Monday, September 24, 2007

Payback Time

This morning, hovering between sleeping and waking, I had some odd thoughts.

For some reason I found myself remembering the Bible story of the children of Israel when they were slaves in Egypt. When God gave Moses instructions about their escape, one of the things he told them was this:

"21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. 22 But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.” (from Exodus 3, NKJV)

Now why in the world would God tell them something like this? Basically, he told them to take things that didn't belong to them. It wasn't exactly stealing, I guess, since they asked first, but still. Isn't that bad for God's reputation? He's telling them to take stuff!

Plus, it just seems like an audacious thing to do: As you run away from your slave masters, ask them for their clothes and their jewelry to take with you.

So as I lay there in bed thinking about this, I asked God, "Why would you tell the Israelites to plunder the Egyptians?"

And almost before I finished asking the question, the thought popped into my brain,

"It was their wages."

If you look at it that way, I guess, yeah. It was the paycheck for 400 years of forced labor.

What do you think?


My Ice Cream Diary said...

That is a very correct way of looking at it. Along with that is that the Lord never asks us to do something without providing a way for us to do it. The people needed money to make such a journey and he had them obtain it from those who owed it to them anyway. That said, it does sound odd the first time you read it.

Glennia said...

You raise a very interesting point. My husband was watching a show on the History Channel about the building of the pyramids, and it seems as though archaeologists have discovered evidence that the people were actually paid. Probably not a lot, but something. It does seem as though God is telling them that what happened to them was unfair, laboring for the glory of a human being (though the Egyptians believed the Pharoahs to be gods). Hmmm...very interesting philosphical/theological question.

carrie said...

ohhhh wow!! That is a great thought!! I believe I'd agree with that thought! The Bible DOES tell us that the worker is worthy of his wages...hmmmm interesting things....thanks for sharing!!

Marti said...

"I will repay" tends to happen at the right moment to facilitate God's purposes.