17 June 2009

Hit the Road, Jack!

This selection from Psalm 89:10-12 is not very nice. God is a crushing God who plows over Rahab (Egypt) like a car plows over a possum on a country road. As the possum becomes road kill, so did Egypt become road kill when God drowned the Pharaoh's mighty army in a suddenly flooded Red Sea. Perhaps you have heard of the story of how God sent Moses to rescue the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. After God sent terrible plagues on the Egyptians the Pharaoh finally relented and let Moses take the Israelites away. This event is still commenmorated by Jews in the Passover celebration. When they got to the Red Sea (in a scene made famous by the late Charlton Heston) the Israelites were trapped between a body of water and the Pharaoh's mighty army. Moses asked God if He had any suggestions? God told Moses to raise his rod and God would part the waters so the Israelites could cross over the water. Moses did, God did, the Israelites did. Pharaoh's army tried to follow them through the parted waters but the waters swallowed up the Egyptian army. The Israelites were finally safe and they danced and sang to celebrate. When we get to those places in life when we are stuck between a raging sea and a deadly army who wants us dead, that is when we remember to call out to God. According to the Psalmist, God responds in our moments of greatest need.

You crushed Rahab like a carcass;
you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours;
the world and all that is in it - you have founded them.
The north and the south - you created them;
Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.

I wonder if this is the song Miriam and the Israelite women sang to the Pharaoh after the Red Sea incident?

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