Imagine the pressure of being the firstborn son of Moses…
You might have expectations formed in your mind about what kind of young man Gershom would have been… or should have been. But, Gershom’s story doesn’t follow the plotline you might expect…
It would be logical to assume that – as firstborn son of Moses – Gershom would rise to a significant position of leadership or power in the developing Hebrew nation. But, God did not choose Moses’ children as his successors. Instead, God chose Moses’ brother, Aaron, to work with Moses… and a young man named Joshua to follow Moses and lead God’s people into the Promised Land.
While still living in Midian, Moses & Zipporah gave birth to Gershom. Moses chose the name Gershom, which means “stranger” or “cast out”… in reference to his recent escape from Egypt. When God commissioned him to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites out of slavery, Moses took his wife and his son, Gershom, and began the journey to Egypt.
On the way, Gershom became the object of an important lesson in obedience.
As a Hebrew, Moses should have circumcised his son, but Moses had neglected to obey God’s command (Ex. 17).
Before Moses could be God’s messenger, he would have to learn the importance of following God himself. Fortunately, Zipporah recognized the error, moved quickly to circumcise their son, and averted God’s judgment on their family.
God doesn’t value last names and family lines like we tend to do. Instead, God looks at one’s heart and builds His kingdom and plan around willing servants.
Faith is not transferred by DNA. Regardless of whether or not one’s parents are Christian or not, every individual must surrender to his or her own relationship with God through Christ. Each person must choose God – or not – for himself. Every individual is responsible for personally pursuing spiritual growth. No one inherits a relationship with God.
You can read Gershom’s story in Exodus 2; 18.