It’s important baby week!
Not only is it Christmas, which is celebrating the birth of Jesus, but the parsha this week is Shemot, which is all about the birth of Moses, another very important baby.
Shemot means names and is found in Exodus 1-6:1. It begins with the descendants of Jacob still living in Egypt. They had greatly multiplied and the pharaoh (who did not know about Joseph) was afraid of the Israelites. He made them slaves and told the midwives to kill the newborn boys. The midwives feared God more than Pharaoh and did not follow his instructions.
A woman from the tribe of Levi had a boy and hid him until she couldn’t hide him anymore. She then trusted God and put him in a basket on the Nile River. The daughter of the pharaoh rescues the baby and names him Moses.
Moses grows up and runs away after he kills a man who was mistreating an Israelite. He runs to a place called Midian and gets married, has a couple of kids, and becomes a shepherd. While he is caring for his sheep, he sees something weird on a mountain. It’s a bush that’s on fire, but isn’t burning up. Weird.
Anyways, it turns out that it’s God speaking to Moses through the burning bush. God tells Moses that he wants to bring the Israelites out of Egypt and slavery. God even gives Moses signs to show the Israelites that Moses is the right person for the job. But Moses doesn’t think he is. Moses protests that he isn’t a good leader. He doesn’t talk very well and he stutters. He tells God to send someone else.
Then comes my favorite part of this parsha. God tells Moses to be quiet because God made him and knows exactly He’s doing. He makes it so people can speak, He makes it so people can see, He made Moses. So go. And Moses went, reluctantly, but he went.
This parsha reminds me that God doesn’t call the most qualified or most obvious. He calls the ones who he wants for the job. Even though Moses did not feel like the right person for the job, God chose him from birth to be the one. God rescued him from death as a baby, put him in a place where he could grow up safely, and then led him to a place where he could have a fruitful adulthood with a family. God led him every step of the way.