Something different happened in Egypt today, which is unusual for me and my people.
I always wake up before the sun rises to the sound of everyone marching to work. I live in Goshen, a city in Egypt, and I guess you could call me a professional brick maker. I consider myself a professional because I’ve made what feels like millions of clay bricks. I see the work of my hands every day in Pharaoh’s ever-expanding kingdom. Every new building project seems wider, longer, and taller. Day in and day out my people, the Hebrews, slave away until the last ray of sun kisses the sky in the west.
My name is Uzziel, but people just call me Uzzi. I’m 17 years old, and this routine has been my life for as long as I can remember.
Strangers came from the east. They called together the Israelite leaders to tell them that our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has visited with them. The strangers said God has a message for the Hebrew people, “I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:17).
I was able to get the inside scoop from my grandfather who is an elder of the people of Israel. When he returned from the meeting he told me he knew one of the strangers––he said his name was Moses. My grandfather tells me when he was a boy Moses lived as an Egyptian, even though he was a Hebrew. “Doesn’t that sound nice!” I thought to myself. He continued to describe to me that Moses got into a bit of a scuffle with an Egyptian guard for abusing a Hebrew slave so Moses killed the Egyptian. Fearing for his own life Moses fled. It’s been 40 years since my grandfather last saw him.
Here’s what really captured my attention. My grandfather said that when Moses and his brother Aaron gathered the elders of Israel together they didn’t just speak about God, they also showed the power of God. Apparently, they stretched out a staff and it transformed into a snake, slithering all around until they grabbed it by the tail; and it turned back into a staff. Then Moses stuck his hand in his cloak and when he pulled it out it was bright white and leprous. When he returned it to his cloak it was restored! My grandfather said he’d never seen anything like that in all his life!
I have to say, stories about the God of our people abound in the city of Goshen. Almost every night my grandfather waxes eloquently about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and explains that one day our people will return to the land God promised us. To me all these stories were simply folklore, tales from another age. I mean if our God actually existed, why are we here in Egypt building Pharaoh’s kingdom? Shouldn’t we be building a kingdom of our own?
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the God of the Hebrews does exist? Maybe Moses can convince Pharaoh to free us? Maybe my grandfather’s stories are true? Maybe God has come to rescue us?
I hear Moses is heading to Pharaoh as I write this.
I’ll be sure to keep you posted.
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