Tuesday 13 July 2021

Bible Book:

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did as the Lord had commanded; Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. (v. 10)

Exodus 7:8-13 Tuesday 13 July 2021

Psalm 20


Another great biblical tale of the triumph of the underdog! Yet this passage represents so much more than that and what happens in these verses is definitely a ‘small battle victory’, with the war of liberation yet to be won. Here we have two messengers (Moses and Aaron) representing an enslaved people coming face to face with the leader of a mighty empire and coming out on top. This text might well bring to mind the way in which different sides in current conflicts each seem to bring out increasingly powerful and sophisticated weaponry with which to crush their opponents. The loss of life and devastation caused in such conflicts can never be sanctioned by what we recognise as a God of love and peace. Yet the idea that ultimately God’s bias lies with those who are subjugated and marginalised comes through here.

We might also say that these verses exemplify the truth that religion and politics, far from being incompatible, are actually opposite sides of the same coin. God is involved here, offering up humble servants in the face of brutal might, mysteriously empowering them to overcome the condescending scorn of Pharaoh, who has his own strange and unexplained miracle workers.

This passage is not the end of the story of course, but in order to achieve liberation for the enslaved, the divine steps into the arena, now as then, usually in the form of human voices, human passion and human courage in the face of that which is death-inducing. There are those who would seek to undermine the movement of Liberation Theology, saying that as far as the Exodus is concerned, it is purely God doing the work, not people. Yet in this passage, and indeed throughout the whole narrative, the role of Moses and Aaron and others is critical. Here we have the clearest example of God using human hearts and minds and determination and bravery as channels of justice and freedom to persevere in the face of adversity, as Jesus did, in the ultimate goal of bringing good news to the poor, proclaiming release to the captives and letting the oppressed go free.


To Ponder:

  • When have you been conscious of God working through you, or someone else in the pursuit of justice and freedom?
  • When have you felt the need to prove yourself in the face of someone stronger and more powerful than you? What happened?
  • If you are not familiar with the ideas of Liberation Theology, here’s a starter for you to read and see what it makes you think and feel. https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/beliefs/liberationtheology.shtml



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