The Book of Exodus, Part 1 (Video)
Torah Series, Episode 3
This article features a video entitled The Book of Exodus Overview – Part 1 of 2 It’s the third episode of the Torah Series from The Bible Project. This is a crowd-funded ministry doing vital work; please consider supporting it.
Pop Quiz: The Passover story is…
(A) inspiring, fascinating and fun
(B) brutal, violent, and gross
(C) Both A & B
This conundrum could apply to a lot of stories in the Bible, depending on whether you’re reading them in a children’s picture book or, well… the Bible. If we take seriously Yeshua‘s commandment to love our enemies, it’s difficult to cheer when an Egyptian gets boils all over his skin, or a takes a huge hailstone to the head, or loses his firstborn son.
There’s no easy answer to this, so the way forward requires a lot of trust. Trust in God to orchestrate his love story to humanity in big-picture ways, while dealing justly and righteously with the individuals created in his image. When we look at the wickedness embodied in this Pharaoh Ramses, we can see how extreme evil would require extreme justice. After all, if turning water to blood were justice enough, Pharoah would have released the Hebrews right away. But it wasn’t enough. Plague after horrifying plague, we see Pharaoh hardening his heart, looking Almighty God square in the eye, and daring him to turn up the heat. So God did.
Remember, several centuries prior God made Egypt a grand gesture of mercy by sending Joseph. He saved their nation (not to mention the entire region) from catastrophe, but in time they forgot. Not only did they forget, they selfishly exploited as a resource that which God had granted them as a divine blessing. God had given them every opportunity to make things right, but Ramses was so hell-bent on his own power and divinity, and on destroying any other divine work, that mercy itself was banished. The ten plagues served to prove the powerlessness of the Egyptian gods, including Ramses himself. And the final hardening of his heart led to the destruction of the army at the Dead Sea, to make sure there was never any doubt who is truly in control.
Here’s Part 2: Exodus 19-40