There are certain times in life we remember better than others. A once in a lifetime vacation we remember a little better than day trips to the zoo. An outfit or pair of shoes we begged our parents for we remember better than humdrum school clothes. Sometimes we remember a gift because it was wrapped in a box that was 10x too big or we remember a surprise party better than a simple little one we planned. To remember something, we have to go through a series of strong emotions, we have to be awakened by a little bit of both agony and sheer joy! Think about a time you had a serious illness and were healed, or someone you love passed away, or when someone new came into your family–you can remember details about that season of your life whereas typically you would have no idea what you were doing that week. When things stand out of the ordinary, we remember it and we find ourselves telling and retelling the story.
I think that’s a little bit of what God was up to when He delivered the Israelites out of Egypt in the epic story of Moses, Pharoah, and the Crossing of the Red Sea. He has a crazy strategy; He plans a true saga! (That has to be right because look how many movies have been made about it!) The flies, the blood, the gnats, the sons, the magicians, the staff, the snake, Moses and his stuttering tongue, Aaron and his apparent eloquence…none of these things even mattered! They were just pawns in God’s hand to play out a story, a story that God wanted to stamp into the history of this book called God’s Fanatical Love For the People of Israel. (Yep, I just called God a fanatic!) In Exodus 10:1-2, God lays it out plainly. He makes it clear He has never for one moment been in a submissive posture as this story unfolds. He orchestrated it–even down to the details of Pharoah’s stubborn hardened heart–to give Israel a chance to see in the uncut, unedited form Who He Is. So that they would never forget. So that they would keep telling this over the top story to their children and their children’s children, forever and ever, amen. It’s like a great engagement story or “when I knew he would be my future husband” story…those moments that lead to a depth of relationship. He wanted them to know Him.
God will do whatever He’s gotta do for His own to know Him and come close, and we can know whatever He does is gonna be memorable. And the very cool part about Him is that anyone who will come into the fold is welcome, becoming an instantaneous loved one, equally valuable and protected as He demonstrates in all of these chapters and these specific verses (Ex. 11:7, Ex. 12:13, Ex. 14:13-14, Ex. 14:25) Did God play favorites in this story of the Israelites and Egyptians? Of course He did. If there is a fold, there will be those in the fold and those out of it. I don’t particularly like that, but its still true. So what is my amazing, philosophical, theological response? Get in the fold, enjoy being His favorite, and be a living invitation to everyone around you!
In our lives now, what would happen if we viewed everything that comes our way as part of an illustrious memorable story God is writing to teach us of His character and to make us more like Him? It’s funny how we can see that happening in other people’s lives but not our own sometimes. That mean person at the store, that low number in the checking account, that sickness, that plan falling through, that disappointment, that injustice. That decades long issue that you can’t seem to shake. I am positive that we can find the activity of God right here, right now, sitting in our laps, written in our journals, poured out loud in our prayers…whatever we’re thinking about, going through, working through, there it is! There is God writing your history, with something in mind that will ultimately give Him glory and help us know Him deeply if we will relax under His authority.