Everything I need to know about Exodus I learned in the movie The Ten Commandments. No, not really, but sometimes it feels that way. I’m actually pretty impressed with how true to the story Hollywood stayed (despite Charlton Heston playing a Jewish man and a manufactured love story).
I guess that’s a testament to how amazing a tale it really is. In fact, you could accurately argue that God set everything up that way to purposely display his power. Why else would he continually harden Pharaoh’s heart? He could have convinced Pharaoh with one big miracle or just softened his heart and the people would have been free to go.
But he wanted to convince the world (not to mention his own people) of his might and did so in dramatic fashion so that we would remember the story forever (and make movies about it thousands of years later). Just amazing.
Some other doughnut hole sized thoughts.
- Joseph’s prosperity took him from slavery to jail to the head of Egypt. As a result, his people prospered to. So much so that they became a threat to the new king. Don’t tell me one Godly man can’t make a difference. Note that I write this on MLK day.
- Moses has some real confidence issues at first. God is telling him to go, but he gives excuse after excuse as to why he can’t or shouldn’t be the one to carry out God’s plan. Sounds like all of us at some point in our lives.
- It seems like God knows that Moses needs something he can physically touch to give him the courage to go forward. So he makes the staff an almost magical instrument. To wit, Moses will literally lean on the staff for support and encouragement.
- It is somewhat amusing to hear that the Lord’s “anger burned against Moses” when he finally relented and sent Aaron with him. You can almost hear him say “alright, fine!.” I can’t imagine how much God has been frustrated with me over the years, but I am thankful for all the Aarons that he’s sent me when I should have been obeying without assistance.
- Interesting that Moses keeps asking for his people to go “celebrate in the wilderness” and “sacrifice to the Lord.” It almost sounds like he’s asking for a short vacation or sabbatical or something. Yet everyone seems to understand that if they go, they are gone for good. Maybe I’m just reading the text wrong. Still, it is cool that the emphasis isn’t on the people’s freedom so much as it is on celebrating God properly.
- Interesting that the magicians can duplicate or imitate many of the miracles/plagues, but at some point they put their hands up and admit that this guy and his God are legit.
- There’s got to be a good study on what the plagues meant and how devastating they must have been to the Egyptians but I don’t have the time/energy to look that up. Still, it sure seems like you couldn’t take down a nation any more thoroughly in such a short amount of time without outright bloodshed.
- Amazing how much detail goes into setting up the Passover feast even before the Passover actually happened. God knew how important it would be, so he set up a celebration and reminder of it and then carried it out.
- God puts a pillar of fire/smoke in front and behind the Israelite people but they still despair when they see the Egyptian chariots. Part of that must be from the years of slavery but part of it is our own human doubts and lack of faith.
- Only when the Egyptians were washed up dead on the shore did the people fear the Lord and believe in Moses.