Let my people go

I can’t help but think there are some parallels between what is happening in the world today with Covid 19 and ancient history from the time of the Egyptians. Two countries were involved, one living under servile condition, the other powerful and autocratic in its leadership. 

I have been reading the story of the exodus. It’s found in the second book of the bible and follows the history of the Jewish nation taken into slavery and becoming the chattels of the ruling power that was Egypt.  It is a story that we have some familiarity with, slavery, violence, murder, intrigue, love won and lost, hope shattered and ultimately a dash for freedom.

We can look very closely at the story and map out a host of significant facts that relate to both the Israelites and the Egyptians. We can and should consider Gods role in the entirety of the story line. There is much to look at, faith, lack of faith, decision making, foolishness and procrastination. At the heart of the story we can see that self-importance, self-actualisation and self-expression led to people losing sight of God, believing that God was only important on the side-lines. This all comes to a head when the main character under God’s influence (Moses) decides that it is time to take the people out of slavery.  Now he didn’t just walk up to the Egyptian ruler, a deity in the eyes of his own people, and say, ‘I’m leaving and taking the whole nation with me’. No, life is not like that. Long protracted negotiations took place and always the decision was one sided; ‘You can’t leave.’ No matter how many demonstrations of God’s sovereign power supported the claims to ‘Let my people go’, they were refused.

Is there a parallel today? God through his man Moses put the Israelites under ‘lock down’, when they were forced into the desert. They had to self-isolate, have enough food to eat and be ready to move, be prepared and to act at the given signal, no delay, no prevarication, in obedience set out with a new road map. This was going to be their life saving moment, the time for national agreement that would lead to freedom. The power of God became a demonstration of his desire to set his people free; the ultimate journey taking the nation to full free lives was full of adventure; showdowns, challenges, exasperation and continued reassurance that everything would be okay in the end. But they had to be prepared to move, I hope we are ready to move…

Pandemic. We should not be afraid to call it out; the parallels with the biblical narrative are clear to see. Our age is not free to behave without reference to history. The earth itself cries out in pain as it encounters daily misuse by humankind. The earth no longer seems a happy place where everything is very good. Sadness, bereavement and greed all prevail.  Yes good nature also prevails but against the tide we cannot live as if God is an act on the side-lines.

I turned a very small beetle back onto its legs, it had been struggling so I came to its rescue. A seemingly small thing, but my small thing can be replicated by many other small things that just might make a difference and our God will, with all his love and grace, make this world a happy place again.

Photo by Fr. Barry Braum on Unsplash