They found some bones in the desert near the Pyramids of Egypt. I heard the archeologist interviewed last night. He said their discovery is the biggest of the 21st century and that it proves that the pyramid builders were not slaves.
I took an incorrect leap and thought that this meant that the Israelites were not slaves, but actually it just means that they were not pyramid builders. Apparently the belief is that Egyptians built the pyramids because of their love of Pharaoh. The Israelite slaves apparently built Ramses.
But anyway, I was enjoying the path my incorrect thinking sent me down. If in fact the Israelites were not slaves of the Egyptians, why did they not leave Egypt? Why did they act like slaves? And I think my thoughts apply even if they were actual slaves of the Egyptians.
You can be a slave with or without a slavemaster. The Israelites had been taken in by the Pharaoh of Joseph’s time and fed during the famine. Once Joseph was dead, they really didn’t have a leader, anyone to look up to. And no one had told them yet how to worship their God. So I wonder why they would have done anything other than whatever was right in front of them? Even if it wasn’t pleasant, it was really all they knew. And the Egyptians had all the power anyway.
So maybe Moses was the first leader, speaking through his brother Aaron, who stood before the Israelites and even suggested that their lives could change. And maybe the actual reason for the plagues was to prove to the Israelites that the God of their forebears was the only God and was really their God. Maybe that’s why God hardened Pharaoh’s heart….the plagues had to happen so that the Israelites would believe. In Him. And in a better life, a self-directed life rather than a life directed by Pharaoh.