The Past and the Future


We have left the book of Genesis and moved into the book of Shemot or Names. It is referred to as Exodus in most Bibles which comes from the Greek word meaning “going out.”


In just five chapters, nearly eighty plus years are covered. We pick up with information that Joseph and his brothers have all died. The new pharaoh did not know Joseph, but recognizes and fears the strength, wealth and power that the Hebrew people have gained. Having come to Egypt with just seventy, they now number in the hundreds of thousands and the land of Goshen prospers. Before they become too powerful, the new pharoah exerts his force and makes them his slaves.


Then we see the birth of Moses, a Levite. His father is Amram, the grandson of Levi and his mother is Jochebed, the daughter of Levi. They have three children mentioned, Miram, Aaron, and Moses.


The book of Exodus becomes their story, and that of the people G-d chose to carry His name, His law, His prophets, His covenants and His Messiah into the earth. The foundations are laid in the book of bereshit (beginnings, Genesis), but it is here that the structure begins to form and grow.


Moses arises as a miracle child, raised in Pharaoh's court and becoming wise. His training in the courts of Egypt will help him later in life, reminding us that G-d uses everything for His purposes, if only we allow ourselves to be used.

Moses does have a temper or as some would prefer, a passionate side. This side causes him to commit murder and then flee for his life as a fugitive.


Living out in the desert of Midian for forty years, he gets married, has children, becomes a shepherd and tries to forget his past. G-d does not. On the mountain, the angel of the L-rd appears and G-d speaks to Moses spoke to him out of a bush that burned without being consumed. These two miracles: an angel who is G-d speaking, and a bush that burns but remains, get Moses’ attention.


Moses becomes a spokesperson with a slow tongue. He needs his brother to help him be all he is supposed to be.


Questions to Consider:

  1. In what ways has your past affected your future?

  2. How has G-d used your past?

  3. How do others help you realize your calling?

  4. When you are rejected, how do you respond? How do you want to respond?

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