Monday, October 10, 2005

Moses and Harry Potter

There are a couple of interesting parallels between Moses and Harry Potter, but there's a striking difference too. One of the great appeals of Harry Potter is that he represents a sort of dream fulfillment in all of us. Harry grows up in wretched circumstances, living in a closet under the stairs, but he awakes one day to discover that he's rich, famous and fabulously powerful. Who among us didn't have fantasies that we'd inherit a fortune from a previously unknown uncle or that we'd one day discover our real father was not the reliable but ordinary man who raised us but rather an astronaut or famous inventor or some such thing. (Do girls have these sorts of day dreams too, or is it just boys?) In short, Harry Potter speaks to the all too human dream of a shortcut to wealth and power.

But Moses is an interesting antithesis to this. Moses is raised in the household of Pharoh. Moses is in the elite class of the most powerful nation in the world. And then he wakes up one day to discover that he's actually a slave -- a Hebrew. (Maybe he grew up with this knowledge, but he at least has a post-pubescent realization of what it means.)

How many of us dream of waking up one day to find that we're actually much more insignificant than we'd ever suspected?


BruceA said...

And yet, it is precisely because Moses really belongs to those "insignificant" slave people that God can use him to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt.

A very thought-provoking post.

Andy said...

Yeah. We typically think of Exodus as a book about God flexing the divine muscle, but it is absolutely full of examples of God using what is weak in the world to shame the strong.

One of my favorite ironies is when Reuel's daughters tell him "An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds" -- not much of a feat, but later a shepherd will deliver Israel out of the hands of the Egyptians.