Tonight in class Dr Buckwalter discussed how the plagues of Egypt each took on an Egyptian god. God was showing his power and supremacy to his people who had been exposed to what seemed like amazingly powerful gods, of fertility, health, etc. The final plague was a display over the power of life and death itself. This shocking plague, brought the Pharaoh to his knees, as it defeated his most powerful deity in one swift shot. He sent his throngs of free labor away.
As the nation of Israel fled, Pharaoh reconsidered. Pharaoh’s armies charged, and pinned the ambulating nation between the sea and the force of Egypt’s finest military. The sea didn’t just promise a watery interruption, but certain death. For the people of those times, and many today, the sea is still a symbol of death. Without rescue, none can survive her.
Narrative speaks volumes to us here. At the linear climax what happens? What does God do? Does he send legions of angels to lay waste to the huge army? Does he cause a sound or distraction that confuses the approaching troops? Does he smite the army with blindness? No. All these would have saved his people, and all were miracles implemented at certain times in biblical narrative. What does he choose to show them?
He shows them, that he is trustworthy. They need not even fear death. He does the impossible, and creates a dry path right through death itself. He holds back the deadly waters, and dries up the land beneath. Animals, children, mothers, fathers, fearful youth, elderly women, and all the rest can simply stroll through, and away from impending danger. This would not just save them, but penetrate them with symbolism that would hit hard–very hard.
What giants are in your way, and how might you respond with this story in mind?
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