“So Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, ‘Please let me go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.’ And Jethro said to Moses, ‘Go in peace.'”
I had an “aha” moment this morning as I read this scripture.
As a young man, Moses was living in the lap of luxury in Egypt. If you recall, Moses had been adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter when she found him floating in a basket in the Nile River.
In Egypt he had privilege, if he wanted it.
In Egypt he had authority, if he wanted it.
But in reality, Moses was a stranger in this foreign land. He was born of the children of the One True God. That holy flame was within him, even though he shared his meals with the family of Pharaoh. God called to him even when his outward garments were Egyptian.
God calls to us, too.
Even though we are wrapped in the chains of bondage, God calls to us.
Even though we are clothed in Pharaoh’s embroidery, God calls to us.
God causes His flame to ignite so that we know who we are.
That is what happened to Moses. Moses went out one day to see his Hebrew brethren and witnessed how hard they were forced to work as Pharaoh’s slaves. When he witnessed an Egyptian beating one of the Hebrews, Moses intervened and killed the Egyptian slave master. Pharaoh found out what Moses had done and he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled Egypt and Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian where he met and married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro.
I said all of that to say this:
Moses was now free from Pharaoh’s influence. Yep, life was good. Beautiful wife. Precious son. Tending sheep in the desert surrounding the mountain of God. Moses was free to worship El Elyon, the Lord Most High. He was a happy man.
And then God came calling.
“Moses, Moses! I have surely seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress. I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt. And, guess what Moses? I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”
Although Moses was free of Egypt, he had to return to the land of his past to bring that same freedom to the children of God. He did not return as an Egyptian. He returned as a man of the One True God.
Jesus went where the people were. He enjoyed the company of rowdy fishermen. He sought out the prostitutes to tell them of God’s love and redemption. He could be found at wedding parties, in the marketplace. Jesus went where the people were – the people who needed to experience God’s grace.
You might say, Jesus hung out in Egypt land.
That’s what Moses did. He risked it all, out of sheer obedience, to set his brethren free from the chains of bondage. He returned to the land of Egypt, but this time he was not alone. This time he was anointed with the Spirit of Almighty God.
That’s what we must do. God does not call us to isolate ourselves from the world. We are to be salt and light. We are to take the fragrance of Christ into the stench of a sinful world.
We are to be IN the world, but not OF the world.
When Moses returned to Egypt he was girded with power and robes of righteousness. He was bathed in grace. He laid down his own life to set God’s people free.
Father, open our ears that we might hear You calling us to rescue Your people. Forgive us for being self-absorbed. Forgive us for being “high & mighty” and above the fray. Fill us with Your compassion and mercy. Help us see the unlovelies around us the way You see them – souls that need redemption. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You for Your love. Call to us from the burning bushes in our deserts, Lord, for we are listening. Use us, Lord. Mold us into vessels of honor for You.