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. Exodus 2:11-12 ESV
At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, and when he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds.
When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel. And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand. Acts 7:20-25 ESV
By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’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 ESV
In the earlier days of American history, there were wars between white people and Indian people. Sometimes Indians raided the white people’s settlements. When they did that, they at times took people as captives back to their own tribe. White people were adopted into the tribe and treated well. They often learned to live the Indian way and didn’t want to go back. They were happy. But there was a German girl named Regina who had settled with her family in Pennsylvania. When Indians took her captive she learned to live with them and to speak their language. But she never forgot her family or where she had come from. She remembered some of the German language and the Bible verses and hymns her parents had taught her. After the French and Indian War, she was returned to the white people, but nine years had gone by. Her mother came to look for her, but they didn’t recognize each other until her mother started to sing a German hymn. Then Regina remembered her mother, and they could be together again.
Moses was like that. He had grown up privileged and powerful in the palace of Pharaoh as an adopted son of the princess. But he never forgot where he had come from. He knew he was one of the people of Israel, and he also knew that their slavery and sorrows were his own. He chose to take their concerns on himself. This was a dangerous thing to do, because it would bring to an end all the advantages he had. But Moses knew who he was, and he was ready to suffer as one of God’s people. God was going to call on him to save his people from slavery, but that time hadn’t come yet. He was going to have to wait.
We also live in a world that doesn’t know or understand what it means to belong to God. Being one of God’s children makes us different from others. Sometimes being different causes us to suffer. Maybe we just get teased, or people get angry with us. Some Christians have to suffer terribly for their faith. We can’t stand firm as one of God’s people by ourselves. Other Christians help us. That’s why our church is so important; it gives us other Christians to help us stay strong. Christian families help us stay strong too, just as Regina’s family taught her about her faith. But most important, God is with us. He sent Jesus to die for us so our sins could be forgiven. Jesus’ love and forgiveness is what really keeps us strong. We can always remember: we belong to Jesus!
Dear Jesus, thank you for dying for us to make us your own. Please keep us close to you always. Amen.