Moses Learns He Is an Alien

Scripture Reading — Exodus 2:21-25

Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.” — Exodus 2:22

When you travel far from home, you learn lots of things. The things you miss teach you what is important to you. Unfamiliar experiences teach you that your familiar way of life isn’t the only way to live. Your anxiety in new settings teaches you how flexible—or not—you really are. The joy of hearing your native tongue spoken by a stranger in a foreign land teaches you the beauty of things you once took for granted.

In our reading for today we see Moses living in a foreign land, learning some important things. Back in Egypt he had made terrible mistakes, and he had to run for his life—far away to the land of Midian. Could Moses consider himself an Egyptian anymore? Could he even consider himself a Hebrew? He figured that the best way to identify himself now was as “a foreigner in a foreign land.”

What was Moses learning? The same thing that all of us learn when our lives are turned upside down: we are not in control. The illusion of the self-managed life is just that—an illusion.

God alone is forever. He alone is faithful. Only God is constant. In forty years, when Moses would be sent back to Egypt, he would need to remember what he was learning here in Midian.

Prayer

Father, when life seems stable, help us to loosen our grip on the things that won’t last. When life is chaotic, help us remember that you are always our solid rock. Amen.