Monday, January 5, 2009

Moses before the Call (Exodus 1:8-3:1)

So as I read Exodus 1-3 prior to Moses' burning bush experience, a few things stuck out as interesting:

"But the midwives feared God...And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families." 1: 17, 21 - I never realized till I looked in the notes of my "Scholarly" study bible and saw that the Midwives weren't Hebrews, they were Gentiles/Egyptians and they feared God and he blessed them.

"The daughter of Pharaoh" 2:5 - I never realized that this was Pharoah's actual daughter, not like Moses was pharoah's son. I always thought she was one of the hundreds of adoptee's but I guess she was actually his daughter, meaning that she was closer to her father and probably more likely to report the child to be killed.

"He looked this way and that, and seeing no one he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand" 2:12 - I remember Mr. Franz a teacher I had in High School (I went to a Mennonite High School) teaching us that this verse should be a key in our morality. If you have to look around before you do something to see if anyone is watching, it's probably a clear sign you shouldn't do it. I still think of that.

"Who made you a ruler and judge over us?" 2:14 - this hebrew who says it to Moses would've stung greatly as Moses later DID have to rule and judge them as a deliverer and leader in the wilderness. It probably rung in his ears as God called him to leadership in the burning bush.

"When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses." - 2:15 - I never knew Pharoah actually wanted to kill him, my version of this story is tainted by the Prince of Egypt in which the Pharoah's son / his (step?) brother isn't angry with him. So Moses actually had to flee.

"seven daughters...came to draw water...[b]ut some shepherds came and drove them away. Moses got up and came to their defence and watered their flock." - Moses has a bit of a Jesus complex and jumps in to help again and this gets him 'in' with the Priest of midian (Jethro) and he gets to marry one of his daughters.

The whole story ends with this line - which is so beautifully a human way of viewing God:

"The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them."

And then we end with Moses an exile, working for his father-in-law and a murderer doomed never to return. And after all those years finally God was ready to say something. I need to contemplate this further.

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