Exodus 4: Back to Egypt

Exodus 4 is one packed chapter of the Bible. But rather than humorously poke fun at most of it today, I want to to a bit of reflection.

The jokes will come on Saturday.


The Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt . . .”Pyramid at Gizaphoto © 2007 Michael Goodine | more info (via: Wylio)

Back to Egypt? Are you sure about that? Do I need to remind you of what that place is like?

It’s the place where all my classmates were murdered.

It’s the place where the people don’t understand me.

It’s the place where I killed someone.

It’s a place of failure, defeat, pain, shame, guilt, and death.

Why must you bring me back there?

My Own Private Egypt

I work for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Oregon State University. It’s a pretty sweet job. I get all the perks of being in college without actually being in college. I get to hang out and influence amazing students, talk about the Bible (which, if you haven’t noticed by now, I LOVE doing), encourage people to pursue their faith, and hopefully, change the world.

All in a day’s work.

Think of me like a missionary who goes into some foreign land and tries to raise up indigenous leadership. But instead of the jungles of South America, I am in the manicured lawns and artificially-turfed athletic fields of OSU.

But there is a part of this job that feels like Egypt to me. It is a part I can’t escape and will never be able to just run away from. Anyone reading this who has been on the mission field knows what I am talking about.


Us missionaries must raise our support. We send letters, give presentations, make phone calls, get coffee, and make the asks. But most of us didn’t get into the gig for the fundraising part.

That is a place where I feel like a failure. That is a place I don’t want to go back to.

That is my Egypt.

But I don’t really have a choice if I want to continue doing what I do. I wrote a blog to my supporters yesterday that you can read if you want to know a little more about how I am feeling and the details of why I am feeling what I am.

But it is a place God is calling me back to.

And I have to ask myself if I, like Moses, am willing to go.


What about you? Do you have Egypts in your life that you are being called back into?


6 responses

  1. I am in the Master’s program with Loyola of New Orleans Institute for Ministry Extension, wow what a mouthful, let’s just say LIMEX. Anyway, we just covered Genesis and last night discussed the Sinai event. I have to say, what you say in this post about “What do you mean go back to Egypt” is precisely the reaction I have every time I read that section.

    Hey, your series _Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture_, I am a subscriber and love it! I use it every day, honestly. It makes me feel very connected to all those who studied the same scriptures throughout the couple of thousand years since they were written. Good post, and good job.

    • Thanks steve! Yeah, that part just kind of hit me in the face when I read it.

      Are you suggesting I look at the Ancient Christian Commentary? I think I’ve heard about that before and it looks really interesting.

  2. Im confused. In Exodus 2, it says that Reuel gave Moses his daughter Zipporah (hence making Reuel his Father in Law). Then a few verses later in Ch 3 vs 1, it says Moses was keeping the flock of his father in law, Jethro…. Who is Jethro??

    • oh, but it gets better. In numbers he is also called “Hobab.”

      Apparently there is something in the naming of in-laws. It isn’t as specific as we get with it. All three of those men could be related and the same hebrew word would apply to them. At least that what I understand from the commentary I just looked at.

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