The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 9/25

Posted on | September 25, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 9/25

Scripture reading: Exodus 25:1–9

Sanctified Piracy

So you shall plunder the Egyptians. (Exodus 3:22)

At the burning bush, God told Moses that he was about to deliver his people from their Egyptian bondage. He was going to set his people free and lead them to Canaan, the Land of Promise. As if that weren’t enough, he promised that when they left, they would not go empty-handed; these poor slaves would not only be free, they would be rich! You will plunder the Egyptians, God promised (Exodus 3:21–22).

What could this mean? Was this a license to steal? Was God repealing the eighth commandment even before it was given? (Exodus 20:15). No. God was simply describing what would happen when the Israelites finally left Egypt. After the ten plagues had left the country in ruins, the Egyptians were so desirous for the Hebrews to leave that they actually gave them gifts to encourage their immediate departure!

The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians (Exodus 12:35–36).

God had a sacred purpose for all this plunder. He wanted his people, dirt poor after centuries of slavery, to have the means to build a tabernacle worthy of God. God was redeeming not just the slaves of Egypt but the gold of Egypt as well! The wealth was intended to build a beautiful house for God that would bring him glory so that all the world would take note of his magnificent dwelling place. Alas, the people took the plunder and made a golden calf. God became very angry when the treasures of Egypt were used for the pleasures of sin.

In the third century after Christ, Origen of Alexandria used this Old Testament story to illustrate what he believed was the proper Christian attitude toward Greek philosophy. Just as the Hebrews were instructed to use the gold of Egypt for God’s purposes, so the followers of Christ should not hesitate to borrow truth from non-Christian sources when it was helpful to communicate the Gospel to a pagan world. Ever since Origen, “plundering the Egyptians” has been a cliché fordescribing any effort to use the riches and treasures of this fallen world for godly purposes.

Is there “Egyptian gold” in your world that God may be asking you to “plunder”? Don’t let the devil have all the treasure. Redeem it! Plunder Egypt for the sake of the Gospel. Take what is best of the fallen kingdoms of this world (the wealth, the knowledge, the technology, the art, the music, the literature, etc.) and use it for the glory of God!

Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920) was a theologian, pastor, journalist, politician and one time Prime Minister of Holland. He stated the principle succinctly when he said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human experience over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’”

Today, find some Egyptian gold and plunder it for the glory of God!

Christians are free to plunder the Egyptians but must not set up a golden calf from the spoils. — attributed to Origen (3rd century)

point to ponder • God wants to use the treasures of this world for his glory.

prayer focus • That everything you possess and that comes across your path today will be dedicated to God’s glory and not your own.

 

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