Bible Readings for February 19th
The early life of Moses includes both high drama during his first forty years and then quiet obscurity for the next forty. He escapes being executed as a male Hebrew infant through a basket (literally, an “ark,” the same word that is used for the ark that had rescued Noah) floating in the Nile River. When Pharaoh’s daughter discovers him, she adopts him and pays Moses’s mother to nurse him (Ex. 2:6–10).
But we also aren’t given an idealized, sanitized version of Moses’s story. When Moses is older, he murders an Egyptian to protect an Israelite and then spends forty years of his life, from age 40 (Acts 7:23) to age 80 (Ex. 7:7), as a simple shepherd with a family in Midian.
Despite the fact that Moses distanced himself from the suffering of Israel for decades while they were groaning under the burden of their slavery, here’s the important thing to remember: “God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew” (Ex. 2:24–25).
The reason for Moses’s unconventional rise to leadership, then, is simple: God was raising Moses up to rescue his people out of Egypt by leading them as a shepherd. God had heard their groaning, he remembered his covenant, he saw his people, and God knew. And well in advance of actually calling Moses to be the shepherd of Israel, God had been preparing Moses for precisely this role—to know something of how to approach Pharaoh through childhood familiarity with Pharaoh’s courts, to gain experience defending the people of Israel against their Egyptian oppressors, and to learn how to lead the flock of Israel in the wilderness after leaving Egypt through time spent shepherding actual sheep.
God works in our lives in the same way, even if he doesn’t ever call us to be great leaders. God takes the seemingly disconnected threads of our stories and weaves them together into a tapestry for his overarching purposes in the world, and he does so in ways that we do not understand—in fact, that we cannot understand—this side of glory. Make no mistake, however: God is causing everything to work together for good for those who love him and who are called according to his purposes (Rom. 8:28).
And if our God can redeem the broken life of Moses to stage an extraordinary redemption out of Egypt—and especially if he can redeem the brutal execution of Jesus Christ on the cross to stage our redemption—then God can use even your life and mine to further his purposes in this world. Even when our lives are quiet and seemingly insignificant, God is at work.
Your life is not a mistake. If you are in Christ, then you are a strategic piece of God’s mission in this world.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.