Exodus, Chapter 2


Exodus, Chapter 2


Systemic racism, racial violence, and racial injustice are all over Exodus 2. Seriously. Perhaps the most obvious and egregious system of racial injustice is slavery. That’s the system Exodus describes in Egypt. Chapter two describes how Pharaoh’s daughter pities and adopts a Hebrew baby Moses she finds in a basket on the riverbank. It’s no secret why that baby’s there. His mother would rather put him in a basket on the Nile than have him fall victim to Pharaoh’s racial infanticide committed in the first chapter. Fast forward to a young adult Moses. He sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave. The system of racial inequality, injustice, and oppression is still in place. Moses’ response to witnessing the oppression of a fellow Hebrew is to murder the Egyptians. The next day Moses sees a Hebrew beating another Hebrew and he doesn’t kill anyone. Instead, he asks why. Moses is just as racist as the Egyptians. Pharaoh finds out about Moses’ crime and seeks to kill him, so Moses flees. He stumbles upon a conflict between a group of shepherds and Midianite sisters. Another conflict between two different groups of people. Even though the women mistake Moses for an Egyptian (racial profiling) he protects them from the shepherds. The sisters’ father rewards Moses giving him the eldest daughter in marriage (which is a topic for a different devotional). Racial injustice and inequality drive this chapter. It is racism that allows slavery to exist. It is racism that drives Moses to kill the Egyptian. It is racism that proclaims the lie that some lives matter more than others. And it is freedom from that racism that God will bring about, but it won’t be the way Moses expects. Right now, we live in a country where racism is part of our past and present, but it does not have to be a part of our future. As seen in this chapter, freedom and equality do not come for the Hebrews when Moses takes matters into his own hands. It is not until Moses joins in what God wants that the Hebrews experience freedom. The same is true for us today. In Christ, we are reconciled to God and we are entrusted with Christ’s ministry of reconciliation. We are called to be ambassadors of Christ’s reconciling love in the world.


Have you tried to take the issues of racism into your own hands? Have you run away from it when it got too hard like Moses did? Where do you see God moving us toward reconciliation today? What would it look like for you to be an ambassador of the reconciling love of Jesus Christ?


We confess that like Moses, we are quick to act in judgment of those who are different from us. We confess that we have fooled ourselves into thinking that we know better than you. Wake us up to the injustices around us. Wake us up to your reconciling love in those places. And grant us the courage, creativity, and compassion to be a part of it. In the reconciling love of Christ Jesus, we pray, Amen

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