to bring them up out of that land // Exodus 3:8

Originally published Thursday, 17 December 2015.

Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Exodus 3:7-9

Moses was a vulnerable baby on the Nile, an Egyptian prince, a murdering youth, a fugitive, a wanderer, and a desert-dweller. Now, he stood as a barefoot shepherd before a burning bush. He had been called and chosen to carry out a divine plan: God would come down and then draw His people up out of the land, with Moses in the lead.

And Moses seriously wondered at God's wisdom. We can read in later verses how Moses doubted, feared, and questioned.

Like Moses, we may seem the least fit for the task, the least prepared - but God. Our circumstances may be threads from unraveling, in our perception, yet perfectly woven for His glory. And, just when we guess that nothing divine can come from our average existence, God's plans start unfolding.

Truth is, our God of purpose contracts the unlikely for His holy plans.

In these verses, I couldn't help but notice that God wanted Moses to be the vessel He'd use to draw His people up out of the land. Moses, who was drawn up out of the Nile, and whose name means to be drawn up. 

Suddenly the unlikely seems ordained, masterfully molded into God's purpose.

But - how? How can it be that the unlikely is elevated to chosen and worthwhile in God's perfect plans? It's because this story doesn't end with Moses.

Years later, again God would intend to come down. This time, wrapped up in baby skin, named Emmanuel, God with us. He would lay down His life to draw us up eternally to a land of glory and victory.

Praise God, His plan includes salvation and hope and peace for you and for me, unlikely and undeserving as we are. Because of Jesus, we are assured that God will not leave us unlikely or improbable in His kingdom.

We are fitted for His cause, named for a purpose, and chosen by His grace.


Thank you, God, for being a God who delivers. Thank you for seeing us, as you did the Hebrews; you see our oppression by the enemy and you've sent a Redeemer to bring us up out of this world. Thank you for giving us the picture of your final rescue scene through the story of Moses. It's all unlikely, all divine. We praise you, Jesus, for who you are and your death which makes it possible for us to be part of God's beautiful purposes.

31 Days of Purpose: Devotions from the early life of Moses

From a boat-basket to a burning bush, Moses’ call to leadership is filled with everyday people and situations, all divinely orchestrated for God's divine purpose. As we study the early years of Moses, we see a consistent theme of God raising up the unlikely and transforming the average with His anointing. That's me, and that's you - common people, yet commissioned for a high calling. Let's step into it this together. Click here for the whole series.