Moses’ life has captured another generation of filmmaker’s imagination. (Info.) Now, Christian Bale will portray this friend of God’s. (Exodus 33:11) It will be quite an opportunity for the actor and Ridley Scott , the director. Charlton Heston’s interpretation of Moses and Cecil B. DeMille’s vision of how Israel escaped Egypt shaped more of my early understanding of the Old Testament than any knowledge what the Bible said. (The Ten Commandments)
I’ve since studied Exodus; the second book in the Bible, and am looking forward the upcoming women’s Bible study this year – Out of Egypt – Israel’s Rescue and Ours. Every time I look over the highlights and notes in my Bible from other years, I learn something new – or see an application I’ve never seen before. (Hebrews 4:12) The Daily Walk Bible, a beloved devotional, describes its 40 chapters as a book of crying, complaining and consecrating. Moses is, of course, an important character. But God is the “leading man.”
How will Hollywood cast Him? Morgan Freeman? (Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty)
Moses talked with God face to face – as a friend. Moses, and the Israelites, saw His mighty deeds – and tasted His blessing and chastening. They saw His power, and heard His purpose – so Pharaoh would know . . . there is no one like the Lord, our God. Pharaoh and all Egypt found out this God was different than those of Egypt’s. So, did Israel.
Portraying the ten plagues and destruction of the Egyptian armies is just an extravaganza of special effects unless we are willing to consider God’s power, authority and character – the very attributes that can back off people from drawing closer to Him. The reality of suffering is never more apparent – its reasons can lead deep into darkness and despair.
How can we understand Moses, and the Israelites, without understanding the God whom they worshipped? What is Moses’ story apart from God who spoke to him as a friend? Yes, his life is action-packed! Moses’ birth, adoption, and upbringing in Pharaoh’s household as a prince of Egypt are the stuff of fairy tales; his ignominious fall is Shakespearian! But Moses’ rescue . . . that is biblical. (Exodus 5:11-12)
How will Hollywood portray such a personal redemption? Ben-Hur’s redemption and restoration came close.
Moses lived a life that seems unrelated to mine; the Israelites lived through circumstances that seem dissimilar to what our local church experiences. What ties us together, however is the same infinite personal God who kept track of each of us, and knew when the time had come for our rescue. (Exodus 2:25)
Is this Hollywood’s mission? Maybe not.
This might be our job. How can we show that this leading Man – the God who called Himself, I AM , the One who preserved, rescued and commissioned Moses and you and me, and gave us a purpose, is not an ancient idol, or a cultural myth? Can I explain that in no more words than a text message to a young woman who is unexpectedly pregnant – or to a friend who got bad news from the doc – or to myself?
The story of Exodus, texted or tweeted – or as a re-packaged blockbuster – the question is still how do we live out are parts – especially when hearts are getting harder and harder?
· What we worship determines what we become.
· Circumstances never create character – they merely reveal it.
· Give yourself to God, first, and then giving your possessions – and kids – will be easy. *
* Quotes from The Daily Walk Bible.