Tuesday, 1 February 2011


Having tried to comment on everything last month, I am forcing myself to give up the self-imposed expectation of commenting on everything and will focus on the main OT reading. I need to keep it all manageable so as to avoid becoming a baggy-eyed grump!

Exodus 1-3 Genesis finished with that happily ever after feel. Exodus opens and our jolly symphony, hits a minor transition. Just as the life of the human race opens with a Fall, so too, this second book opens with one. God's people have forsaken the living God and started worshipping idols. So God gives them over to slavery under the Egyptians. Having been the head of the Egyptian nation, they have become the tail.

The Egyptians treat them harshly and even start to kill their boys so that they can force intermarriage and "destroy" the seed-line. (If it was merely an issue of population control, they would have killed all the babies, not just the boys.)

The Hebrew midwives lie to Pharaoh and God blesses them for it!! (This seemingly dodgy ethical manoeuvre only makes sense when you consider that Pharaoh - having the spirit of Antichrist, is symbolic of Satan in the Exodus. Without doubt, the persecuted church all over the world today, does stuff like this to keep the testimony of God alive in their nations.) So Pharaoh changes tack and decides to have them all thrown in the Nile.

Moses is born and he is seen to be no ordinary child. Of course, ask any parent what they think of their newborn, and they will tell you that their child is anything but ordinary, but when the Bible uses this kind of language it is more profound. Moses was marked out as a deliverer of the people (not endorsing all the content of that link, but it does make you think doesn't it?) - a saviour figure.

Amram and Jochebed, (Moses' parents) follow the letter of the law of Pharaoh, but not the spirit, they throw their son in the water, but he is hidden inside a little ark and so comes through the waters of death, to a new life sticking out like an embarrassing ethnic boil in Pharaoh's palace. How Pharaoh's daughter got away with it, we probably won't know.

So Moses grows up in the house of Pharaoh with a dual identity, living like an Egyptian, but in his heart he is a Hebrew. Moreover, he is a Christian. One day he (presumptuously?) goes to his people, beginning his ministry of deliverance, but he is rejected by his own people who are so bound up in idolatry that they can't see that he is God's provision for them and he has to flee into the wilderness for 40 years! The Israelites, for their lack of faith, suffer another 40 years - it won't be the last time either.

Fearing his life, Moses flees and finds himself amongst the Midianites, (descendants of Abraham through his second wife). And after showing off his manly biceps to some local damsels, he marries the daughter of preacher man, Jethro.

Whether his efforts to deliver his people first time round were presumptuous or not, God meets with him and says that now is the time. This God is Christ who appears to Moses as if trapped in a burning thorn bush, identifying himself as both Son of God and Son of Man. As Son of Man he sympathises with his people suffering in slavery in Egypt. As the Son of God he foreshadows his own crucifixion. Christ, the great Angel of the Covenant in whom is the Name YHWH, is the divine covenant keeper, ensuring that what he has already declared on behalf of his Father is upheld, even to his own hurt. He tells Moses (3:13) that he will lead out the people back to this mountain where they will "meet" the Father.

So Moses is installed as the "priest king" of Israel, ruling over them and mediating between God and the people, just like Jesus does. As priest king, he will deliver all God's people and the Egyptians, having mistreated the Israelites, will pay for all the years they made them suffer, according to the law of God.

Psalm 24. More here

Acts 15:22-41 So the question is: May I eat Black Pudding as part of my full English brekkie?

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