It's spring, and this time of year reminds us of a great period in biblical history known as Exodus, that book in the Old Testament where a certain 'Moses' delivered the Israelites out of bondage and into a new life in the promised land.
|His faith was stronger than his fear.|
Moses had help though, in this case from God, who did the good service of parting a particularly nasty stretch of the Red Sea, just enough, so Mr.Moses and his brethren could flee the oppression of the Pharaoh, and seek emancipation in the promised land.
Imagine for a moment if Moses had tried a different approach. Imagine for a moment what would have happened if Moses had decided to use the newly parted Red Seas as a political bargaining chip, in order to lobby for better living conditions within the Egyptian empire.
King Ramses, impressed by the parted Sea, certainly would have been eager to negotiate new terms for the Israelites, since the alternative would have been to see the bulk of his cheap labour force slip out the back door courtesy of some divine miracle.
The Pharaoh would have been eager to negotiate with Moses, and would probably have made a reasonable offer, considering the alternative was to lose the entire lot.
Moses was wise for recognizing that this miracle was a God given opportunity to sever the chord, and begin fresh, in a new land. If Moses had chosen to negotiate with the Pharaoh, he probably would have found the Pharaoh to be uncharacteristically magnanimous while hammering out the terms of their new arrangement. However, the Pharaoh's genial nature would have soon soured a few moments after the parted waters of the Red Sea were to un-part.
Soooo… good for you Moses! Thanks to your wisdom we have a legend that continues to inspire the religious and non-religious to this day. We see how your faith in divine providence, or simple opportunism, depending on your perspective, can lead to great change and a hope for a better life.
Dirty CT April 2011