Monday, February 01, 2010

Thus They Plundered the Egyptians

Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
---Exodus 12:35-36

The Plundering of Egypt
The final statement in that passage makes me smile. I love it. It fulfills God's promise to Moses back in Exodus 3:20-20: "So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go. I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor and the women who lives in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you will put them on your sons and daughters. Thus you will plunder the Egyptians."
When do you plunder someone else? Isn't it when you win a victory over them. You are triumphant, they are utterly defeated, and so you plunder them, walking away with their stuff. The thought of a bunch of ragged slaves plundering the greatest kingdom on earth is a comical thought. But that is what happened. After Pharaoh told the Israelites that they could leave, they turned to their neighbors and asked for some of their stuff. And the Egyptians scurried away to grab their earrings and silverware and cloaks. They handed them over quickly, saying, "You can have it. Just leave!" The people of Israel were not only set free, but they walked away as victors over Egypt.

To the Victors Go the Spoils
When the Israelites plundered the Egyptians, they reaped the benefits of a victory with which they had nothing to do. God had won the victory, humbling Egypt, and the Israelites got the spoil. They were invited to partake of the spoils of victory, even though they had not lifted a finger to achieve this victory.
Later on Israel had a greater level of participation in the victories that God brought to them. When this took place, though, they would have done well to remember their initial victory. This would keep them from pride, and would help them to remember that it was God who fought for them.

"This is my body, take and eat."
I cannot get over the parallel of this story and the larger gospel story. We reap the benefits of a victory that we did not win. We are triumphant because Christ has triumphed! He conquers sin and death, and we enjoy the spoils! This is the beauty of the gospel.

And we would do well to remember that it was not our doing when this victory was won.


At 3:50 AM, Blogger 頭髮 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼 ..................................................

At 6:52 PM, Blogger DidiLyn said...

Loved this reminder. I want to say, "Lord, I believe. Help me in my unbelief." Because I know this truth that it is God only, but I really want to KNOW it, and live like I KNOW it.
If that made any sense, I'll be happy. :-)

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