THE WISDOM OF THE DESERT: PEACE AND JUSTICE part 1 of 3


Waging Wisdom

The desert, at least to Westerners, may seem an unlikely place for wisdom. Yet the often ignored, and somewhat humorous, biblical story that I call “Moses and the Father-in-Law” suggests otherwise. There, in the burning sun of the Sinai Peninsula, we find a mutuality between justice and wisdom that plays a crucial role in negotiations to end adversarial relations with an equitable peace.

Arabian desertOur text is Exodus chapter eighteen. Moses and the huge multitude he led out of Egypt are now camped somewhere in the Sinai Dessert of the Arabian Peninsula (possibly within sight of Mount Sinai/Horeb). It is before the giving of the Law, and the new society is becoming lawless. You’ve got to imagine the scene. Here are 1,000,000+ former slaves and their families stuck in the burning sun amidst a rising congestion of social disputes and wrongs that need immediate attention. And there are no governing structures…

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