So They Robbed the Egyptians

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings
Exodus 12-13, Matthew 16

Israel in Egypt by Edward Poynter

33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the land because they thought, We’ll all be dead. 34 So the people picked up their bread dough before the yeast made it rise, with their bread pans wrapped in their robes on their shoulders. 35 The Israelites did as Moses had told them and asked the Egyptians for their silver and gold jewelry as well as their clothing. 36 The Lord made sure that the Egyptians were kind to the people so that they let them have whatever they asked for. And so they robbed the Egyptians.

37 The Israelites traveled from Rameses to Succoth. They numbered about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. 38 A diverse crowd also went up with them along with a huge number of livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 They baked unleavened cakes from the dough they had brought out of Egypt. The dough didn’t rise because they were driven out of Egypt and they couldn’t wait. In fact, they didn’t have time to prepare any food for themselves.

40 The length of time that the Israelites had lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years. 41 At the end of four hundred thirty years, on that precise day, all the Lord’s people in military formation left the land of Egypt. 42 For the Lord, that was a night of intent watching, to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For all Israelites in every generation, this same night is a time of intent watching to honor the Lord (Exodus 12:33-42, Common English Bible).

I was riding with a church member one day several years ago. I don’t remember where we were going or what exactly we were doing. I do remember we were riding in his truck and he looked over at me and said, “I stole this truck.”

That caused me to look at him with a raised eyebrow. He started laughing. He had not literally stolen his truck. He said that to get my attention. It certainly worked. He explained how he had “stolen” the truck.

He bought the truck from a woman who was recently widowed. It was almost brand new and her husband had paid cash for it. Within three months he was dead and she no longer wanted the truck. It reminded her of him and in her grief she just wanted the truck gone.

My church member was prepared to her fair-market value for the truck. Before he could say much she quoted him a price that was much lower than he expected to pay. He told her it wouldn’t be a fair price. She didn’t care. He shared with me that he even tried to get the lady to look at the “blue book” value of the truck. She wouldn’t even look. She insisted he was a nice man and to take the difference and take his wife out for dinner. As he told me the story he laughed. He said he and his wife could have eaten out every night for a year and still had money left over. That is how he “stole” that truck.

Today’s lesson from Exodus says that the Israelites robbed the Egyptians. Just before that, Moses tells them to ask the Egyptians for their silver and gold. The Egyptians gave them what they asked for and Israel took it on their way out of town.

When my wife and I bought our retirement home we had a home inspector come and do an inspection. The inspector was a friend of ours and he asked what we were paying for the home. I told him. He said like that church member said, “You are stealing this place.” Trust me, paying that much money didn’t feel like a steal and if it was, I am still stealing it and will be for several more years.

Sometimes we might say a particular deal is a “steal.” And, of course, we don’t mean that literally. But, it seems to me, we have to be careful. For most of us, such language, particularly heard by the wrong ears could seriously damage our witness. We need it to be obvious to the world that our business actions are always above board. And, as I interpret this passage, such was the case for the Israelites too.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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