Monday, October 24, 2005

On living in Egypt

Children's Bible story books speak to me. Not always. Sometimes they're nauseatingly sanitized and redundant and filled with cheesy artwork. But sometimes reading them to Judah feels like God speaking to me. (Or maybe it's just me amusing myself with my own thoughts; who knows?) Two such thoughts occurred to me tonight reading the stories of Joseph and baby Moses. 1. Could it be that part of the story of Israel's slavery in Egypt is a warning against mistaking the miraculous for the ordinary? Joseph saved his family miraculously from starvation, after enduring betrayal, slavery, and unjust imprisonment and rising to prominence in Egypt; and the family moved to Egypt to survive the famine. But then they settled in Goshen, and what was temporary, providential provision replaced their permament, "Promised" home in Canaan. As a result, they overstayed their welcome, and 400 years later, they're slaves in a foreign land, brutalized by a pharoah who's murdering baby boys as a means of population control. 2. Could it be that Moses' salvation was as a much the result of brilliant cunning as divine intervention? That his mother knew exactly where Pharoh's daughter bathed everyday, and hid her baby among the bushes there intentionally? That she posted her daughter as lookout with instructions to intervene when the princess found the basket and volunteer her mother to nurse the baby? Pastor Joseph Henry Cortese says the anointing works in cooperation with people as we exercise our gifts. Perhaps this is more a story of a savy mother protecting her baby than about a random meeting between a princess and a basket floating haphazardly down the river. 2b. Last week, Pastor Ken Bobe mentioned something else intriguing about the Moses story. Apparently, in ancient Egypt and Israel it was customary for children to be nursed until age 3-5. Although he was raised in Pharoah's court, Moses nursed at his Jewish mother's breast well into his early years of understanding. Proverbs tells us: "Train up a child in the way he should go and and when he is old, he will not turn from it." (Proverbs 22:6)


Post a Comment

<< Home