EXODUS 2:11-3:22 | MATTHEW 17:10-27 | PSALM 22:1-18 | PROVERBS 5:7-14
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Moses’ story begins, only it is narrated in a fast-forward manner, and in a half-chapter we learn that Moses becomes a young man, is aware that his own people are the Hebrews, kills an Egyptian in order to protect a Hebrew slave, runs away when he learns that Pharaoh is out to kill him, meets a young woman in another town, marries her, settles down, and has a son by her and names him Gershom, meaning, I have become an alien in a foreign land.
I wonder what became of Moses’ own family — his mother and sister who saved him from sure death and had made the elaborate plan to have him found by Pharaoh’s daughter. I wonder what became of the Princess herself. Did Moses wonder about them? Did he feel a connection with one more than the other? He must have certainly been conflicted about his own identity: was he Hebrew or Egyptian? He must have felt an allegiance to both, and yet, he knew he had to choose one over the other.
Moses’ calling and commission by God is quite an interesting one. If the image of God’s presence in the burning bush is in itself an awe-inspiring one, the fact that Moses is in a talkative and argumentative mood with God is even more fascinating to me! Twice he offers up reasons and excuses for not being capable of being a leader for the Israelites as God commands. And I believe more excuses may follow soon.
It is to be seen how Moses will take up this charge, and how this will transform his life and that of the history of the people of Israel.
Turning next to Matthew, we continue to see Jesus’ ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing. He casts out an evil spirit in a young boy, and when his own disciples ask as to why they were not able to do the same, he says to them: “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.“
Would that we might also have faith as small as a mustard seed!
On another note, Jesus exhorts his disciples to conform to the laws of the land in paying up one’s taxes. Only, being the godman that he was, the tax money was easily procured courtesy of a fish in the sea of Galilee! I can’t help but wonder about how that image of catching the fish and plucking out the gold coin from within it would possibly have been a lasting image for Peter, especially each year during tax-time!
Next, David’s Psalm for the day is one that is a loud and resonating foreshadowing of the horrific story of Jesus’ physical agonies en route to his crucifixion. Several centuries earlier, David was experiencing the same things in his own life, only he was prophesying of the reception that the Messiah would receive. David cries out:
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.
Finally, in the proverbs for the day, Solomon continues in his admonitions to embrace wisdom and instruction. He says:
7 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
do not turn aside from what I say.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.