Connecting to the Larger Story
Jacob had twelve sons but loved Joseph most of all. This caused jealousy among his brothers who sold him into slavery in Egypt. Through God's work, Joseph rose to be a chief aid of the pharaoh and was able to save his family when famine hit the world. With Jacob and his sons settling in Egypt, they became powerful and grew in number. After many generations, a new pharaoh arose who was threatened by the Israelites and enslaved them. As the people kept growing, the pharaoh ordered all the male children born to them be killed by throwing them in the Nile. One woman saved her child, Moses, by having him placed in a basket on the river where he was found by a member of Pharaoh's family. Moses was raised in pharaoh's home but later fled after murdering a man who oppressed his people. Moses went to the wilderness where he married and became a shepherd in his wife's family.
Important to Note
1) When God calls Moses to help deliver the people of Israel, Moses is reluctant, coming up with excuse after excuse to not follow. For one, he asks who is sending him; he doesn't even know God's name. God responds with the divine name Yahweh (Jehovah), meaning something along the lines of "I am who I am." This name was considered so powerful and holy that it was not to be spoken. Instead, the word for Lord (adonai) was spoken. For that reason, this name is often rendered in our translations as LORD (with small caps for the last three letters).
2) Moses also contends that he is not able to fulfill God's call because he is not eloquent to speak on God's behalf. God provides that Moses' brother Aaron may act as a mouthpiece for the message God will give Moses.
Thoughts for Reflection
1) Why do you think Moses hesitates when God calls him to help deliver his own people?
2) How does God overcome our own hesitance to answer God's call in our lives?