This week, we've gone on to the readings in the book of Exodus. I hope Genesis has been a good read for you, many different stories to give us the answers to some of the fundamental questions. How did we get here? Why do we disagree? How is God a part of our lives?
This week, enjoy reading in Exodus. It focuses on one story, the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. But there is a fundamental story in the beginning. In Exodus 3, Moses meets God in the burning bush. God calls Moses to speak prophetically to The Pharaoh, "Let My People Go!" However, what is Moses' response to God? "Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people out of Egypt?"
In Exodus chapters 1 and 2 we learn about Moses. Moses is an Israelite baby, given up to be saved. He is an orphan, but raised as a royal in the courts of Pharaoh. Moses has a split identity as an Israelite and Egyptian, and in an effort to reclaim his identity with the Israelites he gets in the middle of a fight. He ends up murdering a fellow Israelite and losing respect among his own people. After almost being killed by Pharaoh, Moses lives in Midian, running away from his past. Here, he gets married and tries to live a normal life.
Maybe it's because Kassie and I just finished watching the TV show Mad Men, but Don Draper's life seems to mirror the life of Moses. He has a past, has a fear of his past, and he tries to hide it at every turn. But Don can't do a full erase of his past. Inside, Don is tortured by all he was, all he has done, and his actions seem to be an effort to numb the pain that comes with denying who he is.
Moses, also a man running away from his past, comes face to face with God and denies God's statements. That's not me, that's not who I am. Yet, God's grace is so huge that it doesn't dwell on the past sins. It acknowledges the past, owning up to the hurt that's been caused, but not letting that stop Moses from living out God's call for him.
I don't know what the burning bush looked like, or what the holy ground could have felt like. But when I imagined it, I thought it might look like Don Draper in the final scene of Mad Men. (Mad Men watchers: No specific spoilers here, but be aware I'm talking about Don's fate) He found peace, he found forgiveness, and he found grace. And when the smile crossed Don's face, we knew he was finally at peace. After Moses argued with God, and after God kept arguing back, insisting that Moses was the one called, Moses had to feel some kind of peace. Moses had to feel like his past was finally not his barrier.
I hope as you read the Israelites' story in Exodus - Deuteronomy, you'll find the underlying themes of forgiveness, of trust, and of God's grace. Happy reading
Questions for discussion:
What ways have you experienced God's peace?
The action of Exodus through Numbers centers around the stay at Sinai. What changes for the Israelites once they arrive at Sinai? How was life different for them once they entered the wilderness? How would you react if you were in the company of traveling Israelites?
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