February 3 I Sunday

Exodus 31-33

Matthew 22:1-22

“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God…” —Hebrews 11:24-25


Moses was born in treacherous times. Pharaoh had given the order that every male child born to a Hebrew woman was to be thrown into the Nile River. Jochebed, the mother of Moses, placed her infant son in a papyrus basket and hid him among the reeds along the banks of the Nile. He was found by the daughter of Pharaoh and raised in the safest place on earth for a Hebrew slave…in the palace of Pharaoh! Later, he was told of his true heritage, and at 40 years of age, believing God had chosen him to free his people, Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating a slave. When Pharaoh heard of this, Moses was forced to flee for his life, and he spent the next 40 years in the backside of the Midian desert, herding sheep.

Though Moses had mountains of privileges growing up in the palace of Pharaoh, he also had mountains of problems. He was born into an oppressed and abused people, separated from his birth family and lost to his true identity. Like a man without a past, he drifted into the remotest part of the desert, shunned by both worlds.

There are many people today who would prefer to have been born into a different family or under different circumstances with different opportunities, but we do not have the entire picture. When we are used by God, the process by which He prepares and equips us may not always be pleasant. Our temptation is to run to God and ask Him to take away every fear and pain. Moses was chosen to lead an entire nation for 40 years through a desert. Just as God prepared him for that monumental task, He prepares us, often by taking us through dark tunnels of life.

As hard as it might be for some of us, we need to embrace our past. The writer of the book of Hebrews says of Moses, “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27). When we see Him who is invisible, the things that are visible cease to impress. Living by faith, we enter our future completely dependent upon God. Only someone who knows what it is to be saved can lead others to being saved, and only those who have lived in darkness can enter darkness without fear. God does through us what He first does in us. Were we to view our lives backwards, again and again, we would see that it is in our tears that God is preparing us.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, many of us have had a very troubled past, but I thank You that by faith in You, our pasts are used to strengthen and prepare us for Your work.

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