord to use Moses, he needed that unsettling experience of being “uprooted” and removed from the familiar and the secure to appreciate the experience of his forefathers and be prepared to lead a nomadic people. Moses’ experience as a “foreigner” prepared him to lead God’s people to a foreign land and to be those without a home in search of a home. Moses found that even in unfamiliar places, God appeared and God provided.
The Book of Hebrews refers to the great people of faith and says, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.” (Heb. 11:13 NIV) May the Lord instill in us a lasting sense of adventure as we follow Christ.
Moses second son was, Eliezer (“The God of my father was my helper and delivered me from Pharaoh’s sword”) The first son’s name reflected Moses’ experience, the second focused on God’s faithfulness and provision. Moses didn’t “beat himself up” over failures and the circumstance of his life. Instead, he was able to see that the Lord had helped him and delivered him from Pharaoh and spared his life.
As Moses fled, he found himself for a time wandering, but then placed in the family of Jethro. Now these forty years later, Jethro comes to Moses as the deliverer of God’s people and provides some “life saving” advice to Moses that helps him and serves as a guide for leaders through out time. “…you should select from all the people able men, God-fearing, trustworthy, and hating bribes. Place them over the people as commanders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.” (Exodus 18:21 HCSB)
The Lord has ways to “unsettle” us, but in doing so He prepares us. He prepares us for what He has for us, He provides for us what we need and He guides us to a better place and future.