I don’t know if Stephen Prothero is correct or not, but if he is, then I imagine that most people don’t know the story of Moses. Prothero is a professor of religion at Boston University and has written about religious literacy in America. In his book, Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, Prothero claims that simple familiarity with the content of the Bible is at an all-time low.
Dr. Prothero shares that at the beginning of every semester, he gives students a “Bible Content” quiz. He has discovered that 75% of his students think the statement “God helps those who help themselves” is in the Bible (it was Benjamin Franklin). Most don’t know that Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount and many can’t name one of the Gospels. Some think that Noah’s wife was Joan of Arc.
Again, if Prothero is correct, that means that many of us really don’t know the story of one of the most important and influential people that ever lived…Moses. I guess that means that many of us do not know that the life of Moses is one filled with dichotomies. He was the child of a slave and the son of a queen. He was born in a hut and lived in a palace. He came from poverty and enjoyed unlimited wealth. He was the leader of armies and the keeper of flocks. He was the mightiest of warriors and the meekest of men. He had the wisdom of Egypt and the faith of a child. He was backward in speech and talked with God. He had the rod of a shepherd and the power of the Creator. He was a fugitive from Pharaoh and a messenger from Heaven. He was the giver of the Law and the forerunner of Grace. He died alone on Mount Moab and appeared with Jesus on a mountain in Judea. No human came to his funeral yet God buried him.
Journey with us as we begin our sermon series on the life of Moses. You might discover that you and I are not that much different than this man who challenged an empire, freed God’s people and changed the world.