A Delightful Disgrace

I’ve had Moses on my mind all week. Don’t worry, I told my husband and he is not concerned.

I simply cannot shake the costly choices that completely reset the trajectory of his life. An adopted heir to all the treasures of the richest kingdom in the known world, Moses literally had comfort calling his name. The posturing and positioning available to him through Pharoah’s daughter takes the idiom about having life offered on a silver spoon to a whole new level. When Moses came of age, he was on the cusp of all the power and prestige the world had to offer.

I’ll let the writer of Hebrews tell you what happened.

“By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasured of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasure of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” Hebrews 11:24-26.

This defining choice, commemorated in the Hall of Faith as this chapter is aptly nicknamed, was likely considered a cataclysmic choice of destruction among his Egyptian family. He left elaborate meals cooked by private chefs for manna in the dusty wilderness with a complaining people. He who could have been carried throughout the rich streets of a kingdom endured calloused feet from leading a calloused people through a desert way for scores of years.

The Greek words employed by the writer of Hebrews emphasize the choice Moses made. One the one hand, he repudiated, refused to take hold of, denied, disavowed one way of life. One the other hand, he very actively and intentionally laid hold of another way of life. The Greek word translated “choosing” in the aforementioned verses is always in the Middle Voice in Greek, which implies a deeply personal decision. This was not thrust on him, he was no coerced into this; rather, Moses prefered repoach with God’s people.

The Greek word apoblepo used in verse 26 has an even more distinct meaning. Only used here in the Bible, the word emphasizes a strong separation between the old and new way of seeing. He looked away from life in Egypt, with its comforts and pleasures, and looked beyond, setting his gaze on something different and beyond. In secular  Greek literature, this same word is used of astronomers who set their gazes upon the heavenly bodies they studied.

What He set his gaze upon must have been something astounding enough to put the luxuries of Egypt to shame. Only it was not a something, it was a someone.

I find it convicting that Moses, who did not have a clear view of the coming Cross, seems to have understood and aproppriated the reward who is Christ far better than most of us who look back upon the Cross.

I want to get into Moses’ head.  I want to see the reward of Christ as far better than a private vacation home on a desolate island or a life of prestige and ease. I want to more and more become someone who considers the reproach of Christ greater than the treasures of this world.

I wonder if, in moments of weakness and exhaustion, he ever wondered what might have been in Egypt. On his most exhausted nights when the people of God had been complaining and he he had eaten yet another meal of manna,  did Moses entertain doubts about the path he had chosen, the life of comfort he had repudiated?

As he was human, I am certain he did; however, I imagine that in those moments, Moses, who talked with God face to face, would quickly be reminded that he had chosen the better part. For any and everything considered a disgrace on this earth can be considered a delightful disgrace in light of the grace we receive through the person of Christ.

Sleepless Nights

On the tired nights,
As the tribes sleep,
Alone under stars,
I somtimes weep.

In weak moments,
I hear their voices,
Egyptian parent
Mocking my choices.

What might’ve been?
Doubts awaken.
Who would I be?
I’m deeply shaken.

“You’d have had it easy,
Niceties and our name;
Postured for untold
Prestige and fame.”

“Look at you, bedraggled,
At the company you keep,
Wandering the dessert,
With these stupid sheep.”

The assualts continue
Until Yahweh appears.
“Look at me, child,
Dry up those tears.”

“Their offers are cheap
Compared to my glory.
You have been written
Into my great story.”

“I chosen you to tread
A way they cannot see;
You mustn’t hear them,
Son, Listen only to me.”

“Egypt has no glory
Like that of my face,
Mine is a kingdom
Time cannot erase.

Pyramids are paltry piles,
As you soon shall see.
Until then, My Moses,
Keep your eyes on Me.”



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