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Israelite-free-Egypt
Israelite-free-Egypt

 THE SLAVES IN EGYPT GET A LIBERATOR Israelite-free-Egypt

THE LORD SAID,”I HAVE INDEED SEEN THE MISERY OF MY PEOPLE IN EGYPT. I HAVE HEARD THEM CRYING OUT BECAUSE OF THEIR SLAVE DRIVERS, AND I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR SUFFERING. (EXODUS 3:7) Israelite-free-Egypt

          NOTHING STIRS A NATION’S BLOOD LIKE A LIBERATOR. INDIA CALLED AN INSIGNIFICANT LITTLE MAN NAMED GANDHI “MAHATMA” (OR “THE GREAT ONE”) FOR LEADING HIS PEOPLE TO FREEDOM. SOUTH AMERICA MEMORIALIZES SIMON BOLIVAR. FOR THE JEWS, ONE LIBERATOR NAMED MOSES ACCOMPLISHED WHAT ALL THESE DID—AND MORE.

          THE BIBLE DEVOTES ONE-EIGHTH OF ITS PAGES TO THE STORY OF MOSES’ TIME (A BULK OF MATERIAL TWO-THIRDS THE LENGTH OF THE ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT). AND WHEN JESUS CAME AS THE GREAT LIBERATOR WHO SET ALL HUMANITY FREE, THE NEW TESTAMENT REACHED BACK TO MOSES FOR A COMPARISON                        (HEBREWS 3:1-6).

BONDAGE IN EGYPT Israelite-free-Egypt

          THE TIME WAS RIPE FOR A LIBERATOR. GENESIS CLOSED WITH JACOB’S FAMILY OF 70 MOVING TO EGYPT. BUT IN THE OPENING SCENE OF EXODUS, 350 YEARS LATER, HUNDRED OF THOUSANDS OF THEIR ANCESTORS WERE TOILING ON PHARAOH’S HUGE CONSTRUCTION PROJECT—NOT AS GUEST BUT AS SLAVES.

          ONE PARTICULARLY RUTHLESS PHARAOH ORDERED THE MURDER OF ALL MALE JEWISH BABIES, UNWITTINGLY SETTING THE STAGE FOR ONE OF THE GREAT IRONIES OF HISTORY. MOSES’ PARENTS HID HIM IN A WATERTIGHT BASKET AMONG THE GRASSES OF A SWAMP. THERE, THE TINY BABY CAUGHT THE EYE OF PHARAOH’S DAUGHTER. THE VERY EDICT INTENDED TO DESTROY THE JEWS LED TO THEIR DELIVERANCE.

          ADOPTED INTO THE PLACE, MOSES GOT THE BENEFIT OF A SUPERB CLASSICAL EDUCATION. HIS EGYPTIAN UPBRINGING WAS BALANCED BY JEWISH NURTURE: IN ANOTHER STRIKING IRONY, THE PHARAOH’S DAUGHTER PAID MOSES’ OWN MOTHER TO NURSE HIM. THE SON OF SLAVES, YET BROUGHT UP IN THE SEAT OF POWER, MOSES PREPARED FOR HIS EVENTUAL GOAL OF MAKING A NATION OUT OF A DISORGANIZED BAND OF CAPTIVES.

          HIS CAREER HAD TO WAIT, THOUGH, FOR A PERIOD OF HUMBLING IN THE DESERT. MOSES FLED EGYPT AS A BRASH, SELF CONFIDENT MAN WHO LIKED TO TAKE MATTERS INTO HIS OWN HANDS. FORTY YEARS LATER HE RELUCTANTLY RETURNED, WITH LITTLE BESIDES A STICK AND A DONKEY.

FREE AT LAST Israelite-free-Egypt

          THE JEWS HAD ENDURED NEARLY FOUR CENTURIES OF OPPRESSION BEFORE THEY WERE LIBERATED. SO FAR AS WE KNOW, DURING THOSE YEARS THEY RECEIVED NO DIRECT COMMUNICATION FROM HEAVEN. SURELY GOD MUST HAVE SEEMED SILENT.

          MOSES FACED A FORMIDABLE CHALLENGE. SOMEHOW HE HAD TO EARN THE TRUST OF THE SLAVES AND INSPIRE HOPE IN THEM SO THAT THEY COULD INDEED THROW OFF THEIR CHAINS. HE HAD TO PROVE THAT GOD HAD NOT FORGOTTEN THEM. WHEN THE TIME WAS RIGHT, GOD UNLEASHED A SPECTACLE OF MIGHT AND POWER THAT BROUGHT A CRUEL PHARAOH TO HIS KNEES—AND CONVINCED THE ISRAELITES THAT GOD REALLY DID CARE FOR THEM. Israelite-free-Egypt

          GOD USED MOSES IN REMARKABLE WAYS. HE WAS THE FIRST PERSON RECORDED IN THE BIBLE TO WORK MIRACLES AND MET GOD IN INTIMATE WAYS GRANTED NO OTHER HUMAN. HE HAD A HAND IN THE AUTHORSHIP OF A GOOD PORTION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. BUT IN JEWISH HISTORY HE EARNED A PLACE PRIMARILY AS A LIBERATOR. HE LED THE MARCH FROM SLAVERY TO FREEDOM, FROM EGYPT TO THE PROMISED LAND. Israelite-free-Egypt

 

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