Moses the most humble man in the world, the friend of God who ate with Him and saw His back, the doer of miracles, and leader of the people of Israel. You would think with all of those credentials Moses must have been willing to be moldable clay in the hand of the Master Potter. Wrong! He had issues and the big one was he had some serious history with Egypt and did not want to go back. He had made a mess of things when he left and did not want to face the court of Pharaoh or the people of Israel. This story starts in Exodus 3 and 4.
This concept of going back somewhere you left is on my mind because for the first time in my career I am returning to a school district that I left thirteen years ago. I had not left a mess like Moses, but I never thought I would be returning either. To say that I am not questioning why would be an understatement. Like Moses, it means leaving a comfort zone and going back to something that has changed while you were gone. His wife Zipporah and his sons had to leave family and friends for an uncertain future.
Father God had given him some glimpses of the road ahead but not the mistreating of the people by the Egyptians, the plagues, or being chased by a determined army. God had given him some pretty convincing signs to do but there was no mention of the people being stubborn and rebelling.
In looking at the big picture (that is all I can do for now) this is what I see happening:
- Moses was retrained
- Moses knew he was to go and he went
- God sent him help, in the form of Aaron
- Moses had command of supernatural powers to do the job
- Not everyone was excited by his return or his mission
- God walked with Moses through his mission
I guess I am marking this as the beginning of writing Out of Egypt. I have been tagging things for a while “Out of Egypt” especially the Tribes of Israel study. My thought there was if you are getting out of Egypt, a look at how you got in may not hurt.
As I have been collecting thoughts on this I realized that there are a lot of movies and TV shows on Moses and the Exodus. To go with all of the shows there is no end of opinions and arguments about how it happened or could not have happened. Even TV shows that seems like they are documentaries supporting the Exodus always have at least one area where they can’t go with the Biblical account. This is still possibly one of the more supportive; The Exodus Decoded by Simcha Jacobovici but even this one tries to relegate some of the miracles to natural events. These websites take the show to task on various subjects.
1. http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2006/09/debunking-the-exodus-decoded.aspx 2. http://www.catholic.org/ae/tv/review.php?id=20866 I like what this site says,” In trying to find a “plausible scientific explanation” for Biblical events, the film misses a very important point: The Bible is a testament of faith, not a history or science book, written by authors who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, were trying to discern and understand God’s hand in the drama of salvation.”
Lately the focus has shifted to Moses; one recently talks about him as a military leader. I did not get the name, but I hope to see it replayed again. Its focus was on Moses as leader and offered what he did as natural, and took the miraculous out of the Exodus story. It tried to paint the picture that Israel were not just slaves before the Exodus. These websites do deal with some of these possibilities: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0009_0_09361.html and http://www.northforest.org/BiblicalArchaeology/moses.html . It should be clear that if Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s house he would have had military training and the Camp Order is supposedly an Egyptian battle formation. My thoughts about Israel in Egypt were changed when I read about Ephraim’s sons being killed in a raid in 1 Chronicles 7:21; maybe they were not just quite shepherds.
One website that is Christian based and deals with the Red Sea crossing site is http://www.wyattmuseum.com/red-sea-crossing-02.htm but it definitely does not go along with many current avenues of thought.
I am going to agree with the Catholic website; I am not looking for a “plausible scientific explanation.” He is a miraculous God and we, as His children need to celebrate that fact. I feel we have made many of His miracles into “common kid stories” and not taught them as fact like they really are. I am glad when there is an explanation for how God has used His creation to bless His children, but God is still God and if He wants to do an extraordinary act outside of His laws of nature that is fine with me.
Moses picture: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/db/Moses_Pleading_with_Israel_(crop).