Monday, August 4, 2008

Exodus 1 - Fast

Sometimes life feels slow to me. It feels as if it plods along at a snail's pace. Get up. Shower. Commute to work. Sit in office. Commute home. Have dinner. Play with kids. Hang out with wife. Go to bed. Get up. Shower …

There is a deceptive rhythm to life that lulls me into complacency. A tiny voice inside that says, "You have all the time in the world. Things don't change quickly. Life is a drop of water crawling slowly down the beach, not a rogue wave that comes out of nowhere."

But in Exodus chapter 1 we see what a lie that thought is. In a matter of sentences, Joseph's family passes away. Joseph's generation passes away. The memory of Joseph passes away and suddenly in verse 8, "a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt."

Although it certainly took years and years, the transformation from freedom to slavery for Joseph's people is covered in less than 25 verses. They went from being guests in Egypt to being slaves in Egypt in what feels like a matter of minutes. Not only that, but Pharaoh orders every Israelite baby boy to be thrown in the Nile.

I guess I always missed how quickly that seems to happen. When I've read Exodus in the past I just took the seismic shift that occurred for the Israelites for granted. But reading it today I was struck by how swiftly these verses treat the transition.

Like much of what I read in the Bible, there are layers and layers of meaning in this chapter, but what I took away was pretty simple.

Circumstances can change in the blink of an eye. What you have today may be gone tomorrow, even if your tomorrow is twenty years away. We always act surprised when our babies are kids and our kids are teens and our teens are adults. It won't feel like two decades have crawled by. Even a whole generation of people loved by Joseph and the Pharaoh that knew him can vanish in the relentless march of time. And if I think that I have all the time in the world to do whatever it is I'm supposed to do, I've bought into the lie that life is slow.

But it isn't. Life is fast.

16 comments:

Sam said...

Woohoo! Into Exodus...

Life definately is fast... I'm starting college this month and MOVING OUT. Big step. My senior year went by so soooo fast. And I frequently feel like I take things for granted... anything can happen tomorrow... I'm living in freedom right now but who knows how I'll be a week or month or year from now? Lol if anyone had of told me I would be a CHRISTIAN even a year ago I would have told them they were out of their minds... things change fast. And I never thought about this when I read this chapter... interesting... something to think about. Thanks!

Jeremy said...

Thank you, Ferris Bueller. :)

Great post. Why do you think God makes our existence on earth so short?

Campman62 said...

[que: Life in the Fastlane-Eagles]
~Sin & temptation can come against us at "Light-Speed", too.

*Stay close to HIM today, Jon*

><>I Peter 5:7<><

campman62.wordpress.com

bub said...

I've never read the Bible all the way through before. Bits and pieces, a lot of the Gospels, very little of the letters, and not much of the Old Testament. I'm enjoying following along with you. Thanks for doing that. Life is quick, I'm 42 years old with grandchildren and wondering what the heck happened. It feels like yesterday I had a full head of hair, playing in rock bands, and generally making a mess of life. I'm glad that I've made it this far and have so much hope today that God is leading me to something greater than anything I have known before. Just wanted to say thanks for your part in this awakening that has been occuring in me. Thank you.

Christianne said...

It broke my heart to read what happened in Exodus 1, after spending so many chapters with Joseph and what was built through his faithfulness.

jenn3 said...

Wow. This is so true.

angelajo1208 said...

That's very true. And while things changed for the worse in the Israelites' case, I think we can also take away the opposite. When we're in the middle of the storm, that's all we see and it's very easy to be down in the dumps. But, everything can change in the blink of an eye. Hm. I needed that.

Kristin Zuvich said...

Never thought of it that way!

Debbie said...

James 4:14
whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. NKJV
Life is fast, the days that are the slowest for me are the days I spend thinking about what I should be doing with the gifts God has given me and the attention I should be giving to the people that mean the most to me. Good post.

dorothy (vicar of vibe) said...

Yesterday, I was in high school. Today I have four grandbabies...
Life is fast, very fast.
Remember to play with kids and hang out with your spouse... Important stuff to do.

vanilla said...

But it isn't. Life is fast.

Indeed. Dad, years ago when he was in his late eighties, often mentioned the "king who knew not Joseph" when referring to his successors in the work of the church.

Now, a mid-septuagenarian myself, I see it clearly. Will our lasting accomplishments encompass more than twenty-five verses? Doubtful. But God is faithful. The seed that is planted now will be attended in His own good time.

Stephen Hunton said...

Great words to read this morning as I sit here feeling the lull.

Katherine Laine said...

Thanks for the eye opening reminder!

robyn collins said...

totally agree. my dad died recently and time has gotten fast for me... it has brought alot into focus that hadnt been. wise reminder

carole said...

Brilliantly said. I couldn't agree more. I have been reading "Thirty Days to Live" after finding out a friend has a rare form of liver cancer and my cousin's new grandbaby has a rare form of brain cancer...just a few of the people who are in my life that make me realize how short, how precious life is. As a result, I made a list of what I would change or do if I found out I have 30 days to live...you can read some of the results on http://www.everythinginorder.wordpress.com but my husband reminds me daily that more than 30 days have expired so now I'm living on borrowed time.

Dog snob said...

You know what caught my eye was that the Egyptian leader seemed to be "playing chess" and trying to manipulate things into going his way. Because they had all forgotten Joseph, I wonder if they knew who they were "playing chess" with though. Just a thought.