According to the story of Passover, God was mad at Pharaoh. Moses warned Pharaoh that if he didn’t let the Jewish slaves go free, bad things might happen to him. According to Jewish tradition, God was punishing Pharaoh. Others believe it was Pharaoh’s conscience, or bad karma, that was affecting him. Still others believe they were all scientifically explainable coincidences. Whatever caused the ten plagues, they were unbearable!
These horrible plagues that happened to convince the Pharoh to let the enslaved people leave, and iaccording to the story - it finally worked. Do we believe it's okay to use violence to get a ruler - like a Queen, a dictator, or a President to stop doing something horrible to people? Is it okay to use violence against the people who are governed by this ruler in order to get the ruler to stop? And what do we think about a God who would order the killing of children? What about the Jews who knew this was happening and yet did not try to stop it? What about rebellions - like Nat Turner's slave rebellion - is it okay to use violence to gain freedom from slavery?
This question is very relevant today - is nuclear war, drone attacks - or even economic sanctions ever justified? Is violent revolution or rebellion justified? If so, when and who should decide this? If we do not use violence, what do we do if the ruler continues to persecute people, even people in their own country. These are very challenging and important questions that we continue to wrestle with today.
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