, Research Paper
A Leader and His AdversaryIn the book of Exodus, it is God who is the protagonist. God is the principal figure behind all that is happening in the story. In that Pharaoh is the antagonist; God s opposition to completing his mission, and through a relationship with Moses, God builds a mortal in his image to confront Pharaoh. The Exodus is a battle between God the protagonist and Pharaoh the antagonist. It is a battle of good power and an evil power. God is upset with the mistreatment of his people by pharaoh and wants to save them, I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmakers. Indeed I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians (Exodus 3:7). God makes it to be known to Pharaoh that he is the ruler over the Israelites. In order to achieve this God demonstrates his power over Pharaoh. In speaking to Moses God says, When you go back to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that I have put in your power (Exodus 4:21). The power Moses performs in front of Pharaoh is not enough. Aaron and Moses throw down their staffs and they turn into snakes. Pharaoh calls his magicians to do the same and thus he stays a nonbeliever, Still Pharaoh s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the lord had said (Exodus 7:13). The hardening of Pharaoh s heart was something that God had placed in Pharaoh from the very beginning, but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go (Exodus 4:21). God throughout the ten plagues has put a hardening on Pharaohs heart, But I will harden Pharaoh s heart, and I will multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt (Exodus 7:3). The relentless hardening of Pharaoh s heart allows Pharaoh no chance for redemption, God wants to punish Egypt, When Pharaoh does not listen to you, I will lay my hand upon Egypt and bring my people the isrealites, company by company, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgement (Exodus 7:4). This hardening of Pharaohs heart leads him and his people to their deadly fate. After the Israelites left, God again hardens the heart of Pharaoh so that he and his army will chase the people, I will harden Pharaoh s heart, and he will pursue them, so that I will gain glory for myself over pharaoh and all his army; and the Egyptians shall that I am the lord. And they did so (Exodus 14:4). God is punishing Egypt for years of his people s mistreatment. Furthermore God s triumph over Pharaoh and the Egyptians put God a position of power that Pharaoh once had over the Israelites,
Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses. (Exodus 14:30-31) Throughout the Exodus, God provides Moses with confidence and power that only God himself would posses. God gives Moses the confidence he needs in order to become a messenger of God. While Moses is at the burning bush God makes him aware of what he wants achieved, So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt (Exodus 3:10). Moses, who is just a normal person, has a difficult task in confronting pharaoh and is concerned, Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? (Exodus 3:11). God sees that Moses is weary about his capability to perform such a task. So God lets Moses know that he will be there guiding him and replies, I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you (Exodus 3:12). God provides Moses with powers of his own in order to convince pharaoh that he is a messenger from God. Moses tells God that he cannot speak well enough in front of Pharaoh, O my lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue (Exodus 4:10). God assures Moses that he will grant him with the ability to speak, Then the Lord said to him, Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak (Exodus, 4:11-12). Throughout the story God grants Moses with powers that are of his own and makes Moses into a mortal image of himself, The Lord said to Moses, See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you (Exodus 7:1-2).In the Exodus, the main goal of the story is to achieve freedom for the Isrealites. The leader of this fight for freedom is God and in order to obtain freedom God must triumph over those who oppose him. God successfully faces his advisary and achieves his peoples freedom through a unique relationship with Moses.