Canticle of Moses I – The Soldiers View

Imagine yourself, you are an Egyptian soldier .  Just a regular guy who is the low guy on the totem pole, a foot soldier.  Your life as a soldier means that your life holds little value.  You are for the worldly view, expendable.  You were forced into serving in the Pharaohs army.  You are paid very little and just barely enough to feed your family, let alone yourself.  You receive your orders fro on high, way above your pay grade.


One fine day you are going about your work day, and a horn is blown and you are called on to grab your weapons and armor and you are going to chase down some slaves, and bring them back to town.  THose slaves who caused all sorts of problems and who are lower in the social ranking than you are.  So , off you go on this journey, you march in the heat and are tired, sweaty, and thirsty.   Finally you begin to see  those wayward slaves and they are cornered against the sea !  Then you say to yourself, that this is finally going to be over and we can go home, and Pharaoh will be pleased.

Instead, however, a wall of fire seemingly from their God blocks the path tot he final steps in taking them into custody and starting the journey home…

This was NOT how this day was supposed to go.  This was supposed to be a walk in the park, herding those slaves like cattle and taking them back to their rightful places. Now, there is this God of theirs who is angry, and we are blocked by this wall of fire.    Off in the distance there is a man who is standing on a rock with his hands lifting up a staff. The waters of the Red Sea parted and the slaves started to escape through the sea to the other side !

no one has ever seen this kind of  stuff before.  This is crazy ! All you can do is watch them leave, stuck watching behind this wall of fire.  When they have nearly all crossed to the other side, the wall of fire dissipates and the path is cleared.  Pharaoh orders you in tot he path through the sea where the slaves had passed.  Your head says this is crazy but you go anyway, because the order came from Pharaoh and no one refuses his orders.

You are marching in tot he path of the sea, still in awe of what you are doing.  You see the water, and the sea creatures on both sides of you.  You get most of the way through and you see that same guy standing on a rock on the other side .  Next thing you know, you see the walls of water from either side crashing in all around and a second or two later you are struck by that wall and drown.

OK, the soldier who is in this story, the one who like him whose stories are not recorded are left for us to consider.  THe story is not there but it makes us ponder how it is that we fit into the story, and possibly who we view this person, or maybe how we are like this person in some ways.

This soldier is just a regular person, lower to middle class economically speaking.  He has a family.  He lives from payday to payday.  He has a small house maybe a couple of small farm animals for food and works long hard days.  He does not own slaves because that is for the rich and privileged .

So how is it that we fit into this persons life ?

Possibly like this soldier you work long hours, for just enough to make ends meet.  Possibly in your world your your boss does not even know who you are, you are just one of the masses of people who work in anonymity  Maybe your job takes you away from home some times possibly for long periods of time.

Your company might make decisions that are not really in line with your moral-ethical compass.  Possibly those decisions are just things that might not directly effect you , but does effect another person negatively  possibly your government makes the bad decisions, or even you are faced with making a decision.

So what happens to the soldiers soul ?  Does he get to the Pearly Gates and get turned away ?  Does he get turned away from Heaven for his role in the persecution of the slaves ?  We don’t know.  We commend his soul to the mercy of God.  We don’t know if he worshipped Pharaoh, or one of the Egyptian Gods, or maybe he worshiped nothing at all.  We just don’t know if he ever was told about God, or rejected Him or not or why.  Maybe the soldier was a follower of God, and was scared of the earthly orders and the consequences of his actions.


One day, at some point in our lives, out earthly life will be over.  It is always too soon, wither for us or for our loved ones. We will get to that day when we are called upon to account for our earthly lives and the decisions we have made.  Today we need people of heroic faith.  We need saints.  Making the choices we make everyday.  They do not need to be necessarily be huge challenges, they can be little choices.  To share love, to life someone up or leave something for someone who has less or nothing.  These are choices we make, that may touch others and sometimes we may never know. Then there are those huge decisions that are going to effect us in dramatic ways.  It may cost us financially, it might be a friendship, or might be this it changes or even ends our earthly life.   What will your story be ?

A  life , a full life,  lived in faith lives on in the lives of others, but a life lived in sin, ends with nothing but sin.



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