WWYD - What would you do?
I’m about a month into my Bible journey, and it’s so exciting to have traveled from the Garden of Eden, through a Great Flood, to the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, to the land of the Canaanites, to the great land of Egyptian kings, through the parting of a Sea of Reeds, and then finally through the desert not knowing where my next drink of water would come from. What a trip!
The next leg of this journey takes me to the book of Leviticus, where I read through the bloody world of animal sacrifices. At this point, I’m wondering what must have been going through the minds of the Israelites, having come from such a different world. They may have been familiar with the slaughter of animals for the sake of food, but what’s described in the first few chapters of Leviticus seems especially bloody.
In fact, their very real journey must have been a whirlwind for them, from start to finish. Putting myself in their shoes when Moses came to set them free, I would be thinking,
“Hallelujah! No more back breaking work! No more caked up mud on my hands and feet! No more second-class citizen! God is going to rescue us from this life of servitude, and make us kings and queens! We will live in the lap of luxury like the Egyptians. We’ll feast like Pharaoh. We will dress in fine linens and bath in fragrant perfumes. We will drift along the Nile River, soaking up rays, basking in the breeze. Oh what an easy life we’re about to live!”
But, then they found themselves in the midst of the desert. They were hungry and dying of thirst. Instead of caked up mud on their feet and hands, they were covered head to toe in sand. The back-breaking work continued, not building palaces for Egypt, but trudging across desert lands by caravan with all of their possessions and livestock.
I imagine that they were tired, and ready to retire. Just like them, I’d also be thinking,
“What is this life that Moses has brought me into? This is just as hard as when we were in Egypt, and in many ways even harder. I’m homesick. I don’t know this land-locked place. Where are we? It’s so hot in the day without trees or shelter. And, it’s so cold at night. We have one little celebration for our newfound freedom, and then all hell breaks loose. Moses sends his henchmen out with their swords to snuff out 3,000 of our men! Oh what a terrible life this is?”
I’d be looking for a way to escape. Moses would seem like a crazy man to me, spending weeks at a time on a mountain by himself. Then, when he finally comes down, he calls for a massacre. The next time he goes to the mountain, he comes back wearing a veil because the people couldn’t handle seeing his face. I know I’d be looking at him sideways, and if not for the miraculous events I would’ve witnessed firsthand, I’d pack up my donkey and fill my water jug, heading out for greener pastures. Anything would be better than this. Even death!
Hindsight is 20/20, as they say. So, it’s easy for those of us who are reading about this to think these people were stubborn, disobedient, evil, etc. But if we were to replace the Israelites with any modern group of people on the planet today, the same things would have occurred.
They would cry about being hungry. They would complain about freedom being worse then captivity. They’d look forward to the day when the teacher (Moses) was absent from the classroom, so they could trick the substitute (Aaron) into throwing a party instead of giving them a test.
If Jacob’s descendants are a stiff-necked people, then so are the rest of us. I suppose that’s what God is showing us through the experiences of His people. We all have something to learn from their choices, and also their consequences, which is why reading the Old Testament is so rewarding.
What would you do if you found yourself in the Israelite’s shoes? Feel free to comment below, or by visiting my Facebook page.
*Welcome to my one-year trip around the world of Scripture. You’re invited to take this journey with me, as I meditate on God’s Word day and night. Each morning, you’ll find a post on my Facebook page encouraging my new #Biblebuddies along the way. And each night, I’ll be writing my impressions right here at listen2leslie.com. I’d love it if you’d share your comments, to spark some fruitful discussion. The only passport you’ll need for this journey is the Read Scripture app which provides us with our daily itinerary. You’ll love this app because it contains videos by The Bible Project that serve as our tour guide. Traveling is so much better when you have someone to share the experience with, so please join me, will you?
(In case you were wondering, this blog is a labor of love for me.❤️ The links contained in my posts are NOT affiliate links. I include them in order to share with you the actual pages and apps I use during the course of my own personal journey. Money muddies the waters, and I like my water clear. Amen? 😉)