Jesse Tree: Day 9 Moses (Exodus 3:1-12)
Our approach throughout these reflections is to imagine as it were, the Holy Spirit leaning over our shoulder and pointing to the lives and events of the great Old Testament saints. And as He points, He is whispering: ‘See them - they are a bit like Jesus… see that - that’s a bit like what Jesus will do…’. The story of the Old Testament is not only one of the family tree of Jesus, nor of the providence that protects and ensures the continuity of that bloodline through the ages. It charts the history of Jesus Himself.
Today we come to the first of three days that centre on the life of Moses, who famously led the people of God out of slavery. But before he is the statesman, he is a shepherd tending the flock of his father-in-law in the midst of obscurity. And yet in a forgotten shepherd we find the hope of the world and of the Church (I Cor.1:27). He may not have appreciated it at the time, but Moses had spent a generation rehearsing the part he would play in the drama of God’s redemption (Ex.3:12). If ever there was someone you could think of as an understudy for Jesus, it would be Moses. Few have been brought deeper into an understanding of the experience of Jesus than this humble shepherd in the wilderness of Midian. I suppose we should expect that of someone who had spoken with the Lord face to face (Ex.33:11). Moses understood in deep measure how the mind of God works and what it would mean for Jesus to redeem a sinful world. Moses knew too that in this ancient rehearsal of redemption, he was playing the part of Jesus, and what that might necessitate. ‘…please forgive their sin - but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written’ (Ex.32:31-32).
As the Book of Exodus unfolds, we see just how profound is Moses’ grasp of the meaning of Christ’ death; and of its necessity if the Church is to be liberated. Is it any wonder that when Jesus wanted to speak to someone about His own Exodus, He chose Moses (Lk.9:30)? Luke is very clear about what Jesus, Moses and Elijah discussed, although English translations tend to obscure the point by telling us that ‘they spoke about His departure, which He was about to bring to fulfilment at Jerusalem’ (v.31). However, the word Luke uses is ‘…His exodus’. In fact, the whole scene of the Transfiguration is somewhat reminiscent of events of the Exodus, with all that lightning and glorious brilliance shining out from the top of a mountain! It must have brought back memories of Sinai for Moses, who of course had been engulfed in the glory of, and had heard the voice of, the Father before (Dt.4:11-12). Many Bible students delight to point out that in the events of Luke 9, Moses was finally granted his desire to stand in the Promised Land.
The Angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire within the bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up… (Ex.2:2-3)
Ideas for Family Devotions:
Make a paper chain to represent the slavery of the people of God. Each paper slip could have the word of a verse from the Bible (perhaps Rom.6:22).
Invite someone to one of the MIE Carol services, so that they can hear about Jesus, and the freedom He brings… don’t forget to pray for them!
Is there anyone you could ask to fill out a ‘Who Cares?’ card? Have a look at Ex.3:7. What could you tell someone about a God who cares?
With older children, you might want to explore whether they think God does care? And if so, why doesn’t He do what He did for Israel more often?