Moses Answers the Call (taken from Exodus 2-3)
Moses rolled his mat and stuffed it in his bag along with the rest of his belongings. The aroma of roasted grain filled the air, drawing him to a fire centered in their camp where Zipporah, his wife sat preparing his morning meal. Her sisters chattered beside her, one grinding grain, another pressing olives, still another weaving strong goat-hair thread into torn and thread-bare tent panels.
Footsteps sounded behind him and he turned to see Jethro, his father-in-law, approaching. His stiff smile only deepened the sadness in his chestnut eyes. “So you have made up your mind? There is nothing I can say to sway you?”
Moses sighed and gripped his bag tighter. How he longed to heed Jethro’s words of warning, but God left no room for doubt. “I must do as God commands.”
“And if the Egyptians kill you?” His gaze drifted toward his daughters gathered a few paces away before returning to Moses.
Moses straightened and lifted his chin. “They won’t. I told you of the signs God showed me. The flaming bush that never burned up. My staff which turned to a snake. My hand leprous and as white as the clouds drifting above us, made healthy by a mere dipping it into my cloak.”
“But why now? After they’ve been enslaved for so very long?”
Moses shook his head. “He did not tell me why, and I cannot worry about that which I do not understand. I must act upon what I know.”
“And what is that?”
Moses lifted his gaze toward the distant hills, a gentle breeze stirring through his thick, gray hair. “I know God has heard the cries of his people and has deemed it time to act. I know He will be their mighty deliverer. I know Aaron, my brother whom I thought I would never see again, is on his way to meet me even now.” He inhaled, then exhaled slowly, hoping to quiet the churning in his stomach. “I know it will not be easy—that the Pharaoh’s heart will grow hard again and again and I fear that my people, the people I come to help, will hate me.”
“Yet still you go.”
Moses nodded. “Yet still I go, for now that I have experienced God’s presence for myself, now that I have heard His voice, I cannot walk away. His presence is better than life itself.”
Jethro regarded Moses with a furrowed brow. But then he sighed and threw up his hands. “Then go. Do what you must.”
Soft footsteps approached and Moses glanced up to see Zipporah, his beautiful wife, approach with a bundle of cloth. Her long, dark hair stirred in the breeze. The laughter had left her normally sparkling eyes, her soft smile gone. “Better than life with me, my lord?” Unshed tears glistened in her eyes.
Moses held her gaze, the very breath stolen from him. A tear slid down her cheek and he brushed it away. “Do not cry, my beautiful wife. I will return. Once Pharaoh lets the people go, and we begin our journey. I will send for you. I will bring you with me to the Promised Land.”
Zipporah dipped her head, and Moses knew the emotions that warred inside her, because they raged in him as well. Two days ago, God was nothing more than a story told to him as a child. And now, he risked everything to follow. The very thought turned his stomach, but below the fear simmered something more—hope.
He cupped Zipporah’s chin and lifted her face until her eyes met his. “At night, when you lie upon your mat, gazing at the stars, think of the Promised Land I spoke of. It is a place of plenty, of peace, filled with fragrant flowers growing upon the meadows. A land flowing with milk and honey.”
Zipporah smiled. “I knew God had plans for you. All these years as you’ve served my father so faithfully, tending his sheep night after night, I knew you were destined for more, my prince of Egypt.”
Moses chuckled. “Prince of Egypt indeed. Such a title is no longer important to me, my sweet Zipporah. Now I wish more than anything to be a servant of the living God.”
“And so you will be. Go with the strength God provides, and may He protect your every step.”
Luke 9:23 Then He (Jesus) said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (NIV)
When we read the biblical accounts, often we fail to realize these were real people with real struggles. They felt the same emotions you and I face. Although I’ve “fleshed out” the story provided in Exodus, adding details as I see they may have happened, I imagine leaving his wife, father-in-law and the predictable life he knew in Midian to confront the powerful, slave-driving Pharaoh wasn’t easy. Obedience rarely is. But I believe Moses’ obedience was motivated by two things: his love for God and his hope in something better–the Promised Land.
Similarly, as Christians our obedience is motivated by two things: our love for God who, while we were still sinners, died for us; and our hope in something better–Heaven, the eternal Promised Land. For we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen, our glorious Savior and His promise of eternity.
Jennifer Slattery lives in the Midwest with her husband of sixteen years and their fourteen year old daughter. She writes for Christ to the World Ministries, Internet Café Devotions, Jewels of Encouragement, and the Christian Pulse and maintains a devotional blog at http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com