A STORY OF MOSES
Going Forth From Egypt
Every man had a task in the land of Goshen. Mine was to watch and guard the tents of Moses. I was glad to do such an unfamiliar task. It made me feel I could eat my share of food in peace and not as one devouring what belongs to others who work while he sits idle. There was no idleness in the land of Goshen. Those who were not labouring in the service of the masters were being trained by Moses to march as soldiers, to stand as guards, to issue and to obey commands, as Pharaoh’s men had learned to do.
Moses sent for me one night, so that I might be one with the circle who sat with him under the light of the beautiful face that shone in the sky at night. The moon reminded me that the years were moving toward the time when I might pass the gate of death and see the face of my beloved princess once more. How filled with beauty was that night as we sat waiting prayerfully and lovingly for the spirit of the Lord to come to us.
The voice was vibrant as are the strings of a harp when they are touched, and mellow as when the hand is that of a master musician. So beautiful was it to hear that it dissolved my lonely and frightened heart into tears. I sat there with the water flowing down my face in the silence of the night. That voice had great tidings to tell to each one of us.
To me did it speak, telling that I would not die yet, but would go forth from Egypt with Moses and his men. I was needed and so I would be protected. I must give my strength by staying close to Moses and Aaron in the travel which was still to come. Our strength could give the Lord of Light the power by which to guide the Hebrew people through the wilderness to a land rich with the food of bees and fertile with food for cattle.
This gave joy to my heart. I felt but a useless man when I had no records of the King to keep, no order on which to place my seal, nor yet young men to teach the art of writing. It is a sorrowful thing to be a man without a land and without the work to which he is used. Often did I think how the slaves must suffer when they are brought as captives from their lands, made to labour at unfamiliar tasks and to hear words spoken which they do not understand.
The Great Lord of Light promised that in a short while Moses would lead the people forth, but first must the people be made strong for the journey. This seemed true to me. I had been in the wilderness and had journeyed in the heat.
The speaking voice ceased. The feeling of indescribable peace and power died away, leaving us sitting together in the night, no longer strengthened by the mighty power of the spirit of the Lord, but as men filled with wonder. It seemed the time was near when what had been foretold would be fulfilled.
ART : Ancient Egypt (Left) & Relief in Abu Simbel Temple (Right)
How will any (cattle and men) be fed or watered? I remember how slowly Moses spoke and with what heaviness he looked, as if his eyes were on the future and on the vision of people dying of thirst in the heat of the day. I longed to comfort him, but in my mind was the memory of the time when we had travelled together and I had come near to dying myself.
It was Aaron who spoke and said, “If the Lord be with us thus far, He will be with us to the end.” His words were to me like the healing that comes from sleep. To Moses they were like a strong staff. He straightened his head and the heaviness fled from his eyes. Then did he send a message to the King, saying all his people were going to sacrifice to their God in their homes in the land of Goshen during the festival. Death would strike the princes of the court if they attended the priests’ festival, for it was an evil feast.