"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
While looking forth from the loft and pomp of her palace window one day (in Egypt of old), the carnally compassionate daughter of Pharaoh sighed to behold the hard bondage of her fellow human-being, though Hebrew. Out of the abundance of her burdened and heavy heart, she lamented their condition thus:
"My son, behold! and see their bondage hard,
Their backs bowed down - reputations marred!
My heart is turned, I feel the ache
Of compassion, and I cannot stay!
My son, I see! I see their sighs and hear their groans!
I see their stripes, their scars, torments and broken bones!
Is there nothing that I can do to help my fellow man?
I feel I must devise some plan
Of their deliverance, for I perceive,
Their burdens and their task-masters would they leave,
If only they had one to call,
Someone who heard them when they fall!"
And thus she ran on for sometime, till her rhyming turned to rant. But far below the palace window, the heart of the Hebrew was pouring out a much different tune, which went something like this:
"Almighty God, of the earth and heaven,
To thee thy suppliant bows his knees and makes confession,
That thou art good and doest good;
For I put on raiment and eat my food.
My God, I feel I have more than heart could wish!
The flesh-pot, leaks and onions make a lordly dish!
This bondage is not too hard for me,
For thou art here, my Lord, and this I see:
That when in prison, I am set at liberty,
When in bondage, I am still free,
When in desert, I have a feast,
When a debtor, Thou art my Jubilee!
And so I praise you, my great God and King,
For you have taught me this secret, and thus I sing,
Of a God that's near and hears my call,
And will uphold me that I shall not fall!
Truly, from the depths I say,
That I would not have it any other way!
My condition I would not have altered a degree,
This is freedom, and Egypt's riches slavery!
One last request, upon bent knee I make,
Do not deliver, nor me take,
From this asylum of peace and rest,
Except for my future home: Canaan the blest.
Meanwhile, back up in the palace, as Pharaoh's daughter was almost delirious in the multitude of her words, the Princess' son (Moses, by name) had searchings of heart too, and they went something like this:
"My God, I hear my mother, and I see the Jews,
And am at a halt of which way to choose.
She speaks so stirringly of their lot,
Yet why do I envy them in my heart!
She calls them slaves and paints us free,
Yet these walls of gold cry a different story;
They echo of vain pursuits which last a day,
And then are taken or do decay;
They are not real, nor are they lasting,
This pleasing sinful season is soon passing!
I did not choose these riches or wealth,
But was brought up here, and now need help
To escape, to find a way out:
Chains of sinful desire have wrapped my soul about!
Verily, verily! now I see,
That Egypt's freedom is slavery indeed!
But why is my mother so short of sight?
Shrouded in black Egyptian night?
Open her eyes, my God, I pray,
For thou alone can turn the night to day;
Thou only can make the blind to see,
And set the slaves at liberty!
So, my Lord, I end my prayer now,
And walk out on Egypt and their vain show.
I see the riches of thy reproach,
And gladly resign those things I've loved the most:
Riches and wealth, reputation good,
And will gladly have my name run through the mud.
To win your presence is my greatest treasure,
The end of sin's season - my highest pleasure!"
And so were the searchings of heart within and without the palace that day; and so was decided the unchanging fate's of all those involved. Some gained the world and lost their lives, while some lost it all to win the prize!
Where do you stand in the Valley of Decision, dear friend?
May God Have Mercy,