Summary: A first person sermon from Moses perspective. It tells of who he was and why he made the decisions he made.
A BURNING CONVERSATION (An Impersonation)
NEEDED: White wig & beard (paste on beard), staff and middle east garb with slanting accent towel tucked into belt
TEXT: (Read by another) Exodus 3:1-6
THRUST OF MESSAGE - Moses had been a man who did not need God, but who changed once he met him at the bush.
(Enter with staff. Stand near stage and caress the staff as if it were a memory)
THE CHARACTERIZATION: "The staff of God. (pause)
It wasn’t always God’s staff. But then, nothing that I had at that time belonged to God.
(shrug) Why did I need God? I was strong, powerful, praised, adored - even worshipped. Trained in the ways of leading men, of commanding armies. It was rumored that I might even become the next Pharaoh. There were those who said I was "touched by the gods."
If only they had known the true story: For I was not Egyptian, but a Hebrew by birth and born in a day of trouble. In the day of my birth the decree of Pharaoh was that every boy child born of the Hebrews was to be cast into the Nile and drowned. My mother hid me for as long as she could, but when at last she could do so no longer, she took a basket and coated it with slime and pitch and placed me within it.
Imagine her amazement when the daughter of Pharaoh herself should find me and desire me for her son - and then chose my mother for my nurse and pay her for it. In the evenings in my chambers, she would tell me the story of our God and of how God had rescued me from the bull rushes to rescue Israel from her bondage.
I loved my mother, but I had not seen nor heard this God of hers, nor had anyone I knew. Besides my people had been in slavery for over 300 years... what kind of God was this. No, if I was to lead the Israelites from Egypt, it would have to be by my own guile and strength. It came to my mind that I would need to gain their confidence and I sought an opportunity.
One day I chanced on an Egyptian taskmaster beating an Israelite - perhaps to death.... I looked left and right to assure myself no one saw, then rushed down upon the Egyptian and struck him down...and he died.
Hurriedly I buried the body and then looked around for the Israelite - but he had vanished. No matter, as soon as the tribes heard of my intervention they would rally around my staff and follow me.
But the next day I discovered that the Hebrews only looked on me as another Egyptian to be derided, rejected and mocked. Worse still, Pharaoh learned of my killing the taskmaster and ordered my death.
What was I to do? Rejected by my people and my life forfeit - I ran and I ran... and I ran... and I ran... until I was tired of running and I sat down beside a well in the desert.
There I took stock of my life and saw that the dreams my mother had for me and the visions I had of my own greatness were now buried in the Egyptian sands along with that taskmaster. I was no good to anyone - least of all myself.
(pause) Then I heard the bells from the necks of sheep and the laughter of women and I looked up and saw 7 of the most graceful women I had ever seen leading their father’s sheep to the well to draw out water and fill the troughs for them to drink from. Never in all of Egypt had I seen such beauty.
Then another image filled my sight as other shepherds, rough men, who drove off the sheep of the women and with course language shoved them aside.
(VOICE RISING) Filled with anger, I rose to my feet, took up a shepherd’s staff and beat these course men till they limped off in defeat. Then I helped the women water their sheep. When they were done, they offered a word of thanks and were gone.
Little did I realize that that day I had gained a powerful ally, for these women were the daughters of Jethro, the priest of Midian, a man of power and influence in the area. He invited me to his camp, offered me an evening meal, and in the course of our friendship, gave me his daughter Zipporah to be my wife.
Zipporah (dreamily) Zipporah, her name means "little bird." How I loved to say her name as I stroked her hair in the privacy of our tent. She bore me a son whom I named "Gershom" which in my language means "alien" for I had been made an alien from my people and from the land of my birth. This family became my only refuge and comfort in my loss.