As I expected, the reaction to last night’s blog has been voluble and intense. Here are two observations culled from various comments and personal e-mails.
1) The Exodus was a corporate event, not Moses’ personal event. He was never a slave in the brickyard; he just led the slaves out. Therefore, my lack of a big story is irrelevant, and I should be celebrating all the big stories that happened for the SLG tribe. Apparently it was a pretty dramatic week for many of you.
2) The overwhelming consensus from the field is that it is not over. For two weeks I have been getting a flood of e-mails pointing to Esther’s story and Purim. I didn’t reject them but wasn’t able to figure out how to overlay the two narratives. Finally someone dumbed it down enough for me to actually hear it.
There is a backstory. I have said to my team repeatedly that there is a difference between us and the Hebrews in the Exodus because we do not have a spirit of slavery and are approaching this very differently than they did.
Against that backdrop, one of you pointed out that the Hebrews were passive in Exodus with God and Moses doing most of the work. And Pharaoh was high profile in pursuing the Hebrews. God and Moses killed the Egyptians. This is the slave posture. “Where is our hero who will rescue us?”
By contrast Esther’s story is one of sons, with the Persians hiding like scared cockroaches. There was an edict given that the Jews could seek out and kill anyone they considered anti-Semitic and thereafter appropriate their assets.
This required individual initiative and aggressive action on the part of the Jews without a group leader and without any report of God doing big miracles for them. No Red Sea here, just individual hand to hand combat.
So using that model, today and tomorrow are days when the enemy is laying low, hoping to escape notice, but we have the authority to hunt him down and each person take immense ground.
That would fit the original words about a “brief window of time in mid-March.”
Another facet of this story is that there is not corporate payback. In Egypt, we have 400 years of back wages with penalties and interest. Here it was not a corporate issue. The nation (Babylon) that had taken Judah into captivity had already been punished. It was the Medo-Persian government in power at this time.
And it was not a centuries-old national edict that the Jews should be abused that was being contested. It was simple, personal anti-Semitic attitudes and behaviors that were at stake here, epitomized by Haman being fried to a crisp that Mordecai did not respect him.
Using the Esther model, today and tomorrow are times to go on a search-and-destroy mission for every critter that has ever dinged you. It was a very narrow window in the original story. Monday then, becomes the day of celebration.
Copyright March 2014 by Arthur Burk
From home, early on Saturday morning