I was watching Prince of Egypt with my wife and son the other day. It was on Netflix and we were looking for a way to keep my son a little bit distracted and calming down for the night. If you’ve seen Prince of Egypt before then you will know that while it I an interesting and entertaining film it also has it’s inaccuracies the stick out like a sore thumb if you have read the story of Moses enough. There was an accurate depiction that really jumped out to me this time though. Moses was a shepherd.
What an enlightening truth right? Gee Moses was a shepherd. God catch Fletcher. Next you will be telling us that the sun helps us to see during the day. I know that little detail seems so miniscule, but within the context of the story it is an incredible little detail. Moses was a shepherd. Moses wasn’t qualified for he job God had assigned him to me. People don’t like to hear that. People don’t like it when the truth is said that people who God picks to do his works are not qualified to do it.
You see, the Moses you and I know is a great man. He spoke intimately with God. He was a leader for an entire nation. Moses was a man of incredible faith. He was one of those guys that had this deep relationship with God. That’s not how Pharaoh would have seen him though. All pharaoh saw before him was a shepherd.
What’s the big deal about Moses being shepherd? Egyptians loathed them. We know this from Genesis 46. Joseph is giving his family instruction for when they come to live in Egypt. he tells them to make sure that Pharaoh is aware that they are shepherds because Egyptians loath shepherds and will let them live in a land away from everything else. Why don’t the Egyptians like shepherds? They have the feel of a nomadic group. I’ve read that Egyptians did not find sheep to be the greatest of food nor a very worthy sacrifice. They were a useless dumb animal which meant those who cared for them were useless themselves. The Egyptians had not respect for shepherds.
Are you beginning to see what the big deal is? God sent a shepherd to give a message to the ruler of Egypt. He sent a shepherd to give command to Pharaoh. He sent a shepherd to trying and push Pharaoh around into releasing a nation of slaves. A shepherd. The big thing is that Moses had been around Egypt long enough to know what this reputation would get him on his return. This puts an extra dimension and Moses’ insistence of not going to Egypt. The whole time Moses is saying he is the wrong man. He wont get my respect. In his mind he is thinking about his murder of an Egyptian. he is thinking about that shepherd staff in his hand. That staff. A staff that is a mark of his lowly status to an Egyptian. Do you know what God does with that staff? He doesn’t have Moses hide it. He uses it as the focal point of the miracles that are accomplished. He guarantees that attention is going to be brought to this staff.
Why? Why would God use a shepherd to free a nation? Why would he make sure the status of shepherd was placed on display? That’s how God operates. He makes young boys kings. He sends shepherd boys to fight battles. He sends old shepherds to free slaves. He takes the staff that would be sign of worthlessness in Egypt and shows that he is the only God that matters. He is the God who can work through the lowest of people to accomplish the miraculous.
There are times where we feel we are unable to accomplish what God has called us to do. Our inclination can be to hide our insecurities and weaknesses. We don’t want the world to know how unqualified we are. We want to hide what makes us who we are. Those are the things that God often puts on display. Those are the things that let God tell the world that He is with you. When we hide our weaknesses we try and hide God’s presence with us form the world. We do this because we fear the world will be looking at us and the failure we have become. Do you know what God’s response was to Moses over that? What the world is going to see is miracles.
Don’t hide whatever is your shepherd’ staff. Let God work through that. et is be a symbol to the world of what God can accomplish through you.