Wednesday, September 1, 2010

God Heard Their Prayers

By Mary Vee
Exodus 4:29-31

Moses hadn't seen his brother, Aaron, in many years.  As they walked to Egypt, Aaron told Moses about their mother, father, and sister.  He also talked about the difficult days.

"Our people are dying, Moses. The Egyptian takmasters beat us until we can't work, then they beat us for not working.  The old people are sick, the children have no one to care for them.  The Egyptians force us to work from the moment the sun rises to sunset.  We're hungry, tired, and sick."

Moses's heart pounded.  "We must rescue them.  God gave me these instructions:  We gather the elders and tell them God has heard to their cries and has sent us to help.  When they ask for proof we will show them signs from God.  After they give approval we go with the elders before Pharaoh."

Aaron slapped his brother on the back.  "Thank you for coming for us.  Together we will do as God says in order to rescue our people."

Aaron led Moses to the Israelite camp.  Messengers ran to gather the elders in the meeting place.  Once they all arrived, Aaron stood. "This is my brother, Moses."  He gazed at the men.  No one said anything.  "God has heard your cries for help.  He will rescue."  Aaron waved to Moses to stand by him.  "God sent Moses to free us from slavery."

A few elders looked toward the ground, some mocked them, others shook their heads.  Aaron cleared his throat.  "I realize this is difficult for you to understand, but you must have faith.  Look, God has given Moses a sign to show you.  Call all the people together and let us show you what God can do."

The head elder looked at Moses then Aaron.  "All right. Send a messenger to gather the people."

Aaron and Moses stepped outside to the place where the people gathered.  The head elder raised his hands to quiet the people then nodded to Aaron. 

Aaron stepped to the front of the group. "We have come to show you that God has heard your cry for help.  My brother Moses has been sent here by God.  We don't expect you to believe our words.  We have come to show you proof that God has sent help.  Aaron nodded to Moses.

Moses tipped his staff then threw it on the ground.  As quick as lightening, the staff turned into a serpent.  The people shrieked back. Before the serpent came close to any of the people, Moses grabbed it by the tail.  The elders eyes grew wide as they witnessed the serpent turn back into Moses's staff.

One elder sat back in his seat.  "I see your proof and am willing to listen."

A few other elders squinted their eyes and folded their arms.  "We are not yet convinced."  People from the crowd did the same.

Aaron nodded to Moses.  "Go ahead. Show them the other sign from God."  Moses put his hand into his tunic. He held it there for a moment before drawing it out for the others to see.  Aaron gasped.  "Leprosy! Moses--" The people backed away again. 

Moses smiled and put his hand back inside his tunic.  The people watched closely as he drew his hand back out toward them.  He bent his fingers and turned his hand in all directions to let them see. 

The people smiled. A few wept.  "At last. God has heard our prayers. Thank you, God."  Without any signal the people bowed their heads and worshipped God.

The head elder stepped forward.  "What instructions has God given for us?"

Aaron glanced at Moses then back at the elder. "God speaks to Moses.  Moses then tells me what is to be done.  Now that you believe, we are to gather the elders and go before Pharaoh."

The head elder turned to the others and then back to Aaron and Moses. "We will do as God has said."

Moses was pleased with the elder's answer.  At last he had a chance to help his people find freedom.  That night, as he slept under the stars, he noticed the life in the the dark sky.  "Thank you God, for giving your people life while they live in the darkness of slavery."

What signs did Moses show the elders?
What instruction did God give to the elders?
Who did God give permission to help Moses?

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