Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pharaoh and Egyptian Slavery

When the Hebrews were enslaved in Goshen, when God sent Moses to perform wonders and miracles so that Pharaoh would let them go, there was a conflict that is often missed when studying the story in the American culture.
Very often we think of this story in terms of slavery versus freedom, which is not surprising considering that our revolutionary war was fought for freedom, and our civil war over slavery; but that often eclipses the greater conflict, which is between God and Pharaoh- life versus death.
Just ask yourself what did Egypt want with them? Ramses wanted the Hebrews so that they could personally design and build his burial tomb, he wanted his own army of servants so he could kill them, bury them alive, and work them to death inorder that he could go to the afterlife as a god. The culture of the Egyptians was death worship, death focused, death obsessed. Life for them consisted in amassing a huge fortune, having a horde of slaves build your mausleom, and buring them all alive in it. It need not be said that a life focused on death is no life at all.
So God sends the plagues that kills comfort, kills crops, kills livestock and foodstuffs, kills people to a killing and death centered culture. How ironic. God was calling his people out of death and into life. This is why He is called the God of the Living. It means more than he is alive right now, it also means he wants you to have life. And today he calls us out of more than slavery to sin and misery, he calls us out of death and into Life. Only now he doesn't bring death to us, he brought it to himself to show us our love, and to show us there is nowhere we can go that his love won't persue us. His justice and wrath was spent on the cross, we face it no more. His grace was not however, it is ours forever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is interesting. i hadn't thought about egypt being a death-centered culture, and then bein given in abundance what they were ultimately worshiping. not so appealing when they're actually experiencing it, is it?

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