I’m really not clear why the Israelite years of slavery and captivity and their escape from their Egyptian masters is so thrilling to me, but every passage of scripture I read these days is just exciting to me.
This reading just happens (coincidence? I think NOT) to coincide with a History Channel show that I DVR’d a few days ago, The Exodus Decoded.
My husband, Steve, and I have sat together watching this in bits and pieces as we can (remember: there are 3 kids left in our house, so watching anything uninterrupted from start to finish is virtually impossible during waking hours).
Here’s what The History Channel has to say about the show:
At the very heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam lies the story of the Exodus, an epic tale of plagues, miracles and revelations. But the truth behind these events has been obscured by faith and time–until now.
After six years of unprecedented research, host Simcha Jacobovici and a team of renowned archeologists, Egyptologists, geologists, and theologians shed revelatory new light on the Exodus and the era’s ruling Egyptian Dynasty. Their new theory pushes events hundreds of years earlier than previously thought, allowing age-old stories to sparkle with new perspectives and startling historical import.
Using elaborate, state-of-the-art CGI, THE EXODUS DECODED offers a stunning virtual account of stories like the birth of Moses, the ten plagues, and the parting of the Red Sea, revealing once and for all the difference between acts of Nature and the hand of God. Executive Produced by James Cameron (who appears on camera) and Simcha Jacobovici (who also hosts), the viewer follows Jacobovici to Egypt, Greece and Israel, on an investigative archaeological journey that pieces together a puzzle of tantalizing clues.
Even for a non-science, non-history buff like myself, it was tremendously interesting and I especially enjoyed having all the studies we’ve gone through already being so fresh on my brain as I watched it. I could pinpoint each Biblical story as they mentioned, researched, and interlaced scientific evidence with the Biblical history.
This was a breath of fresh air for someone like me. I believe I have said before that evolution, the Big Bang Theory, creationism, whatever else you want to refer to the beginning of all does not bother me. I have no problem believing that God could create the world in six days and rest on the seventh; and I have no problem believing that He can do all that and make it come out looking to scientists like it all occurred in a big bang…this is God we’re talking about, people! If He says He is going to strike down every first born son in the land, He can do it however He chooses to do so.
He doesn’t have to just strike the sons down, He can do it with style. He can do it in a way that can also be justified by scientific means. This is interesting to me because scientific types tend to use science against God, when really for me there is no greater proof than that God can do all things and still have them make sense.
What I enjoyed most about The Exodus Decoded (here in “TEC”) was that rather than trying to find scientific proof to disprove the existence of God in historical accounts, this show and group of scientists, archaeologists, and the like, were working to prove that it all matches up.
Take our passage of scripture for today as an example. TEC explained that the Nile River turning to blood could have been caused by gases being emitted from underground, after the tectonic plates have rubbed together, also causing a volcanic eruption and multiple earthquakes. This one seemingly simple thing, according to TEC would have caused the snow-ball effect of the river turning blood/rust red, the fish in the Nile dying, and the frogs coming up into the land (because they would have been the only creatures living in that water that could have survived the gases). Then, when the Pharaoh begged Moses to pray to the Lord and have the frogs go away, The frogs died in the houses, in the courtyard and in the fields. They were piled into heaps, and the land reeked of them (8:13-14, NIV).
Those piles of frogs, then, would explain the gnats that came next, then the swarms of flies. Then, as TEC tells it, because of all the disease that was being passed around by the gnats and flies from the heaps of dead frogs everywhere and all the dead fish floating on the water, All the livestock of the Egyptians died (9:6, NIV).
And, again, because of all of the disease that swarmed through Egypt, the skin diseases and festering boils broke out on men and animals (9:10, NIV).
TEC also describes the reasoning behind the hail storm that came next, which was caused from the volcanic ash forming clouds in the skies and crystallizing into hail-like bits that then plummeted back to the ground.
I am no scientist, but as a believer in God I have absolutely no issue with TEC and other groups of thinkers trying to make it all fit. Our God is an awesome God!
There are a couple of aspects of the program that glossed over some things from our reading today, however, and I would like to touch on those for a moment. The first of these is that when God turned the Nile River to blood, He told Moses that “Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in the wooden buckets and stone jars.” (7:19, NIV) This isn’t a possibility if gases caused the river to turn.
Next, not one animal belonging to the Israelites died (9:6, NIV) while all the Egyptian livestock died. This cannot be scientifically brushed under the rug, can it?
And most of all, throughout each of these occurrences that plagued the Egyptians, but the Israelites remained unaffected by the swarms and diseases and hailstones that rained down over the Egyptians. God had told Moses, “I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live” (8:22, NIV).
The Lord our God is ever-faithful to His promises. The key is remembering that His timing does not always coincide with our schedules; but on His schedule, He will bring and fulfill all things in us and through us that He has promised you and I. He is I Am!
Make it a great day,
Day 33 reading: Exodus, chapters 10-12