Lent 07: Day 32 – How Far To Go?

I am a writer and I am working on what will eventually become a series of novels on the life of Moses. I love Moses (hence the tie-in to our Lenten theme). His was a unique life and one that really didn’t get started until he was eighty (see there is hope for me yet).

Intermittently, while writing the first book, which now takes place all in one twenty-four hour period, his first day known to world outside his immediate family, I have become concerned about how far I could take the story. About the first 80 or so years of his life we have a few biblical paragraphs and a mention in Josephus. Scanty at best.

I am sometimes concerned, because I know that despite being more historically accurate than almost any story written before this, 99.99% of what I am doing is conjecture and artistic license (does God really allow that?). All such stories are like that. There are some biblical characters that we have much more information about, but as to the first eighty years of the life of Moses, we have almost nothing. As to what happened during that day when he was put into the Nile, we have a few sentences.

It may surprise you that my biggest concern over the years that I have been writing this story is God, what he thinks about projects like this. In many ways it has been my greatest stumbling block. I still haven’t reconciled the concern, but these days I pray and leave it to Him to guide my story into safe harbors and throw out anything he doesn’t like.

One thing that is radically different about my story is that Moses was not a secret Hebrew. It is plain from Josephus that the Egyptians knew from day one that he was Hebrew. The “Prince Moses was a secret Hebrew” angle is just plain wrong despite the Ten Commandments and Prince of Egypt movies. So that alone makes my story unique, but it is but one of many unique aspects to my twenty-fours hour story that in some ways is like a season of “24”. There are heroes and villains and real Egyptians, not cardboard cutouts propped up as foils for the “real” story.

I guess you could say I love my characters, their story, and of course his story, Moses. I have been fighting with it for over fifteen years. I want to complete it this year, I really do, and by the grace of God and the prodding of my friend Keith who just cannot wait much longer, I will.

It has a nice twist, or maybe better said, a nice revelation at the end. It also answers some significant questions that the Bible leaves hanging and other authors never address, but when you think about it are real show stoppers. Let me give you but two examples.

What did the Princess’ husband think about having a Hebrew boy invade his household? All Egyptian royal women married, usually before they were fifteen.

Why wasn’t Moses put to death? After all, in Egypt the law was unique in the ancient world. Pharaoh was not above the law, so even the adopted son of his sister was still subject to the edict. He should have been put to death that very day.

These and many other questions will be answered in this labor of love. Moses was a type of Christ, a redeemer who faced death for his people. Even on the first day of his 120 year mission, he made his mark, as you will see when you read this soon to be finished (see Keith…) story.

Grace and peace and may your own story be written with bold strokes and a loving hand.

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