I Have Been A Stranger In A Strange Land
Exodus 2:22 – And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.
Hello readers, short blog today. Moses had a son while he was in Midian, and he called his son Gershom. His naming of his son was a reference to the fact he himself had been a stranger in a strange land. And that’s true, Moses was a Hebrew who had been raised as an Egyptian and now he was in Midian. Talk about identity crisis! You ever felt like you’re all over the shop? What is your identity? Embracing who you are in Christ is a huge step in life.
But here in Midian, Moses’ son was born, and his naming of him is something more than just a cool fact… there’s a huge truth in this. We can live like Moses, knowing God has a calling and purpose upon our lives, yet we don’t realize it for so long. God’s got a purpose for you, but maybe you tried answer that call and it all fell flat. You realize you can’t do what God wants you to do. Moses sure was that person.
So you know the Bible is true, you know the calling of God, you know the Lord is with you, you know his hand upon your life, you know his claim on your soul… yet here you are cooling your jets in a strange land for forty years. Moses, all the while he was in Midian, he was a stranger there. God had something else for him, Moses knew that. I have been a stranger in a strange land.
Moses didn’t get fulfillment in Midian. He was a stranger there. Although in Midian, he was never a Midianite. You on the run from God? You want to be in Midian, but you don’t truly belong there. Maybe as Moses, you belong with the people of God. Moses was a man who was going to deliver Israel from bondage in Egypt, and here he is cooling his jets in a far country for forty years. Of course we know that this wasn’t a waste, but nonetheless… he must have felt so far from who and what he was meant to be.
Moses had grown up an Egyptian, but he never lost that part in him which was a Hebrew. You know, there’s just some people who God’s hand is upon, who through all of life, they know they’re called to a different purpose, a different future. You run with the world, but you can’t shake the truth that has taken ground within. There’s many Christians who are in the world, and they are of the world as well… because there’s no spiritual new birth there. But there are a few, like Moses, who don’t belong in the land of life they’re in.
Moses had tried to answer the call of God, he had tried to answer the purpose in his life. It came to his heart to visit his people the Bible says… but he failed immensely… and he was rejected by the Hebrews. You ever wanted to help someone that didn’t want your help? He supposed the Bible says… he supposed they would embrace him. But they instead rejected him. So much for supposing. You want to help, but people aren’t ready for your help.
Pharaoh heard about his treachery of how he had killed an Egyptian… and he sought to kill him, so Moses fled for his life. And so for the next forty years (that’s a long time!) he was a nobody shepherd in the wilderness. We know he was mighty in word and deed as an Egyptian, but that man whom God called out to at the burning bush… he was a very different man wasn’t he. None of those forty years were a waste, forty years we really know nothing about, but those forty years were a necessary precusor to him being the man that could stand before Pharaoh and say God has said let my people go.
Moses had been raised by godly parents. Godly input, God’s word early on. So even though he was destined for the Nile river that drowns so many children… he instead of sinking… he floated upon it. Why? Because his parents placed him in an ark. That’s the role of a godly parent. Build an ark for your child, so when they are thrown to the crocodiles, the crocs don’t get them. The ark of giving your child God’s word, true faith in Jesus Christ. He was a proper child. Moses was a different child. How can you raise a child that will choose to follow God instead of pleasure and power and riches and sin in Egypt?
Moses knew he had a purpose in life. He had something inside him wanting to follow the Lord. But instead he was wasting his life in the wilderness it seemed? It can feel like a waste, those years of nothing happen, but those years are really so critical to forming the person that can respond to God’s call to service. This is just before he comes to the burning bush. A bush that burned, yet was not consumed. That’s the key Moses. We can have the right cause, but we can’t do it without God. This is what Moses needed to answer the call, knowing it was God who would deliver Israel… not himself, who never could.
Moses knew he had a purpose, a calling, a cause… yet here he is looking after sheep in Midian. So far away from what you were born to do! He had a son, and called his name Gershom. I have been a stranger in a strange land. That’s what we are. Strangers in this world. We don’t belong here. Why do Christians belong so much in this world these days? They are more than settled, they’ve found their home, they’ve found their people, they’ve found their purpose, they’ve found their cause… in the world. Are you a Gershom? Only a disciple of Jesus Christ has had a Gershom. If you’re saved, your purpose, your calling, your reason to live and breathe and exist… it’s unfulfilled in all the Midian of this world has for you.
The Bible calls us as saved people strangers and pilgrims in the earth. We don’t belong here. This isn’t our world. This isn’t our future. The Bible says that Abraham looked for the world to come. He dwelt in a tent while Lot lived in Sodom. The Bible says here we have no continuing city. You see, if you’ve been saved, in this world we are strangers. This Christ rejecting dark world is not our home, it’s not our place of fulfillment, identity and purpose. Moses never found his home till he was in the knowledge, service and will of God. If you feel incomplete, maybe it’s because you haven’t found the Lord Jesus Christ.
Moses wasn’t born to shepherd sheep in Midian, he wasn’t born to dwell in Midian, he hadn’t been raised by godly parents to waste his life away. But it was part of it on the way to doing what he was born to do. He needed that time in Midian, because the time he tried to deliver Israel through his own efforts… he wasn’t ready. You can’t do God’s calling in your own power. Your flesh can’t please God, your flesh can’t deliver anything. And he still wasn’t ready when God called him at the burning bush. He made excuse after excuse. But that’s why he was now ready. God had stripped him of his self sufficiency so he was now ready to trust God with the keys to the car instead. Hey God, I can’t do it. And you can’t. You need God in you to do what God wants you to do. God doesn’t ask you to do what he doesn’t equip you to do… from salvation to following Jesus Christ in your life.
You know there are many Christians who have had no Gershom. That son hasn’t been born. They have found a home in this world. They’ve found their place. Like Judas Iscariot, the Bible says he went to his own place. Where is your “own” place? How invested in this world are you? The disciples left their nets. Jesus didn’t have a place to lay his head… while he said that foxes have holes and birds have their nests. He said to his parents… wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? It’s funny how most of us must be about OUR business, we have no interest in the Father’s business. Maybe because you have a different spiritual father. The Bible says out of Egypt have I called my son. Have you been called out? Or are you a fair and square Egyptian, or an Israelite who’s Egyptian inside?
What did Jesus mean by the foxes having their holes and the birds having their nests but he didn’t have a place to lay his head. It’s referring to the fact we are strangers here. Ever felt like you just don’t belong? Not because you’re weird, just you don’t have rest or that finality in this world. Your permanency isn’t here. Where’s your home? Where is the place called him? Is it in Jesus Christ? Is it in his word? Is it in his will? Is it with the people of God? What is your true identity? Moses through it all never lost his true identity, with Christ. Is he your identity, your DNA?
Moses wasn’t yet fulfilled and complete… because he wasn’t yet where God was taking him. When God revealed himself to Moses, that wasn’t a place of being a stranger. Indeed, God told him to take his shoes off, because the place he was standing on was holy ground. Shoes separate your feet from the earth, they are between your feet and earth… taking them off means that is no longer the case. Moses had unfinished business, but it was finished business when God got in it. Gershom was a reminder of what Moses was truly seeking in his life. He was seeking God, his fulfillment in God’s word and God’s calling. His home and his identity was with his people.
Are you in that strange land in your life? Are you a stranger there? Are you the odd one out, or have you found home and purpose in sin, in what this world is and what it has to offer. Are you up to your neck in it, like Lot was up to his neck in his cattle business and dealings in Sodom? God was always with Moses, is God always with you. Has he been very patient and longsuffering with you while you are messing around? Moses had tried answering the call years and years earlier and failed. Don’t waste time trying to do things in your own power, you need God’s power. This Christian life can only be lived through the power of God. You must be born again. He doesn’t require of us what he doesn’t enable us to do.
Where does your heart long for? Moses’ heart longed for God and God’s people. Out in the desert he got to thinking, and maybe it’ll take you in a strange land to long for God’s word, for God’s calling on your life. What could be better than obeying and serving God? Or does your heart long for sin? Long for this world? Long for a life free from God? What is the truth about you if you are honest enough to look? Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ’s claim and calling upon your life? Has his word found good ground in your heart? Will it take forty years? Moses is a great man in the Bible, in Midian, he was a stranger in a strange land. He was no longer that when he arrived and turned aside at the burning bush. That burning bush is waiting for you in the desert, one day your Gershom can be a reminder of God’s way, God’s purpose, God’s calling is what you truly want for your life. Before service to God, a Gershom must be birthed in your life. Not being satisfied in this world, not being at home in it. Are you a stranger in a strange land?
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Joseph View All →
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)
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