Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Disregarding “Exodus” – A Post Script

Last week I posted my review of the movie "Exodus: Gods and Kings". In short, the movie is horrible by almost every measure and Hollywood agrees. Shortly after posting my review, I was approached by a dear friend and elder in the Faith. He had very kind words regarding my review. In addition, he encouraged me to also address the veiled attack on God from the movie’s Pharaoh and his criticism about God killing children. I genuinely believe in the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. So, when a brother whom I look up to advises me to do something that clearly benefits God’s Kingdom, I do it, since God often speaks to me through such men.

What my friend was referring to was the scene just after God killed all of the first-born of Egypt. After this, Moses went to visit Ramses. Ramses met him holding his dead child in his arms. The emotional Ramses then gestured the dead boy towards Moses and yelled at him that only fanatics could worship a god who kills kids. In other words, “What kind of God kills children?”

This is a great question and worthy of an answer. But, before we answer the question, let’s first address whether this question was ever asked by Pharaoh. Keep in mind that the only source material for this story is the Bible. And, this quote is found nowhere in the Bible. The reason it is absent is because I believe it was never said. The reason I believe it was never said is because Pharaoh believed himself to be a god. And, as a god, Pharaoh was a brutal murderer of Israelite children. In fact, from the pages of the Bible (a.k.a. history) we note that Pharaoh had a system for controlling the number of Israelite slaves by throwing their new-born baby boys into the Nile River to drown and/or be brutally eaten by crocodiles (Exodus 1). Second, Pharaoh was a gruesome slave task master. He worked the Israelites literally to death and cared very little for their children, much less their adults. These facts would not have been lost on Pharaoh. And, after the 10 plagues including the death of his own first-born son, this Pharaoh was far from arrogant any longer. He was more than publicly humiliated. The last thing he would have done was to play the pot calling the kettle “black.” What Pharaoh actually said in response to Moses and God is recorded faithfully in Exodus 12:31-32, “Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as you have said. Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!”

But, even though Pharaoh probably did not voice the earlier critical question regarding God, it is a question that apparently the writers of this screenplay would like answered. Therefore, I am guessing that there are a number of others who might ask as well. After all, this is not a new criticism. Many modern critics have even used such examples from the Bible to claim that the God of the Old Testament is not pro-life. After all, can you defend a God who kills children?

First, God is not a man, period. He needs no defense. Only men are hopelessly in need of defense. Rather, God is the Maker of all mankind and the Giver of all Law. As the supreme Giver of Law He is not subject to it. There is no law regarding the taking of life that applies to God. Such laws apply only to the Creation, not the Creator of life. Since God is the Creator and Giver of all life, He is 100% just every time that He takes life away. And, there is no life that He will not ultimately take. After all, are you aware of a life that should be excused? Since God is not subject to any law, He is righteous with every move that He makes. As the Creator of all men there is no child that God did not create. And, there is no person whose life God will not take. And, He later did not even spare His only Son of the most brutal of deaths.

Second, God did not just take the lives of children that night in Egypt. He took the lives of every first-born, man, woman, child, and livestock. It just so happens that some of those were children. The argument that singles out the dead children is probably guilty of Special Pleading at very least.

Third, God did not just take the lives of the first-born Egyptians. God took the lives of every human that ever was and ever will be. God is only carrying out the choice that we made as mankind. We chose our own death (Genesis 3). God is faithfully and justly carrying out our choice. Therefore, He will take every life eventually and in a variety of ways. The taking of these Egyptians is not unique in its end result.

Fourth, God took the lives of these Egyptians rather humanely. He took them in their sleep. That is much more than can be said of how Pharaoh took the lives of Israelites. Since God must take these Egyptian lives in accordance with their own choice and in keeping with His own word, is there another method the critics would suggest for taking their lives? Are the critics above God in their “wisdom”?

Fifth, these particular Egyptians, I am sure, will not be wringing their hands before God’s Judgment regarding the manner of their deaths (so, neither should we). Rather, these Egyptians will be keenly focused upon the manner in which they lived. And, they lived in a manner that justified the brutal killing of Israelite babies and the gruesome enslavement of an entire people group. It is the height of hypocrisy for modern day attackers of the Bible to ignore the more grotesque sins of the truly guilty in an attempt to impugn the innocent. By analogy, that is less than the moral equivalent of crying foul at the State over the painful needle prick of a lethal injection of a serial killer of children.

Lastly, God gave these Egyptians an out. He warned them and even promised them that if they simply follow the rules of the Passover, they would be spared. After 9 spectacular plagues that clearly proved the miraculous, almighty and just hand of the Creator, you would think they would wise up and follow. If it were you after you witnessed those first 9 plagues, would you doubt this God? Would you stubbornly ignore the Passover protections? Well, if you are reading this and have never accepted the free gift of the perfect atoning death of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, then your answer is probably “yes.”

This same Passover protection from this same God who conducted those 10 spectacular plagues, is available to you today. This time of year, we celebrate the season when God gave the ultimate gift, His one and only Son. Jesus is the Passover Lamb who, though innocent, was brutally killed in order to save you from your own choice of eternal death. All you have to do is receive the protection. In a proverbial sense, you are the first-born Egyptian. Are you willing to receive God’s free protection today? If so, click HERE.

You can purchase the book “Reason If You Will – How To Answer Questions Regarding Faith” by clicking HERE or on the book cover on the top right of your screen. You can also follow @ReasonIfYouWill on Twitter.