I had the privilege of going and seeing “Exodus: Gods and Kings” with a friend recently. It is obvious that the creators of the movie either took a lot of creative freedom in telling the story, or just didn’t take Scriptures too seriously in their telling of the story.
I mean, seriously, It is highly unlikely that Moses became a guerilla bandit between His meeting God at the burning bush, and God bringing the plagues down on Egypt. Not impossible, just highly unlikely. That he might not have known Miriam was his sister, or even that he was an Israelite, is fairly likely given the political climate of his day. Yet the Scriptures don’t mention that either.
Then they get to the sea, and Moses throws in his sword and the sea parts? They were clearly uncomfortable with the staff being used as God’s tool in the biblical version of the story, because the staff virtually disappears in the movie. In fact, Moses gives it to his son to keep until his return and we know that didn’t happen in the Bible version. And Moses’ mud bath? Wow, that was truly laughable!
But there was still enough truth in the movie to connect. One of the things that connected with me is God’s desire for a relationship with His people. In the movie God shows up when Moses tries to free the Israelites his own way, and basically tells Moses that this next part of the battle is His to fight. Moses gets to sit back and watch this part.
The sequence of events is off from the scriptural version, but that God didn’t ask the Israelites to fight for their freedom is notable. He desires a relationship with His people and He is willing to take that first step to bring them to freedom. That is God’s part of the story. He desires a relationship with His people so much, He’ll fight their war of freedom for them. He still does that in our lives today, by saving us by the sacrifice of Christ.
In doing so, He shows Himself trustworthy. And He is inviting us to trust Him. He desires for us to trust Him. Even the walk out of Egypt to the promised land is designed to teach His people to trust Him. It is not enough that His people are free from the Egyptians, He also wants them to trust Him. He wants to be their God, and their only God.
Moses’ time in the wilderness before that seems to be of a similar design. Teaching Moses not to trust in the ease of Egyptian wealth, but to place his trust in the living God. His God. That is why I think the guerilla warfare scenario is highly unlikely. Since he just spent years in the wilderness learning to trust God.
The children of Israel spent years working as slaves before they seem to remember that they were God’s people, and that God promised them more than this. But when their slavery got brutal enough, they started to cry out to God.
And when they cried out to God, He heard them and He starts preparing freedom for them. And He sets out a journey for them that is a perfect mixture of faith and action to teach them their need for God and invite their trust.
While there are times when all the Israelites had to do was hear what God said, and wait for Him to part the seas and blaze the trail, there were also plenty of times in this journey towards the promise where they get the invitation for more involvement.
In those instances God asks them to pick up their swords and put some skin in the game, and fight their own battles against seemingly insurmountable odds, believing that God walks with them. And that God is their God, and will not fail them.
In achieving the life you were designed for, that has even been promised to you, you will find a similar invitation. An invitation that will sometimes be that of trusting God to do things in a supernatural way, and at other times, picking up the sword and sweating your own way through a battle against tall odds.
The only way you will be able to accept that invitation is if you have come to know that God desires to be your God, and that He desires you to trust Him. Do you know God well enough to have that kind of confidence in Him? That bold a faith?