I am a sucker for autobiographies, diaries, and secret or lost books. I love the human story. What is it about each other’s stories that captivates us and brings us closer to each other? Closer to God?
Continuing with our narrative journey through the Bible we are resting in Exodus. When you hear that I am preaching from Exodus your mind may go to “the Exodus.” Well then you would be right. I want to share with you a story about the Exodus.
We are all familiar with the Exodus story. The bondage of Israel. The baby Moses. The little reed basket. The burning bush. The ten plagues. The Passover. The wandering in the wilderness. The ten commandments. The covenant with God.
Exodus is a glorious story that sets the foundation of Israel’s identity. Exodus is a love story of the covenant that binds God and Israel together in mutual relationship and lays out the customs, practices, and guidelines for maintain that covenantal relationship.
As I was reading Exodus 12 and 13 I wondered, “what was going on with the other people in the story?” We get some of what happened to Pharaoh, Moses, and Aaron. We get the particulars of what went down. What about the first-born children? What did the average Egyptian have to say about all of this? What would the common Israelite have to say about all of this?
I have good news for you. I have discovered a collection of lost journals that talks about the Israelites and Egyptians during the times that lead up to the Passover and exodus. After extensive efforts to translate to our context and fill in the gaps left by time, for the first time in public I will share parts of this with you today. I bet you had no idea you were going to be a part of a world premier here today.
“Everyone’s running around. Something big is happening. I’m not sure what it is but it is big. After all of those crazy days of bloodwater, bugs, boils, and frogs I am excited and terrified as to what’s next. My father is so busy. He slaughtered one of the goats today but we don’t get to eat any of it. Lame! I got in trouble for trying to eat some of the meat while it was roasting. Whatever is going on I hope it doesn’t interfere with my game.” -Hadad
“My son doesn’t understand. He is just a boy. He is so focused on sports. He is very upset about what is going on. He just wants to play. He has worked so hard. I hope he sees that what is about to come is for the best. This will allow a better future for us all. The other night at the community meeting I was so confused at what we were supposed to do. Kill an unblemished sheep or goat, paint your doors with its blood, and do not eat any leftovers but burn it all in the morning. This sounds so wasteful. My husband is busy preparing all of this. If we don’t we will suffer the fate of the Egyptians.” -Deborah
“It was so gross. The bugs, the frogs, and the blood. I am totally thankful that the other stuff didn’t attack us. The house is filled with a delicious smell. Dad is roasting a goat. Hadad got in trouble for trying to eat it. All he does is worry about playing basketball. He’s not all that good at it. He needs to grow up. He is the oldest. He’ll have to go and help dad soon. His 16th birthday is coming in a few months. Mom and I had to take the blood dad collected from the goat and paint the door with it. GROSS! It got all over my hands and everything. I really wish I knew what was going on. Everyone’s all cray cray. I just do as I am told. Being a girl in this house stinks. My brothers get to do everything fun. I have to stay in the house and watch all the action go by.” -Ziba
“My children just don’t understand. My family doesn’t know but the Egyptians will all suffer a tragic loss tonight. They all will loss a child. This is why I am have killed a goat and am following the instructions of Moses and Aaron. I want no part of this tragedy. Our people have been in bondage for so long. Moses has brought us to a place of liberation. We will no longer serve the Egyptians. They have been harsh and cruel. There are some kind Egyptians but they are few and far between. These last few weeks have been packed with such great heights and such depressing lows. Why will the Pharaoh not let us go? We are not needed here in Egypt. The latest polls have shown that most of Egypt no longer wants us here. We are seen as a nuisance and a danger to the freedom of Egypt. I can’t go in to a store to buy anything without being watched like I am going to steal something. If I hang out with my friends in my neighborhood the cops show up trying to ‘check us out’ to make sure nothing is going on. You can’t drive near the Egyptians neighborhoods without getting pulled over. I wonder what they think about this plague business. I bet they are tired after all the bugs, boils, blood, and darkness. They are getting what they deserve as far as I am concerned. I hope what Moses said is right. We will be free soon, very soon. That’ll make all of this craziness worth it.” -Sodi
“I am so tired. These last few weeks have been the worst. First the well was filled with blood. Then frogs got out of hand and were everywhere. Everyone had lice. Flies blanketed the sky like clouds. Our livestock got sick and we lost many of them. My husband, my kids, and I got boils all over our bodies overnight. That was so bad. They hurt and I could not comfort my children. Then the hail came and damaged our crops. The thunder spooked our workhorses and they broke out of their pens and ran off. The locusts came and finished of what the hail didn’t take of the crops. Then darkness came over us. I prayed to Osiris to let Ra hear us. They didn’t. Now the Israelites are preparing for something else. You can smell and the roasting fire from here. I wish Pharaoh would just send them away. We don’t need them any more. Why does Egypt keep supporting them? Let them go away and we be done with each other. It would be best for all of us to be apart from each other.” -Safiya
“I can’t take these Israelites any longer. They talk back to me all the time. They act like they are my equals. I will be happy to see them gone. I curse them and these plagues we have suffered by them. All I ever tried to do was be good to them. And this is how we are treated. I regret their presence in the land of Ra. They celebrate over there with roasted meat. I would roast meat of my own but I have so few cattle left. I get so angry just thinking about them. I will dance the day they leave. My message to the Pharaoh is, “Let those people GO!.” -Yafeu
The worst of all plagues certainly visited Egypt that night and the firstborn of all houses of Egypt were struck down. The Israelites fled at the prompting of Pharaoh and passed through the sea into the wilderness. Departing from 430 years of bondage towards the Promised Land. Here we are 2,000 plus years wandering in the dessert still looking for our Promised Land, awaiting a dream, and a mountaintop. Trusting, knowing, and hoping that we may not all get there together but we all will meet up on that mountaintop and our eyes shall see the glory of the Lord.