By Rev Paul N. Papas II
October 30, 2018
Your foundation establishes who you are, your character, and your direction.
Those who control the writing of the history books can influence future generations. The writers of history get the opportunity to select what shows up in textbooks. The writers of textbooks are however unable to change the facts of history.
Before we had written books history was orally passed down from generation to generation. One could think that over a passing of time the oral memorization and recitation of history through the generations would have distorted the material facts.
A good example of history that was rewritten is the Exodus. Some sources still call it a myth and state there is no evidence that such an event happened. The myth supporters use their own imagination then justify and rationalize how it was not possible for such an event to happen.
As justification for their skepticism, scholars point to the lack of references in Egyptian chronicles of the period to either the Hebrews’ sojourn in Egypt or the Exodus.
But as Jeffrey Sheler points out in the book, “Is The Bible True?,” while there may be no specific mention of the Hebrews in ancient Egyptian records, there is plenty of indirect and circumstantial evidence.
One surviving document refers to a people called the “apiru,” who were workers in an unidentified building project. And this document dates from the reign of Rameses II, the pharaoh of the Exodus.
Scholars have noted the similarity between “apiru” and “Hebrew” — there is no “h” in Semitic languages. Many consider the document a reference to not only the Hebrews in Egypt, but also to their forced labor.
Even those who don’t go that far say that this document, along with others, attests to the presence of a large Semitic population in Egypt at the time of the Exodus.
What were they doing there? Forced labor. In fact, as James Hoffmeier, a professor at Wheaton College points out, “the practice of using forced labor for building projects is only documented for the period of 1450 to 1200 [B.C.], the very time most biblical historians place the Israelites in Egypt.”
As for the absence of references to the Exodus, Sheler points out that Egyptian chronicles were much more propaganda than history. And what ancient despot would want to memorialize an embarrassing defeat?
A writer for Biblical Review offered a humorous translation of what this chronicle of defeat would have said: ” … Rameses the Great … before whom all tremble in awe … announced that the man Moses had kicked his royal [seat] for all the world to see, thus proving that God is Yahweh and the 2000-year-old culture of Egypt is a lie …”(1)
The Exodus was one of the greatest rescues in history of an enslaved group leading to the miracle of the parting of the sea. The Hebrews were up against the sea with the Pharaoh’s Army bearing down upon them. If there was ever a time for fear and anxiety to take over the crowd and their leader Moses is was then.
The importance of the parting of the Red Sea is that this one event is the final act in God’s delivering His people from slavery in Egypt. The exodus from Egypt and the parting of the red sea is the single greatest act of salvation in the Old Testament, and it is continually recalled to represent God’s saving power. The events of the exodus, including parting and crossing of the Red Sea, are immortalized in the Bible and bring to remembrance God’s saving works in their worship
God prophesied to Abraham that his descendants would become slaves in a foreign nation for 400 years, but God promised to deliver them.
Ultimately, Moses did not allow fear and anxiety to take over and he showed courage and intestinal fortitude which allowed God to work His miracle of parting the Red Sea.
A life based on a myth is a recipe for failure; it is like building your house on quicksand.
If you have the courage and the intestinal fortitude to face your fears you will grow despite your history and help make tomorrow a better day.
(1) Copyright (c) 2000 Prison Fellowship Ministries. “BreakPoint with Chuck Colson” is a radio ministry of Prison Fellowship Ministries.