“Mr. Joshua, if you could come over here and stand on this “x” on the floor, we’ll put your microphone on.”
Technicians, make-up and hair detail all move forward vying for position as Mr. Joshua walks from the chair where he is seated to the “x” on the floor.
With a brush of the hair, and a straightening of the eyebrow from the young make-up woman, Naomi, Mr. Joshua takes on a crisp fresh look.
The microphone technician moves in brushing shoulders with Naomi, as he places himself front and center to attach the lapel microphone.
“Count down beginning in ten,” speaks a voice of determination from across the room.
“Ten, nine, eight…”
“Welcome. This is Abraham reporting from station WRHM in Canaan. Today we are interviewing Mr. Joshua, leader of the 600,000 people who recently arrived in Canaan to take possession of the land.”
Turning towards Mr. Joshua, inquisition spreading across his face, the reporter begins.
“I just have to ask this question first because everyone is dying to know the answer.”
“Why did it take you forty years to cross the desert when it’s actually only about an 11 day trip by foot from Egypt to Canaan?”
“It’s quite the story. I could answer it with a word or two but may I share the story with you?”
“Yes, please do.”
“Our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a faithful God. After 430 years of slavery in Egypt he sent us Mr. Moses to make a request of Pharaoh to deliver us from captivity.”
“So, there was no insurrection, Pharaoh simply let you go?”
“No, it didn’t go quite that easy. Mr. Moses made many requests from Pharaoh to let us go. It was only after God sent many plagues on the people that Pharaoh finally gave Mr. Moses the permission for us to leave. After the death of his son, during the plague of death, Pharaoh summoned Mr. Moses in the middle of the night telling him, “Up. Leave my people, you and the Israelites. Go worship the Lord as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds and go. Also bless me.”
“How did you prepare that many people for your departure?”
“It was the Egyptian people themselves who urged us to go quickly, fearful Pharoah might change his mind and kill us. We were in such a hurry to leave; none of us had even added the yeast to our dough. We had to carry it during our departure on our shoulders in the kneading troughs wrapped in cloth.”
“Were you allowed to take your possessions with you?”
“Yes. Following Mr. Moses instructions we took not only our own possessions, our livestock, flocks and herds, we also asked our Egyptian neighbors for their silver and gold. Surprisingly, they gave those things to us.”
“What a site it must have been to see you all moving out of Egypt into the desert. Share some of your experiences during your time of travel there?”
“Shortly after our departure, Pharaoh changed his mind. He and his army pursued us. We were gathered up near the Red Sea hemmed in. I can tell you we were most fearful of the ensuing probable calamity, but Mr. Moses stretch out his hand over the sea. God parted the water allowing us to cross on dry land. As the Egyptian army began their entrance into the sea on the dry bottom of land, the mighty wall of water rolled in on them killing them. Once God changed bitter water to sweet water. Another time God brought water out of a rock. God sent bread and quail from heaven. God gave us the Ten Commandments, giving us guidance for life. God led us by day with a cloud and by night with a pillar of fire. God sent an angel ahead of us to protect us. God gave us instructions for the building of the tabernacle so we would have a place to worship him. You know what else he did? He actually kept the clothes and shoes we left Egypt with completely in tact for the entire journey. What a faithful God.”
“I don’t get it then, if God cared for you so well, how come your journey took 40 years?”
“That is a simple answer: we whined. We grumbled and complained and did not trust our God. So God directed us to take another hike around Mt. Sinai, until we learned our lesson.”
NIV Exodus 12:31 & 32
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