Throughout Exodus and ending in Deutoronomy, the tale of Moses is told. Moses faces adversity from the start, beginning with his birth. His life takes many turns, all are for the better, but also very surprising.
Moses’s story begins when he is born to a Hebrew woman. Previous to his arrival, the Pharoah had commanded that all sons born to Hebrews be “cast into the Nile.” This is done to prevent the Hebrew slaves from becoming too powerful and possibly joining the enemies of the Egyptians. Moses is spared though and a midwife places him in a basket in the reeds along the Nile. Amazingly, the Pharoah’s daughter finds him and takes him in as her adoptive son. This luck of his is very surprising to me. He is born to a lowly Hebrew yet gets to live and grow in the house of the Pharoah.
As the story progresses, it is learned that Moses kills an Egyptian, who is beating a Hebrew. Then he flees, fearing the Pharoah’s wrath. Consequently, he finds himself in the land of Midian. One day he tends to “the flock of his father-in-law,” on Mount Sinai, when suddenly God speaks to him in the burning bush. This seems so incredible. Of all Hebrews, Moses, the man who killed another man, is chosen by God to be the catalyst in the great upcoming movement. Then Moses makes it clear to God that he is incapable to speak to such a man as the Pharoah. He says to God that he is “slow of speech and of tongue.” Then miraculously, God suggests that Moses s brother, Aaron, speak in the eloquent fashion needed when speaking the Pharoah. God informs Moses that Aaron is already on his way. Moses never questions anything that God says such as, why is Aaron already on his way? Not only is this surprising , but one might think that the chosen messiah would be a strong and confident man, all of which Moses, thus far, is not. Moses actually asks God to choose someone else. So far, Moses seems like a very unlikely candidate for the job.
Later in his story, Moses comes full circle. With God s help, he successfully leads the people of Israel out of Egypt. Moses speaks clearly here, as if not plagued by uncircumcised lips anymore. In chapter fourteen, Moses has power to split the sea. Then in chapter eighteen, after he faces many conflicts among the people, he is able to set up court systems that govern the people of Israel. This is all very surprising to read after the initial picture that gets painted of Moses. He now, by some act of God, develops into a great leader that was lacking earlier.
While proving his great leadership, Moses coomes down from Mount Sinai to discipline the people who had gone astray. Before he comes down though, God sees the sinful acts that the people are participating in and intends to consume them. Moses is clever enough to persuade God to repent of the evil that he thought to do to his people. This also is not characteristic the first image of Moses as a leader.
In disciplining the people of Israel, Moses scolds Aaron. This is a startling turn around because previously Aaron had been portrayed as the superior brother. After scolding Aaron, Moses viciously punishes the people by having them slay each other. Then he goes up to God and begs for His forgiveness for the people. This is surprising and soothing at the same time because it shows how deep of a person Moses is, especially to feel such compassion. Yet it also shows that he realizes his job as the leader. This contrasts greatly from the original portrayal of a slow, weak, and barbaric Moses.
The story of Moses is interesting, contrived, and unpredictable. What makes it so interesting is seeing Moses change and grow drastically. He begins as a meek man and ends as a regal ruler. Each chapter has a surprising bit of his life, which makes for a great tale of overcoming one s obstacles.