Mar 26, 2006

Plundering the Egyptians

Not being one to throw the baby out with the bath, this is a concept I learned from RC Sproul, Jr. - plundering the Egyptians. When the Israelites left Egypt, God told them "every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.” Ex. 3:22 It is interesting to see how God uses that same plunder later on for His glory.

God has given to each one gifts, talents, abilities, skills; not just to Christians, but God bestows these things on Christians and non-Christians alike. Does it ever appear to you that some non-Christians use these gifts more faithfully than some Christians? Can we "plunder" the gifts and talents God has blessed others with?

Natasha and I recently had the privilege to go see "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," a Broadway show here at the incredible Majestic Theatre in San Antonio. I went in with fear and trepidation, wondering if I should tread into this worldly representation of God's Word. As I watched the story of Joseph and his eleven brothers unfold against a computerized background that was absolutely breathtaking, and as I listened to the incredibly rich voices resonate with precise clarity, and watched the very agile bodies move seemingly effortlessly around the stage, I was so pleased to find that God's Word truly was being proclaimed - by unbelievers! The story of Joseph's life, although somewhat contemporary and told with great literary license, with a little unexpected humor here and there (OK, a LOT!), was, for the most part, in keeping with God's version. The part about Potiphar's stole the license, but at least "Joseph" and "Mrs. Potiphar" were married in real life! Whenever I watch an actor portray a biblical/Christian role, I wonder if anything sinks in. But whether it does or not, we can plunder the Egyptians, we can enjoy God's Word going forth.

You may know that I have strong feelings about music, so I listened to clips of all the songs before I decided whether or not to go. In all the songs, the voices were crisp and clear, heard well above the music. Superbly done! Every song, and the whole show was a musical so it was 22 songs altogether, was a different genre. There was rock, rap, country-western, African, Italian - you name it, it was there. But I never heard a strong beat or anything I would really object to. You could tell it was rap by the backward ballcap and sunglasses and stance, but the music was mostly just fun! They had a different costume to go with each kind of music, too. Even though it wasn't hymns, we can plunder the Egyptians, we can sing God's Word through different kinds of music (although the nuances of this will be saved for another post!).

Another area that stood out to me was the role of the men and the women in the production. Jacob, Joseph, and his eleven brothers were all clearly men, clearly a man's man, clearly taking the lead in their own families. This being a Broadway show, there were showgirls also (NOT my favorite part of the show!). Sometimes their dress was appropriate, sometimes it was a little lacking in the material world! But it was the girls' roles that really spoke to me. Each girl was a wife to each of the men, and her whole purpose in life was to adore her husband. That's it! Now I really doubt that Broadway intended to portray biblical roles for the men and women, but we can plunder the Egyptians.

I have always been fascinated by quality. I believe that a Christian should always do not only his very best at all times for the Lord, but because whatever we are doing, we are doing for the Lord, our best should be THE best. Christians should shine in their fields! They should always be outstanding in everything they do. I guess only a few people share that belief because I see a lot of second-rate work from most Christians. You will never see a second-rate Broadway show, though. The quality and the technology in this show was superb! I very much enjoyed plundering the Egyptians as I took in detail after detail of nothing but pure, absolute quality!

There are plenty of things in this world that we should not participate in or be a part of, but God did leave us here in this world for many reasons. Let's look for ways we can plunder the Egyptians, sometimes for the glory of God, sometimes for daily living. I thank God for people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs who opened up a whole new way of spreading the gospel and teaching God's Word. Now that probably was not their main intent when they first began tinkering in the garage, and they may never give God the glory for the abilities He has blessed them with, but we can plunder the Egyptians, for His kingdom's sake!

18 comments:

Grafted Branch said...

I really like your tying the two: plunder of the Egyptians and "Joseph..."

I have to call you on a couple of things though: there was no rap as I remember it. Correct me specifically if I'm wrong, the music was all just as it was written (presumably in the 60s or 70s) and just as I performed it in my community theater in the 80s.

The biblical role of women? A bit of a stretch -- for plenty of the show the female ensemble characters were being anything but. Also, speaking as a woman, my purpose in life is not to adore my husband (though I do) but rather to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Yes, I do that by way of being a help-meet to my husband, but let's be careful not to overstate or side-step the true main "purpose."

Jen said...

I guess that was the point I was trying to make about the music. Although there were many different genres (I thought that one song with their heads wrapped, wearing sunglasses, and acting like rappers) was "rap"-ish, but not full blown rap, for which I was very grateful! It had a fun feel to it, I guess, that was kind of like "rap."

I certainly don't think a woman's "main" purpose in life is to adore her husband, but it is a big part of our role as wives. "Wives, respect your husbands." I would consider adoration to be a part of showing respect. Were those women in the show "godly, biblical women?" Anything but!! But the one thing I could "plunder" from them is the adoration they showed their husbands.

Jen said...

Just for the record, I do not blanketly recommend this show. I would not recommend for anyone who is easily offended, who wants it to be exactly the way the Bible says, or for men (dancing girls). If you are capable of enjoying life without picking everything apart, you may enjoy this show.

Grafted Branch said...

I DO NOT agree at all that adoration is part of the respect that we are commanded to give our husbands! Some husbands are not adorable, but we, as wives are called to respect them in their station. When we add extra-biblical mandates to our commands, we immediately begin to work in our flesh. Many wives are frustrated because they are trying to adore their unworthy husbands, when really the Lord has asked the wife to respect and submit to them.

If a wife will receive that calling (and only that calling) as from the Lord, and obey it, she might find with time that her husband becomes one that she can also adore -- but that is icing!

Adore: to worship as divine. to love greatly; idolize.

Love: a strong affection or attachment; usually with passion.

Respect: to feel or show honor or esteem for. To show consideration for.

Esteem: to value highly; have a great regard for.

Jen said...

I know how much you love dictionaries, so I will use the following definitions from Dictionary.com, a web compilation of many dictionaries.

The Bible tells wives to reverence (KJV) their husbands, or respect (most other versions) their husbands. I will start with the word "adore" since that was the subject of the post.

a•dore
1. To worship as God or a god.
2. To regard with deep, often rapturous love. See Synonyms at revere. (Synonymns of revere: worship, venerate, adore, idolize
These verbs mean to regard with the deepest respect, deference, and esteem. Revere suggests awe coupled with profound honor.)
3. To like very much: adores mink coats.

Notice that the dictionary uses adore and revere as synonyms, which is the biblical term as well.

re•vere
To regard with awe, deference, and devotion

re•spect
1. To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem.
2. To avoid violation of or interference with: respect the speed limit.
3. To relate or refer to; concern.

Another synonym for respect is esteem.

es•teem
1. To regard with respect; prize. See Synonyms at appreciate.
2. To regard as; consider: esteemed it an honor to help them.

Have you see "Love and Respect" being shown at your church yet? It does a good job of addressing this word.

Maybe we both have a diffent mental picture of "adore." I realize that "swoon" could fall into this category, but that is not the context I would put it in biblically. A strong affection would be a more appropriate definition in my mind. Not all the definitions above would apply to a husband-wife relationship, obviously. But each word does have at least one definition that does apply.

One more thought: we are commanded to respect our husbands whether they deserve it or not, just as we are commanded to honor our parents whether they deserve it or not. I do believe there is a much deeper respect, along with deeper adoration, for husbands that fulfill their biblical roles as well, a respect they have earned. I saw this played out in the military. I always respected the ranks above me, but certain people earned my respect for themselves as well. I have respect for the President of the US because he is the president, but I have greater respect for some presidents than others.

Off my soapbox now!

Grafted Branch said...

Well...it's clear that you can talk me under the table any day, but I speak from the blessed position of having a healthy, happy, honest, God-honoring marriage relationship with Husband...for what that's worth.

I still say that the attitudes of the heart are a work of the Spirit. We mere humans will only frustrate ourselves trying to manufacture that which can only be accomplished by the new birth and yielding of our Lordship.

No, we're not at LWF anymore, I haven't seen the L&R series and don't plan to.

Jen said...

You are very blessed to have such a godly man for a husband. I am truly pleased for you. And you are very right about the attitudes of the heart. (See my post on Spiritual Victory recently.) However, not all women have such a great marriage and I know many that are in extremely difficult situations where they truly have to seek God's Word to know how to be a godly wife in the world we live in today. While you count your blessings, remember that many women pray that their husbands would be more like yours is every day. May your marriage always be sweet!

Natasha said...

It was a good show, and that's that!

Grafted Branch said...

Jen...

I wonder if you noticed that I said I was blessed to enjoy a happy, healthy, honest marriage and you interpreted that to mean that I was married to a godly man (which I am, but that is beside this point).

It is not the responsibility of a godly man, alone, to make a good marriage. A troubled marriage surely is one in which neither partner is walking in obedience to the very best of their ability (isn't that true for all of us in varying degrees?). The bible has much to say about a woman tearing down her house with her hands, being contentious as a dripping faucet, etc., etc. She doesn't have to be loud or obvious -- only smart and manipulative.

My marriage was not always so genuine. I needed to be changed. And I worked hard to earn my husband's trust, even though I had never really done anything to jeopardize it.

A woman can not change her husband. A woman can only ask the Lord to show her HER blind spots and yield HERSELF to change. She may find her marriage is a cross to bear, or she may be marvelously awed at what the Lord can do with her increasing humility and obedience to Him.

Occasionally, success will not come because both partners, deep down, actually enjoy the drama. They don't want to be better.

A woman who actively thinks the problems in her marriage are mostly his fault, will never find spiritual victory because she is too busy enjoying the victory in her flesh.

Jen said...

Yes, Natasha, it was a GREAT show! I am glad we went!

Jen said...

No, GB, I don't think I misinterpreted what you wrote. I responded with what I have heard you say previously about your husband. Yes, all those things you say can and do happen, but every marriage is unique, and they can't all be categorized so neatly. Have you ever considered the story of Nabal and Abigail?

Grafted Branch said...

I agree. Every marriage is unique. Life's variables make it difficult to treat any situation with a neat and tidy antedote, but that is where faith is to be applied, isn't it? (The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.) There is the answer to every human problem in Christ and in the Revelation He has seen fit to leave us.

Sometimes we work hard to hear Him. Sometimes it even seems like our problems are so unique that we forget there is nothing new under the sun!

I have not met the spouse (male or female) who is completely innocent and totally yielded to the Lord's clear instruction in a marriage that remains troubled. It takes two.

Jen said...

Hence why I said some women need to seek out their position according to God's Word more than others do. We shall have to agree to disagree on "it takes two to tango." It is not always so (but usually!).

Sarah Walston said...

Natasha, that show ROCKED!

**Again...Sarah doesn't have to act like a real adult for 4 more weeks...**

Jen said...

You have a strange way of accounting! Does Royce have a child wife?

Sarah Walston said...

Jen, Royce is the accountant. I'm *just* a housewife.

Thought I'd bring some light discussion to this heavy debate you and GB are having.

Good luck, btw, to the both of you!

faithful's companion said...

"Jen...

I wonder if you noticed that I said I was blessed to enjoy a happy, healthy, honest marriage and you interpreted that to mean that I was married to a godly man (which I am, but that is beside this point).

It is not the responsibility of a godly man, alone, to make a good marriage. A troubled marriage surely is one in which neither partner is walking in obedience to the very best of their ability (isn't that true for all of us in varying degrees?). The bible has much to say about a woman tearing down her house with her hands, being contentious as a dripping faucet, etc., etc. She doesn't have to be loud or obvious -- only smart and manipulative.

My marriage was not always so genuine. I needed to be changed. And I worked hard to earn my husband's trust, even though I had never really done anything to jeopardize it.

A woman can not change her husband. A woman can only ask the Lord to show her HER blind spots and yield HERSELF to change. She may find her marriage is a cross to bear, or she may be marvelously awed at what the Lord can do with her increasing humility and obedience to Him.

Occasionally, success will not come because both partners, deep down, actually enjoy the drama. They don't want to be better.

A woman who actively thinks the problems in her marriage are mostly his fault, will never find spiritual victory because she is too busy enjoying the victory in her flesh."

I agree with her thoughts here. Doesn't this make any sense to you?

"She doesn't have to be loud or obvious -- only smart and manipulative."

This is a very good point, and one that needs to be re-emphasized.

Jen said...

Faithful's Companion, do I know you?

I am not claiming to be a perfect wife, but I certainly have tried my best in the last fifteen years or so. I don't know what I could do differently.

Sometimes, although not often, one partner tries very hard in the marriage while the other one is content to cause much damage. "It takes two to tango" is only a maxim, meaning that while it holds true generally, it is not true 100% of the time.

I'd like to be smart, but not manipulative. That is never right and only brings heartache in the end.

I guess unless I know more specifically what you are trying to say, I can't really speak to your comment in any more detail. Thanks for caring.