At the end of Genesis Jacob is told by his son Joseph that the Egyptians hated shepherds. The rugged Mike Row Dirty Jobs element of being a Shepherd caused them to be ostracized by the sophisticated Egyptian society. He suggested that the Egyptians would let Jacob and his family have a specific piece of land based on the fact that it was out of sight out of mind. If there were railroad tracks this place would have been on the wrong side of them. Jacob was heading to a land where they would be marginalized, oppressed and enslaved.
400 Years later Moses is on the scene. He has been raised in the house of Pharaoh where he was educated in the most advanced and complex culture that existed at that time. He was rich, he was a military hero, he was royalty. He spent the first 40 years of his life learning from the finest education that Egypt had to offer. He spent the first 40 years of his life becoming somebody.
Imagine his surprise when find out that he would be spending the next 40 years of his life as a Shepherd; the very folks His culture would have showed him to look down upon. He went from living as the son of the President to being on Egypt’s “most wanted” list. He would spend the next 40 years of his life learning from sheep and goats. He would spend the next 40 years of his life becoming nobody.
In chapter 1 of Exodus we saw God speaking to the midwives. Midwives were in that situation because they themselves were barren. They were in good company along with their relatives Sarah and Rachel and many other heroines of the Bible. Without the benefit of foresight, I’m sure to them it just plain sucked.
Not being able to bear children in their culture was looked down upon. They were marginalized as folks who were cursed. It would have been a lonely life knowing that people thought you were less than them, that some secret or public sin had brought this disgrace upon you. They would have wanted children so badly but instead spent their days assisting women live out the dreams they had for themselves. Every child born in their arms to only be handed off to the mother was one more reminder of what they thought they would never have.
It’s interesting to note that the midwives are mentioned by name in Exodus and the Pharaoh (the most powerful man on earth at the time) has no mention of his name. God’s economy truly is different than ours.
I don’t know about you but I spent my childhood in those shoes. I was not even close to being the popular kid in school. My family didn’t have money and certainly didn’t have any social standing in the community. I got beat up, spit on, picked on and enthusiastically picked last in gym class. (Actually, I got picked second to last. Lori Person got chosen last. She had germs)
God has a soft spot for the oppressed, the marginalized the down trodden for the fat kid in gym class. Jesus entered the world in those clothes Himself. If you feel that way or have felt that way you’re in such a good spot. God loves to qualify the unqualified and the unlovely. If you feel misunderstood, overlooked, under appreciated or beaten down tonight would be a great time to join us at Conduit. God has a Word for you from Exodus 2.
We had another $720 come in for Conduit this week from our friends at Rock House Church in Catoosa, OK. I spoke there yesterday morning and they surprised me with an offering to assist us with the cause. With the $4,000 that came in the past couple of weeks are absolutely making a difference to our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
If you haven’t had a chance to donate recently please pray about it. Remember that only $15 feeds a child for a month. You can go to http://www.conduitmission.org and click on the donate now button. We’re focusing all of our energies right now on feeding the children in Haiti and on our friends at Place of Hope in Columbia, TN. Over $40,000 has flown through the Conduit so far. The river of resources and hope is flowing.
See you tonight at 7:30pm at Journey in Building 8 at the Factory.