Sinai Covenant: The Call of Moses
One day, Moses was looking after or tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law. Jethro was a priest of Midian. When Moses came to mount Horeb, the mountain of God, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that although the bush was on fire, it was not burning.
Moses went over to the burning bush to look. God called him out within the bush… “Moses! Moses!” He replied, “Here I am”. God then told Moses not to come closer and to take off his sandals for the place where he was standing was a holy ground. God introduced himself as the God of his father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. God then said he had seen the misery and sufferings of the Israelites in Egypt. He had heard their cry.
God had come down to rescue Israelites from the hand of Egyptians. God was to take them to their home, the land of the Canaanites, a land flowing with milk and honey. God told Moses that He was sending him to go to Pharaoh and bring out the Israelites, the people of God, from Egypt.
Moses resisted the call. He asked God “Who am I, that is should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” God promised to be with him. God said to Moses… Say to the Israelites… the Lord. The God of their fathers, God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob has sent me to you. Moses was told to assemble the elders of Israel and inform them that God was going to deliver them from Egypt. Moses was then to go to the king of Egypt with the elders. He was to tell the king “the Lord, the God of the Hebrews has met with us.
(Exodus 3:1 – 22) God’s sign to Moses
Moses was given several signs by God In case the people of Israel did not believe in him.
- a) First sign was his staff turning into a snake when he threw it down. When he touched the snake’s tail it turned into his staff.
- b) Second sign was God asked Moses to put his hand inside his cloak and it was as white as a snow – leprous.
He was asked to put it back into his cloak and it was restored.
- c) Moses further complained that he was a stammerer. God then appointed Aaron, his brother, as his spokesman.
Reasons Moses gave against the call
- He felt unworthy of the call.
- He wondered who he was to tell the Israelites that God had sent him.
- Moses said that he was a stammerer so he let God choose a spokesperson.
Moses however heeded to the call and went back to Egypt together with his family. God promised to be with him and perform signs before Pharaoh.
What does the name Moses mean?
It means drawn out of water.
What did Moses learn about God from his Calling?
Moses learnt that:
- God is caring, merciful and concerned about the welfare of his people – Israelites.
- God is transcendent – he is beyond human understanding. He cannot be limited to time and space.
- God chooses whomever he wills to carry out his plans.
He chose Abraham an old man, a moon worshipper and now Moses, a murderer, a fugitive and a stammerer.
- God expects total obedience and faith from those that He chooses.
- God is powerful, eternal and omnipresent.
- God is holy.
- God is a God of history, which means He is concerned with His people’s welfare.
- God is mysterious – He manifested Himself in the burning bush that was not being consumed.
How did God prepare Moses to be the future leader of Israelites?
- His life was spared when he was rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter
- He was nursed by his own mother who taught him about Yahweh and his own true identity
- Life in the wilderness hardened him to be bold and to persevere hardships
- He learnt to be patient, keen, and responsible as a shepherd
- He acquired leadership skills while living at pharaoh’s palace
- He learnt literacy and numeracy skills (Educational skills) at the palace.
- He was not a stranger to Pharaoh hence he could approach him freely.
African Moral Values Introduction
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