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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Life of Moses, Extramarital Affairs

    Today’s Reading:
  • Exodus 2:11 - 3:22
  • Proverbs 5:7 - 14
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Exodus 2:11 - 3:22
In my last reading of Exodus I met Moses -- first as an infant and then as a child (undisclosed age) when he was handed back to be raised by the princess.  Today I met Moses as an adult.  Again the age is undisclosed, but the study notes in my bible estimate (based on other bible references I have yet to read) that Moses was about 40 years old. 

As an adult Moses decided to visit his people and witnessed the brutality of their slavery firsthand.  Moses then took matters into his own hands and killed a guard that had beaten a Hebrew man.  When Moses later tried to socialize with some fellow Hebrews they responded quite poorly.  They accused him of trying to be their prince and their judge (2:14).  I guess their response was understandable; after all, Moses had led a life of privilege even though he was a Hebrew.  What did he really know of their suffering?  And who was he to just come down, kill a guard, and think that he can make it all better?

Pharaoh learned that Moses had killed the guard and tried to kill Moses.  Moses then became a fugitive and fled to Midian.  There he rescued some girls who were trying to water their father's flocks.  Moses settled with that family, married one of the girls, and had children of his own.  Moses lived that life for around 40 years (again, estimate from my study bible and I have not read enough to back it up).

When Moses was approximately 80 years old he saw the burning bush.  There he was told what his mission would be -- first to meet with the Israelite elders, then to meet with Pharaoh and demonstrate God's hand, and finally to lead the people out of Egypt. 

Moses was understandably baffled at this revelation.  It was a huge endeavor and a great responsibility.  The Pharaoh who tried to kill Moses had died but that didn't mean the new Pharaoh was any more favorable toward Moses.  The new Pharaoh hadn't changed the brutal slavery policies, so why would there be any reason to believe that Moses wouldn't still be a fugitive when he returned?  I also don't think there was any indication that Moses would be any better received by his own people.  He was a Hebrew, but he had lived apart his entire life, even after he fled the palace.

The reading leaves off before Moses actually accepts and undergoes the mission, but of course I know the ending to this story.  Even if I didn't know, Moses was a rescuer, that was easy to see.  The problem was that he went about it via his own devices, first by killing the guard and then by rescuing the girls.  Each of those actions had life changing implications -- for the first he became a fugitive and lost his life of privilege, for the second he gained a new home and new life.  Regardless, the true power to rescue his people, a power he arguably craved, could only come from God.  Finally, Moses was about to embark on the God-led mission to deliver his people out of the brutal slavery in Egypt. 

Proverbs 5:7 -14
This reading continues the topic of having an affair.  The bible strictly warns that you have much to lose -- you will lose your wealth and the fruit of your labors (a divorce would immediately result in a loss of much of your wealth) and the things you have achieved (how many public scandals have ruined people's careers?).  The bible even says you will suffer diseases (sexually transmitted diseases, I assume). 

The last verse tells of the public disgrace that will be suffered.  All of what was said here is true today -- even in our day and age when sexual relationships before or instead of marriage are quite common.  So heed the warnings! 

The bible doesn't say that it's a crime to be tempted, because how could you help the occasional thought that passes through your mind?  But it does say to stay far away from temptation's door (5:8).  In other words, keep yourself out of those situations.  If you actively keep yourself away from it then you won't succumb to it.  But if you keep putting yourself in that situation, how long do you think you will be able to resist it?  When is it ever worth what you're going to lose?

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