Dark Brightness

Bleak Theology: Hopeful Science

A failure led Israel from Egypt.

I’m going to deviate from the text to discuss something around the current situation, particularly around an error among women within the church.

There is a meme that if you threaten divorce or even divorce your husband — taking him to the cleaners, you are doing God’s work. You are making him righteous and will win him back (but better).

Wrong. Firstly, remarriage is not acceptable as the only justification for it is to say that the erring spouse has broken all covenant, and, as an oath breaker, must me seen as dead. Secondly, you are literally putting your husband’s life and soul in peril — divorce doubles his risk of suicide. (it does not double the wifes, instead the risk of her drinking goes up).

Anyway, let’s look at the texts. Now, Moses by now is not a prince of Egypt. He is one of those shepherds. He lives with his father in law, and the implication is that (at least one) of his wifes basically stayed away from him: she did not go to Israel with him. Moses used to be successful. He is now around eighty, and is not at all successful by the standards of Egypt — where shepherds were seen as some kind of untouchables.

Exodus 3:1-5

1Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. 3Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” 4When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”

Hebrews 11:23-31

23By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that the child was beautiful; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26He considered abuse suffered for the Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the reward. 27By faith he left Egypt, unafraid of the king’s anger; for he persevered as though he saw him who is invisible. 28By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

29By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned. 30By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days. 31By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace.

We need to consider that God does not look at our success or lack of it the way the world does. The writer of Hebrews states that Moses gave up his position in the Royal but pagan Egyptian dynasty to identify with slaves, for he knew they were the people of promise.  He gave up success, and lived as an exile from his people for four decades. During that time, he would have been not seen as a leader.

But we do not see things this way. Instead, we have fallen into the error of preaching prosperity and personal comfort and happiness as if it is the gospel. We forget that you can live wisely and shrewdly and still be a failure. And we forget that at times the people of God need to flee the Babylon of that generation.

If two people live together in holy matrimony there will continue to be conflict. The wife will worry and the husband will think too practically at times. Communication will at times be difficult. Simply because we are human. At the risk of confronting two of the more stupid writers on this issue. conflict and difficulties are inevitable, and to over spiritual-ise this (and imply that a woman should live like a romance novel heroine) is unrealistic: no man, no matter how confident and dominant, can continually act like that.

Bitterness comes out of disappointed expectations. But you do not know the timing of God nor the purpose for which you are here. You only know the task before you.

God chooses the failures and slaves of this world to confront the powers and tell truth to the rulers. And at times he take failures and makes them lead a people from bondage.

For God makes things happen. Not us.