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!