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. When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, â€œWhy do you strike your companion?â€ He answered, â€œWho made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?â€ Then Moses was afraid, and thought, â€œSurely the thing is known.â€ When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well.
Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them, and watered their flock. When they came home to their father Reuel, he said, â€œHow is it that you have come home so soon today?â€ They said, â€œAn Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and even drew water for us and watered the flock.â€ He said to his daughters, â€œThen where is he? Why have you left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.â€ And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah. She gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, â€œI have been a sojourner in a foreign land.â€ [Exodus 2:11-22]
Moses had the best life imaginable in this world. He had all the privilege, prestige, and comfort of the royal household of the greatest nation on earth at the time. And he threw it all away in order to identify with slaves, to become a refugee. He chose alienation and exile over acceptance and luxury.
Moses, at some level, knew he was God's instrument of justice and deliverance (Acts 7:23-25). But he was rejected by those who were supposed to recognize and receive God's deliverer. He was rejected by his own people. And he was forced to flee the only home he had ever known because he took action as God's deliverer. He wandered the desert wilderness, a loner without a home. Even when things started to look up, and he got a family, he named his son something that sounded like "sojourner," because he was so strongly aware of the fact that he was "a sojourner in a foreign land." He knew he was without a home in the world.
Does that sound familiar? Jesus said about himself, "The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head" (Mt. 8:20; Lk. 9:58). Moses was a precursor to Christ as a Rejected Redeemer, a Deliverer without a home in this world.
Moses left the passing pleasures of the courts of Pharaoh.
Jesus left the eternal halls of heaven and entered the sufferings of his people, to deliver them from their oppression.
Moses was unsure of himself as God's deliverer.
Jesus knew clearly his path through this life, and walked it bravely.
Moses killed one man to deliver another.
Jesus sacrificed himself to save an innumerable host.
Moses tried to reconcile two Hebrews to each other.
Jesus has gathered multitudes from every tribe, tongue and nation in one body through his blood.
Moses was rejected by his people, the Hebrews.
Jesus was killed by them, as part of God's plan of salvation.
Moses fled from Pharaoh out of fear.
Jesus stood silently before Pilate.
Moses fought off men who attacked the defenseless.
Jesus defeated death and the devil on our behalf.
Moses helped water some sheep.
Jesus is the Living Water that his sheep need.
Moses married a foreigner.
Jesus unites himself to the unclean, making them clean.
Moses lived in exile to prepare him for his role as redeemer.
Jesus was separated from God so that we might be welcomed.
Jesus became the Supreme Sojourner so that we could have citizenship in heaven, a home in his Father's house. If you believe in Christ, the eternal joys of communion with God in heaven await you. How can the passing pleasures of this world compare? The Holy Spirit is your comforter. How can the shadowy reassurances of this world sustain you? Your home, though unseen, can never be lost. How can this world provide you with a better home than heaven?
Our home being in heaven, our work is in this world. We Christians, like Christ, are rejected redeemers in this place.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. [Psalm 84:5-6]
Those whose hearts are set on pilgrimage to the true home of the saints go through the howling wilderness of this world, and in their footsteps spring up redemption and renewal. The world is transformed by God's grace as his people dwell in it, living out their citizenship as foreigners. The otherworldliness of our words and actions draws attention. If you tell people that you live this strange life because you're a Christian, you'll likely receive raised eyebrows or frowns. You won't feel like you're at homeâ€¦ and you're not! The acceptance you would normally seek at home can only be truly found in heaven, in the heart of the One who has given his Son so that you might be well received in his kingdom.
By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaohâ€™s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. [Hebrews 11:24-26]
By faith we, like Moses, can decline the empty offers of this world. We can turn our hearts to heaven, where Jesus has made us forever welcome. And we can act out our citizenship so as to invade this broken world with the redemption that is from our home.