our cell group has been looking at exodus and for some preach prep I've also been looking at Exodus and it's an incredible book - particularly the take down of Egypt. A few things I've been thinking about:
1. confrontation of cultural norms takes guts and is often done (first) alone
Moses has to obey God in the first confrontation of Pharaoh. This has got to be a scary thing.. I mean I know we've been educated on The Prince of Egypt and the lovely idea that Pharaoh actually loved Moses and all that jazz.... but the Bible paints a different story. The direct confrontation of Pharaoh was potentially the death of Moses (and Moses knew it - thus all the whining...) - but HE DOES IT ANYWAY. That my friends, is the way we de-throne the enemy. radical obedience.
2. confrontation of cultural norms/gods is hard work.
After the initial confrontation Pharaoh doubles the work of the Israelite slaves... it now costs them more than ever before. Does it feel like freedom? no. To get up the nerve to confront culture takes a lot of effort and energy - then to deal with the ramifications of it - well, that is the really hard work. If you get rid of your TV for example - a VERY hard confrontation in a culture addicted to it. You have the hard work of deciding to do it - then doing something else instead... reading, games as a family, creativity etc.. it's hard work. It's hard work to decide and then to explain - how do you explain getting rid of your TV without confronting the dominant culture in other people... it's tough.
3. confrontation of cultural norms/gods is the first part of freedom. We hear alot about freedom and how great it is and how 'easy' it should be - like an instant deliverance... but I've been thinking of the time lapse between the Moses and Pharaoh encounters... I mean it was whole seasons, years of signs... and even during all the plagues, the Israelites are still slaves... confrontation of dominant culture in order to be free is hard work.
4. confrontation of cultural norms/gods attracts suffering. This is just the reality of confrontation. It hurts. It's bound to hurt. It's the kind of hurt that is worth it - but it attracts suffering - whether it's from the hands of the dominant culture itself - like a Pharaoh trying to maintain His authority and pride - or from the hands of the slaves you are trying to free because of the cost involved... it's bound to be misunderstood and result in suffering. It's no reason to back away - but it is a reality in the confrontation of false gods.
There is a lot more to say and a lot more I'm being challenged with personally... but this journey into freedom - wow - that is something to live for, something to die for even. And I'm in. All the way in. I've been wondering lately if I'm confronting Pharaoh enough - perhaps I need to take a deep breath and march into a dominant cultural norm and confront it with the deep love and beauty of a Jesus life... perhaps I'm just gearing up for Surrender...