It is significant that God does not present us with salvation in the form of an abstract truth, precise definition or catchy slogan, but as story. Exodus draws us into a story with plot and characters, which is to say, with design and personal relationships. Story is an invitation to participate first through our imagination, and then, if we will, by faith – with our total lives in response to God. This Exodus story continues to be a major means by which God draws men and women who are in trouble out of the mess of history and into the kingdom of salvation.
The introduction to Exodus as found in Hebrews 11:23-28 (The Message):“By an act of faith, Moses' parents hid him away for three months after his birth. They saw the child's beauty, and they braved the king's decree. By faith, Moses, when grown, refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house. He chose a hard life with God's people rather than an opportunistic soft life of sin with the oppressors. He valued suffering in the Messiah's camp far greater than Egyptian wealth because he was looking ahead, anticipating the payoff. By an act of faith, he turned his heel on Egypt, indifferent to the king's blind rage. He had his eye on the One no eye can see, and kept right on going. By an act of faith, he kept the Passover Feast and sprinkled Passover blood on each house so that the destroyer of the firstborn wouldn't touch them.
How does our faith benefit others? The NIV text translates part of verse 23 this way: “...they saw he was no ordinary child.” By faith, Moses’ parents took the lead because they saw the extraordinary in their baby boy. By faith they concealed their extraordinary child until a more opportune time. By faith, they overcame their fear of death. Exodus 1:22 reads, “Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: ‘Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live’” (NIV).
The small picture saw certain death. The big picture saw “Moses = drawn out.” Faithlessness will only see the temporal, whereas faithfulness will see the eternal. As leaders, God is drawing us out of our despair and oppression to lead a people through the experience of desert shepherding.
Moses’ 40 years in Midian prepared him to lead an exodus of a nation from oppression to promise. What is God using in our ministry or leadership to prepare us to lead our people to promise? Those forty years honed raw talent fueled by passion into humble, dependent, and submissive leadership. Those forty years also stripped away the shadow of the temporal that blinded the vision of the eternal God: the I AM of the burning bush.
An eternal, miraculous God is prepared to confront us in our temporal private existence, far from the passion and pride of vision we began with, to reveal the empowerment of I Am. In the I Am, we find promised protection from death: “By an act of faith, he kept the Passover Feast and sprinkled Passover blood on each house so that the destroyer of the firstborn wouldn't touch them” (The Message).
By faith, as we trust God the I Am, will bring deliverance and freedom to those we lead.