Wandering: book of Exodus / Exodus 1–2
Introduction to Series
Instead of looking for what we need to do, we need to look to who has come to us
We often try to look anywhere we can for a meaningful life
• IN ch 2 of Exodus Moses is seeking without finding an identity. By the time we get to near the end of ch 2 moses refers to himself as a sojourner, someone who really doesn’t have a home.
• At this point Moses is wandering. He is trying to figure out who he is with little success.
Moses doesn’t really know what to do
• Augustine said in his book confessions, “I have become a question to myself.”
Exodus 2:11–12 ESV
One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
Exodus 2:13–14 ESV
When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?” He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.”
Acts 7:23–28 ESV
“When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel. And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand. And on the following day he appeared to them as they were quarreling and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers. Why do you wrong each other?’ But the man who was wronging his neighbor thrust him aside, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’
• No matter what Moses does it does not work, does not fit the situation
• Albert Camus calls this the absurd. The moment we find that the golden helmet is really brass.
Moses is displaced
• Moses is displaced. He has tried to help but comes up wanting every time. He has tried to be a part of something but cannot get the right fit.
• Look at what happens when he goes to Midian and helps the priests daughters but even they leave him behind
Exodus 2:20 ESV
He said to his daughters, “Then where is he? Why have you left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.”
Exodus 2:22 ESV
She gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”
• Moses calls himself a sojourner, a temporary dweller or a newcomer. He has no inherited rights.
• These scenes play out in our lives all the time. We work and try and attempt to fix or create or develop and we end up coming up wanting.
it’s not that Moses doesn’t know what to do it’s that he doesn’t know who he belongs to. He doesn’t really know who He is
• Moses cannot seem to find his way no matter the group he is with.
Being displaced is not bad It means we get to wrestle with Augustine’s statement, “I have become a question to myself.”
the place of displacement
• The encouragement is that as Christians we are supposed to be displaced, we live in that gap all the time.
• But we have to ask the question, in what way are we called to be displaced?
• It’s not that we don’t fit into the worlds structures and systems but rather we do fit into Gods systems and structures and that way of life is peculiar to the world?
We look to the God who is looking at us
Exodus 2:23–25 ESV
During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.
• This is an interesting caveat in the book. It seems out of place and yet there is no real book of Exodus without it. We get a sense of God’s plan, His heart and posture.
• God responds to His people because of their need and His covenant. By His own life He would hold up to His end.
When everything feels displaced
• God is working to create order. And order cannot be normalized when people are enslaved. Enslavement is always chaotic.
• We are often in this space of seeing the problem, seeing the chaos, and not knowing what to do to solve it.
• But first, as the church we have to ask, do we know whose we are?
• that we may feel displaced but are actually home in Christ.
• we are called to be peculiar in the world. But peculiar in a specific way. We are called to not really fit the patterns of the world. But to be able to fit in Christ
• When we look to God He becomes our source for wisdom and action
• When we look to God we see that He gathers His people in family.
• In God we have the source for our solution
• In God we have the home for our displacement