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I’m a realist. My cup is neither half empty nor half full. As a Hebrew slave in Egypt I’m convinced you have to be a realist or else you’ll go crazy.
The emotional tension is enough to make you mad. On the one hand, my people live with a hope that God will deliver us from Egypt and on the other hand we always feel like we are stuck in mud. This is why my realist philosophy has served me well because it puts limits on any expectations and hopes that might arise within my soul.
I have to be honest with you, though. The other day when Moses and Aaron returned to Egypt from Midian my realist credo was overtaken by a sense of hope and optimism like I’ve never felt before. I mean I was really rooting for this guy Moses. And yet I quickly remembered why I’m a realist.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. Moses made it into the presence of Pharaoh––that alone deserves applause. But Moses’ persistence with Pharaoh to let us go for a three-day journey to worship our God landed us more work. That’s right. Now I have to gather my own straw and still produce the same quota of bricks by the end of the day.
We worked from sun up to sun down and we still couldn’t hit our target number of bricks. Yoram, my boss, and the other foremen were physically beaten by an Egyptian and brought before Pharaoh for questioning.
Yoram told me as they were leaving Pharaoh’s court, they ran into Moses. Yoram and the other Israelite foremen surrounded Moses and Aaron and started taunting them. “Let the LORD look on you and judge, because you have made us abhorrent in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us” (Ex. 5:21)
Apparently Moses and Aaron couldn’t take the ridicule, so they ran from the crowd of Israelite foremen.
To my surprise, however, Moses and Aaron had the audacity to return a few days later, but this time their message fell on deaf ears. My grandfather and the other elders refused to be associated with Moses and Aaron’s mission.
The Israelites’ decision didn’t persuade Moses or Aaron––their resolve to speak to Pharaoh is certainly not established on public opinion. They really believe our God has called them to deliver us.
Like I said, I’m a realist. This time my expectations are right where they should be.
If Moses fails again, I don’t know if he’ll make it out of Egypt alive.
I’ll try to keep you posted, if I don’t it’s because I have to make more bricks.
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