Moses and God vs The Pharaoh: Breaking Free

God Tells Moses To Confront The Pharaoh

God tells Moses to go to Pharaoh— the #1 biggest slave owner of all of Egypt— and say, “Set my people free or else… the Nile river will turn to blood. The fishies will die!”

Moses is like, “If you wanna turn the river into blood, just do it. Why do I have tell him the fishies will die? Why all the drama?”

God says, “It has to be… dramatic. This is the campaign to end slavery. It has to be catchy.”

I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.

—Exodus 7:17-18

So the river turns to blood and Moses is like, “BAM. Set my people free.”

The Pharaoh responds, “You grrr—“ he points to the Israelite slaves “poisoned your own river.”

God tells Moses, “Okay! Ok! I see how he rolls. Alright, well what about this?”

I will send a plague of frogs on your whole country. The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people…The frogs died in the houses, in the courtyards and in the fields. They were piled into heaps, and the land reeked of them.

—Exodus 8:2-3,13

The Plagues

God makes it rain— frogs. Slimey frogs everywhere and heaps of stinky dead frogs.

Moses goes to Pharaoh and is like, “Now, set my people free!”

Pharaoh is choking. He says, handkerchief over nose “Screw you! I can’t breathe.”

God says, “Oh, I like that, ‘I… can’t… breathe.’ Let’s remember that. That would make a good protest T-shirt.

Moses asks God, “What do we do now?”

God cracks his knuckles and says, “It’s Juneteenth. Let Daddy take care of it.” So God, the Daddy of the Israelite slaves, sends plague after plague upon the Egyptians. First, he sends gnats— all the dust of the land becomes gnats— these really annoying fruit flies. Then, giant fat house flies cover everything. Then, boils on their skin. Then locusts. Then hail— rocks of ice falling from the sky.

Just cuz… Pharaoah said, “Y’all are doing this to yo’selves….” God makes all the plagues afflict only the slave owners— the Egyptians.

Nada— nothing, NYET— zero. Not a single plague touches any of the slaves— the Israelites. All the animals of the slave owners die. None of the animals of the slaves die? Hmm.

The Distinction

The Bible really focuses on Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and the government officials. It doesn’t focus on the slaves at all. Because they weren’t doing anything. They were just sitting there going, “Wow, something, something is happening out there. Linus, Boaz, Ephrediah—”

The Bible ignores the slaves and focuses in on how the government officials are reacting to this. The Bible says that God starts separating the slaves from the slave masters.

God, the God of unity, the God of community, the God of Together We Rise— all of a sudden, starts to say, “I can’t breathe. Enough is Enough.”

He orders the Israelite football team to kneel when they play the Egyptian national anthem at the Spartan Games. Something is happening here. God is creating a movement not just within Egypt, but within the slave camps themselves.

I will make a distinction between my people and your people.

—Exodus 8: 23

He is making a distinction between what is just and what is unjust

between what is free and what is not free.

Breaking Free

The pharaoh tells his slaves, “Your God is terrorizing me. What kind of God makes all this mess?”

The Israelites are like, “Oh.” Clueless.

The pharaoh says, “I can’t breathe. What kind of God chokes people?”

The Israelites slaves were like shrugging their shoulders… Meanwhile Moses TRYNA make all dis swag— t-shirts, beer mugs, backpacks. The slaves are kind of just hands squished between knees sitting there watching him. Remember… they have been slaves for 430 years— so this is kind of a new idea to not be a slave.

The length of time that the Israelites lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.

—Exodus 12:40

Like they want to be able to have picnics and go out into the wilderness and do their religious services. But freedom is kind of a stretch.

Because first of all, they’d be homeless and they wouldn’t have any money and it was kind of like “Well, where are we going to live? Are there any condos— with swimming pools and camel parking— like after we’re free? Or do we have to build our own houses, cuz right now I have a 2 bedroom, 1 and a half bath, with its own wifi. Like, we wouldn’t mind— you know, better working hours and 2 more sick days a month, but homelessness? I don’t know.”

Moses has two jobs.

He has to convince Pharaoh to set his people free. But he also has to convince his own people to be free.

Now, you really need to think here— about when you want to BREAK free. Remember what you wrote earlier?

You’re never the only one who wants to break free from the same situation.

When you break free and you take others along with you… that’s when you win.

You never win alone.

You win— when you win with others.

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