When you read the opening chapter of the first book of the Bible, Genesis, you will read about God creating the world in seven days. It is a very poetic and liturgical story of God creating. Genesis chapter two is another story of creation of a very anthropomorphic God who creates Adam from dirt and then Eve comes on the scene later after Adam is unable to find companionship with any animal.
These two stories are like the Christmas narrative in which there are two stories (one in Matthew and one in Luke) which are different but when we see the Christmas plays in December, both stories are pushed together making it seem as they are really just one story.
This post is not about the first two chapters of Genesis. This post is, however, about another creation story in the Bible.
Exodus is the story of the people of God being created. It is the story not so much of a pre-scientific understanding of the natural world order, but a story of a pre-enlightenment understanding of human nature.
While the pre-scientific mind might not have gotten the story of how the big bang works, the pre-enlightenment mind seems to have hit the nail on the head when it comes to understanding human nature.
For as much as we like to think we are free and rational beings, it is clear that everyone is enslaved. Some are physically so and that is horrific. Others are enslaved to Pharaohs of their own making and still others are held prisoner to a Pharaoh that is far less obvious to identify.
We are all enslaved to the Pharaoh of the crowd.
From conformity experiments to scapegoating an innocent person, it is clear time and time again that human beings are held captive to the Pharaoh of the crowd. We get whipped up in a frenzy when our team wins the championship and we are manipulated to walk by and ignore a child hit by a car. We are all enslaved to the Pharaoh and this is why the story of the Exodus is, perhaps, the greatest creation story of all.
It is in this setting of a people enslaved that God creates a new people. A people who would no longer be enslaved to the crowd mentality. A people no longer held hostage to having to blame others. A people that would not be like the Pharaoh they just left. A new creation, if you will.
And yet, here we are. Still enslaved to the Pharaoh of the crowd.
I am not interested in the debate of how the world came into existence or how old the earth is. I am far more interested in the conversation of how it is that we are set free and yet, even after all these years, continue to long to be back under the rule of Pharaoh?