Thursday, 15 September 2016

Exodus 2:1-10 - Names and beginnings

The way children are treated in their early childhood can have a powerful impact on them for good or bad, sometimes for the rest of their lives. Names are important too, especially if there is a clear meaning attached. A strong name can inform and influence a person's identity as they grow up. It can hold them back or it can be a reminder to them of who they are and what they're called to.  Moses' messed up childhood and the name he was given are an insight for us into how God was preparing him for all that was to come...

Exodus 2:1-10

Many Christians would agree that Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Bible, mostly because of verses like Exodus 24:4, Deuteronomy 31:24, Joshua 23:6 and John 5:46, and many others which refer to the written work of Moses.

If that's the case, we should imagine Moses as a grown man writing these words about the beginning of his life. They would have been supernaturally revealed to him by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21), probably through his mum and sister's stories of it to him in his first few years or perhaps as brand new information.  Either way, the knowledge of how he began life would have been a powerful reminder to Moses of who he was and what he was called to do by God: lead the Israelite slaves out of Egypt.

Moses name, given to him by his Egyptian mother, sounds like the Hebrew for "Drawn out".  It was a reminder of how he was 'drawn out' of the Nile as a baby but also a sign of all that God was going to do through him to 'draw his people out' of slavery in Egypt.  Moses' name is rich with meaning and significance and he must have had a growing awareness of this as he grew older and realised more of what God was calling him to do.  It's certainly easy for us to see it with the benefit of hindsight and I fully expect that Moses reflected on it with gratitude as he wrote this section.

What does your name mean or what does it mean to you?  What do you think God might want to say about your name and who he has made you to be for him?

In what ways can you see that God is beautifully redeeming the mess in your own life as you reflect back?  What can you praise him for?  What can you trust him for?