Homilies on Genesis and Exodus

By Ronald E. Heine; Origen | Go to book overview

HOMILY XI
On the thirst of the people in Raphidim and on the war
with the Amalechites and the assistance of Jethro

SINCE "EVERYONE WHO WISHES TO LIVE PIOUSLY in Christ suffers persecution"1 and is attacked by enemies, he who travels the road of this life ought always to be armed and always to stand firm in the camp. For this reason it is also related about the people of God: "All the congregation of the sons of Israel departed from the wilderness of Sin according to their camps at the command of the Lord."2 There is, therefore, one congregation of the Lord but it is divided into four camps. For four camps are described set up opposite the tabernacle of the Lord, as it is related in Numbers.3 And you, therefore, if you are always watchful and armed and know that you serve as a soldier in the camp of the Lord, heed that command: "No one serving as a soldier for God entangles himself in secular affairs, that he may please him to whom he has engaged himself."4 For if you thus serve as a soldier so that you are free from secular affairs and always keep watch in the camp of the Lord, it will also be said of you that you depart "from the wilderness of Sin at the command of the Lord" and come "to Raphidim." Sin is interpreted to mean "temptation," but Raphidim means "sound judgment."5 That man has attained soundness of judgment who rightly departs from temptation and whom temptation renders approved. For in the day of judgment he will be sound, and soundness will be with him who has not been wounded by temptation, as it is written in the

____________________
1
Cf. 2 Tm 3.12.
2
Ex 17. 1.
3
Cf. Nm 2.
4
2Tm 2.4.
5
See Appendix, 34 and 35.

-355-

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