Moses. What do you think of when you hear that name? Parting the red sea with a swish of his stick? Making water come out of rock? Being sent down the river in a basket when he was a baby? That is how I always used to see it; up until about a year ago, he was a hero saving people from the baddies and doing pretty amazing stuff in the process. When I was younger The Prince of Egypt was my favourite film of all time, and I particularly remember a certain phase where I even wanted to marry Moses. As you can see, I was a dreamer.
But since studying Exodus both at church and by myself, I have realised it’s got a huge deeper meaning, which I believe is why I am so attracted to the story.
To see this you have to take it back to the beginning. Moses was a sheep farmer – the most normal of jobs. An average Joe to say the least, he wasn’t rich or famous or skilled. He was exactly like you or I, and one day God appeared to him out of the blue, and told him to free the slaves and take them to a safe place where God would provide food and water. Naturally Moses asked, ‘why me? How am I equipped to do this?’ As you would; if God asked you to feed all the starving people in Africa, you would do a double take right? How would I do that? In our heads we can’t do anything alone.
We are not alone in two ways.
Firstly, God replies to Moses telling him he isn’t alone as he has God. This is the exact same as us; we don’t need an army, or a thousand fans, or even a vast fortune in order to make a difference. God gives us what we need to do what he needs us to do, just like he did Moses. He gave him the gift of the Spirit to help him perform the miracles required to show the Israelites that he was sent by God, and to gain their trust. God also gave Moses the ability to lead them to safety by parting the Red Sea, as well as telling him how to protect his people from the plagues God sent to Egypt. God spoke to Moses, lead him by the hand, and equipped him with the skills for to carry out what he had been commissioned to do. He also gave him bravery and strength; what Moses did was terrifying. He stood up to the powers that be, was threatened and chased and hurt, yet God kept him strong and resilient in the face of all his torment.
The other way we aren’t alone is that we have each other. Moses did his task with God standing by him; can you imagine what we could achieve if we all worked together with God standing beside each and every one of us every day? We have united to fight against social injustice in the world in several different aspects and the aim is to change the world. That’s a big thing to say – but Moses freed hundreds of slaves with God by him, and then led them to the Promised Land. If we all work together and have the same resilience and belief that God will deliver as Moses did, imagine what we could do!
This story was what really inspired me to do something about social injustice. I have always wanted to help to make life better for people who are struggling – when I was 11 (I was in the marrying Moses phase at this stage), my family visited an orphanage in Kenya. I was young and impressionable, and the poverty these children lived in, whilst still being unbelievably happy about the smallest things, hit me very hard. But I never thought I would be able to do anything. I just went on with my life whilst still thinking about these children, but not doing anything. It was when I started university last year that I felt very called to Just Love. This story I now look at to remind me that we may be young, and only students, but we are not one single person screaming about injustice in the world on Buchanan street; we are a group of young individuals standing together with God at the centre, and with His help, we can make a massive difference.