I’m reading about the experience of the Hebrew people living in Egypt around The time of the pharaohs. It’s a central story in the old Testament of deliverance from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the promised land. Moses is told by the Lord to go to Pharaoh and announce that unless Pharaoh lets the Hebrews go, God will visit on the Egyptians a plague. Time and time again, pharaoh relents when each successive plague comes along, and says that the people may go into the wilderness to worship their God. But time and time again he changes his mind once the plague stops.
It’s always risky to draw parallels between an ancient text like this and our current situation, but I do see some thing very contemporary here in the struggle between the people of Israel who are poor, enslaved in Egypt and the wealthy and powerful Egyptians who have everything.
It seems to me that we, who are the wealthy, secure and powerful in today’s world are being challenged as the planet cries out in pain over the way we have mistreated and abused our world and the poor of this world. Will we like pharaoh go back to our old ways once the plague goes away, Or can we learn a lesson and change in order to care for this fragile world and the poorest of the world.