Just when I thought I was done exhausting everything concerning Moses in relation to looking beyond one’s flaws, until i found another interesting scenario.
While Moses was tending to his father in-law’s flock, God spoke to him through a burning bush in Exodus 3:7 and said; “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
Interesting conversation between God and Moses. Isn’t it? I found this conversation interesting because here is Moses minding his own shepherd business and then God comes saying he has seen the harsh treatments meted out to His people and has heard their cry. He then goes on to say their situation is of concern to Him (God) and as a result, he has come to rescue them from their suffering by sending Moses as a vessel to the oppressor (Pharaoh) to liberate them. Moses then asks God who is he to go to pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? God then ignores him and says He would be with him.
I thought by now, Moses would have felt what God was feeling because here is God saying His people of which Moses is affiliated to are suffering, which is of concern to Him and he has heard their cry. Surprisingly, it didn’t seem like Moses was moved by the plight of his own people even after God gave him a gist of what they were going through. The next thing he did was to look at his status first and then ask God who is he (Moses) to be sent to Pharaoh to rescue the Israelites. What boggled my mind is, why God didn’t say to Moses “I have indeed seen the misery of your people” but rather used the personal pronoun “my” because Moses has an affiliation with these people. I then remembered that, when something is yours, you’re aware of whatever happens to it and you care for it. Is it right to say Moses didn’t care about his own people?
One would have thought, based on the vivid description God gave Moses about the plight of the Israelites, Moses would have embarked on his mission with alacrity considering the enormity of the situation. Interestingly, he was more concerned about risking his life so he cunningly and intentionally disqualified himself by asking God who he was to warrant being used to save the Israelites. God knew he was scared of taking that risk so He ignored Moses’s mischievous question and assuaged his fear by saying He’d be with him.
After, being given enough assurance by God, it got to a point where Moses told God to send someone else.
This attitude of Moses has become the order of the day in recent times. Risking one’s life to liberate a fellow human from oppression is rare. We prioritize our needs and life over the plight of others. Ironically, Moses grew up seeing the suffering of the Israelites while he was in Pharaoh’s palace in Egypt. At a point in time, he even killed an Egyptian when he saw the Egyptian beating a Jew, his own people. His ordeal was later found out by Pharaoh and he fled to Midian for fear of being killed.
Unfortunately, most of us are just like Moses. We sympathize with our friends and loved ones when we find ourselves in the same situation but forget them when our situation changes. As at the time God was explaining the plight of the Israelites to Moses and about sending him, he was staying with his father-in-law who was the priest of Median. He had a wife, a child and was tending to the flocks of his father In-law. This means Moses was living a comfortable life while his people whom he once cared for through one act of vengeance were suffering. His state of comfort made him forget the suffering of his people.
We desert people to languish in their own misery when our conditions change. We are unable to relate to the pain people around us experience because, our view about life changes. We are so concerned about living a comfortable life to the extent that, we forget that the people we once struggled with exist. They cry out to God day and night in prayer just like the Israelites for someone to rescue them. God sees, their suffering, hears their cry and even comes down but unfortunately, there’s no one available for God to use. I believe Moses was so impervious to the promptings of God to the extent that, God had to use a burning bush to get his attention.
I believe day in day out, God continues to burn bushes to get our attention in order to liberate an oppressed and crying soul we’re related to but since we’re so busy with our personal lives, we fail to take notice.
That burning bush can be that dream you had about your friend. That burning bush can be the time you felt like checking up on a relative but it escaped you.
As Eastwood Anaba would say; “Human life is the most important thing to God on this earth, so whatever you do, consider human”.
You might be fortunate to find yourself in Midian but always remember, there is someone you’re affiliated to, who is still in Egypt crying for liberation. Go rescue them.