By Lauren M.
A group of girls I know participated in an activity a few months ago. They were asked to pretend that the president of the country was kidnapped and that they were given the responsibility of hiring skilled individuals to form a rescue team to save the president (Note: the president didn’t really get kidnapped, okay? Just making it clear because one of the girls from the group actually believed that the scenario was real:p).
The girls made a list of qualifications and requirements for possible candidates. They wanted the potential members of the rescue team to have an impressive educational background, exceptional intelligence and physical strength, and solid, relevant work experience. That’s not really so surprising, is it? After all, when you are hiring someone for a job, shouldn’t you look for the best?
But then again, what seems to be the best is not always the best (Exodus 2-4).
Moses’ background seemed like the best preparation for him to become Israel’s deliverer. After all, he was the prince of Egypt (Ex. 2:10). Where else could he get better training than in the courts of Pharaoh? It was probably the closest equivalent of Harvard or Yale in ancient Egypt.
Moses’ weapon seemed like the best tool that he could use to deliver Israel from their enemies. The sword was a symbol of power and strength. And it was not merely a symbol – it could actually hurt or even kill people, which Moses ended up doing (Ex. 2:11-12).
Moses’ escape seemed like the best way for him to survive after he murdered the Egyptian (Ex. 2:15-21). Sometimes, running away seems like the easiest thing to do when one fails. Or when one messes up big time.
Yet surprisingly, what seems to be opposite of the best may actually be the best.
To modern people like us, an hour of waiting in heavy traffic is considered as wasted time. How much more 40 years spent in the dusty desert raising cute but dumb sheep? Yet Moses’ desert experience was actually the best preparation he could have to become God’s partner in delivering Israel (Ex. 3:1-12).
Compared to a sword, a staff is just… a stick. Useful in some ways, but nowhere near as powerful. Yet Moses’ staff was actually the best tool he could use to serve God and Israel (Ex. 4:1-8). The powerless staff was used by a powerful God to show miracles to God’s people and God’s enemies, including the mighty Pharaoh.
But Moses was already comfortable with his boring but pleasant existence. Couldn’t God just have allowed him to stay in the peaceful desert with his sheep and his family? Wasn’t he already a confirmed failure? Wasn’t he already an old man who deserved rest and quiet? Yet Moses’ return was actually the best way for Moses and and the entire nation of Israel to survive by God’s grace (Ex. 4:29-31).
Moses, the ex-convict, desert dweller and shepherd, and not Moses the prince, was actually the best person God could use to deliver Israel. God chose this Moses to lead Israel out of the land of their oppressors and on the road to the Promised Land.
There are many things that may seem like the best. Yet God has a funny way of turning things upside-down. He knows what’s really best. And spending time with Him can change the way we see what’s best and what’s not.
“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’ He said, ‘But I will be with you…’” (Exodus 3:11-12, ESV)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)