Everywhere this woman goes, there are crowds straining to see. Doors are opened before her, bodyguards surround her, costly preparations go into every visit she makes. Yet you’ll never have heard her name, and her take-home pay is pretty ordinary. She’s a servant who accompanies royalty. She’s a ‘nobody’ in her own right, but her bosses are important; and every honour given to them is also offered to her. Her rank may be low, but she gets to enjoy all the privileges because she’s ‘with them’.
Moses may have had privilege as an adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter, but now that advantage was gone, he was just a ‘nobody’ from Hebrew stock, a criminal on the run. And he knew it. “But who am I…?” (Exodus 3:11-12) He knew he’d made a mess of things; and that made him worse than a nobody; his self-esteem was at rock bottom. Any achievements he’d made over the last 40 years in Midian were wiped from his thoughts. As far as this job offer went, he was a nobody, a no-hoper, a loser.
But it never was about who Moses was. Because God promised to be with him. It was all about who God was. If you are with God, you are suddenly a ‘somebody’. The bible is full of what Moses achieved, and how he was a ‘friend of God’. The two go together. And of course, being a ‘friend of God’ is no longer exclusive to Moses. Jesus has made a way for anyone who chooses to accept his offer, to have access to the Father. And God longs for each one of us to come and spend time with him, be his friend.
Jesus promised to be with us “to the very end of the age”; the name Emmanuel means God with us. He is with us. But maybe it would help to see it as us being ‘with him’. For what we might achieve, or the doors that might be opened to us, are because of who he is, not because of who I am.