Perambula and God left the Jordan River and John with a crowd waiting to undergo the mock flood they called baptism. The curious angel figured that John demanded their repentance to qualify them to be in the imaginary ark of salvation which explained to the angel how baptism worked and why.
God broke into the angel's musings, "Wrong." He said. "The baptized are those outside the ark. They are the resurrected who drowned in the Flood, but were reborn purified. Some events are so important that I can't let time bury them. The Flood is that. My people must be baptized." God looked deep into Perambula's angel eyes for signs of understanding, then added:
"It is one thing for me to grieve all the death and destruction the Flood caused, but for the catastrophe to have purpose equal to its horror, it must be useful throughout time. No one must ever forget that the world was annihilated for the wickedness of humankind, their hateful self-centered ways. Every generation must be reminded that the reward of wickedness is death, because I meet-out Justice!"
"Awareness is pretty important to You, isn't it Sir?" said Perambula.
"Wisdom and knowledge separate man from animal. The dawn of awareness is the divide between death and life, sleep and wakefulness, darkness and light. I made light to initiate life and awareness. I want to make a world with no ignorance, with no darkness, with no death whatsoever."
"A world without death." echoed Perambula wistfully and added, "You know Lord, that You already have such a world with us angels. And if the people turn into spirits after their bodies die, what do we need with human beings? They're such a nuisance!"
"Don't be absurd Perambula!" bellowed God causing tidal waves through the heavens.
It was that moment that Perambula learned how sensitive God could be, and that God learned how ignorant Perambula could be.
God continued as if nothing happened. Perambula re-inflated. "I am proud of matter. Humans pride themselves in their discoveries of the complexity of My masterpiece. Why oh why would I ever want to go back to living in a spirit world! NO! NEVER; no matter how difficult the battle of Wills, I will prevail, even if it takes seven millennia instead of seven days to make the new immortal earth.
I WILL make a new earth and fill it with tangible human replicas of Me, who by their own will and with their own intelligence, overcome the temptations of the evil one. That spoiler will be in prison for a thousand years. No Perambula, there will be earth and skies and seas, but no flood and no corruption. There will be life without death, awareness without sleep, joy without sorrow, health without illness, faith without doubt, peace without conflict, truth without lies."
Perambula's eyes swelled, and the angel looked back down upon the earth with its thousand colors and textures, viscosity, and purposes and looked upon the people there talking and working, and for the first time the angel knew jealousy. For the first time the angel understood the word 'reality'. Perambula knew that what was seen was only a sliver of reality, and that material beings could only relate to that sliver, which Perambula contentedly viewed as a flaw.
Then, as if God was changing the subject, He said,"Just as you rightly feel the full weight of the event of Abraham about to slay Isaac on Mount Moriah, for yielding his will to Mine in trust, there was a similarly powerful event that they must repeat every year through time for the benefit of its lesson on life and death. You should know of the contrast between slavery and freedom."
"What is slavery my Lord?"
How could I explain slavery to an angel? thought God. One person forcing his will on another, when even I as God would not force My will on Satan? God stood quietly pensive for a while. Perambula was quiet too, hollow, and patient until God said,
"Oh my dear Perambula, of course you don't understand slavery. Allow Me to explain. Those humans, made in My image and likeness each have an inborn sense of self. This sense is called the ego, or the "I". The ego operates through something they call the "will" of the person. The will is the engine of the ego driving the person hither and yon. Do you understand?"
Perambula tried to visualize a mechanical will driving a shell of an ego and said, "Lord, it seems to me that Satan has an ego too."
"Satan and his demons have less power than humans. In fact, that was what I was about to say. The ego of most humans drives their will to become powerful. Power that can be used to build and power that can be used to destroy. But that is overly simplistic.
Some humans consistently compare one with another, one group with another. They are being hierarchical, looking always for their advantages. They squirm, push and shove, elbow to climb over others. Some are more subtle but for many of those, it is to reach a lofty position from which to yield power over the others. Gold, knowledge, beauty are their tools like mountain climbers use spikes and ropes.
Nature is their nemesis. Time corrupts, disease distorts and steals back the power."
Perambula broke in, "Slavery Lord? You were going to tell me about slavery?"
"Ah, yes. Thank you. Humans can be very useful to each other. They help each other and they use each other. A person's labor, if with little cost, enriches the most powerful. To enslave, to force groups of people has throughout history been a most beneficial practice. My own people fell into slavery, and I allowed that to teach them about the Will."
"Did they learn? Where was I when all this was happening my Lord?"
"It was after Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac and long before John started baptizing. My people were lead into Egypt because of famine in the land."
"Did you have something to do with that Lord?"
Ignoring the question God continued,"As I promised, Abraham's offspring grew in numbers and in strength, but not yet with land and kings of their own."
"Lord," interrupted Perambula, "why are you withholding the promise of land for so long?"
"I used their desire for the land to drive and to teach, and to test them. Back to the story, as the years went by and new kings ruled over them, kings felt threatened and had to suppress the Hebrews, fearful that they would conquer Egypt and take the fertile land and enslave the Egyptians.
The Egyptian king told the midwives to kill every baby boy at birth but the midwives knew that the Hebrews were God's people and they feared God's revenge if they did, so they let the boys live. Pharaoh then commanded all his people to throw every Hebrew baby boy into the river Nile to drown."
"How awful!"exclaimed Perambula. "How did I not know this?"
God replied, "All of my angels cannot be assigned to earth. Nevertheless, a certain baby boy was placed by his parents in a basket and floated on the river. Pharaoh's daughter came down to bathe in the river and spotted the baby in the basket. The baby was crying and she took pity on him. The baby's sister looked on and when she saw that her brother touched the heart of Pharaoh's daughter, she asked if Pharaoh's daughter would like her to get a nurse to feed the baby. That was so agreeable that Pharaoh's daughter said she would pay the nurse to feed her baby. So the sister took her baby brother to his very own mother to be fed and grow in safety."
"Ahh, what a nice ending." sighed Perambula.
God smiled and continued.
"The baby grew strong and when he was weaned the sister took him to Pharaoh's daughter as her son. She named the baby Moses which means to be taken from the water."
"Gee," said Perambula, this is familiar! Being rescued from drowning in the water; sounds like the baby was given its own ark!"
God smiled again at His angel's quickness and continued. "This was not the end of the story, but just the beginning.
For hundreds of years Abraham's offspring served the Egyptians against their will in slavery."
"And You allowed that my Lord?!"
"Yes." and He continued, "The child Moses grew as Pharaoh's privileged grandson. On the surface he was Egyptian royalty, while deep inside he was a lucky Hebrew. One day Moses witnessed an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave. The inner Hebrew Moses became irate, looked around for witnesses and saw none, so he killed the cruel Egyptian and buried him in the sand."
"Weeks later Moses saw two Hebrews fighting and tried to break it up, when one of them said to him, "Do you mean to kill me as you did the Egyptian?" That shocked Moses, and the word of it got back to Pharaoh. Before Moses could be arrested he fled into the desert."
Perambula said, "Were You not angry too that Moses killed the Egyptian?"
God replied, "He knew it was wrong. To Moses it was an act of justice for which he duly suffered punishment by exile loss of power, position, and comforts. Moses became a refugee, lest he become a prisoner."
Perambula stood agape. The angel was fascinated by the story which wiped away any jealousy he had felt over humans moments before.
During those terrible years of slavery, My people, Abraham's offspring, recipients of the covenant, experienced slavery to understand the value of a free will. To appreciate freedom, they had to experience bondage. There is also a bondage to wickedness, to anger and hatred that is as powerful as the subjugation of one person to another.
My dear angel, would that you could see how Satan's defiance of My Will and My Power will forever limit that fallen angel's free will. Satan believes that an army of souls are gathering behind the veil of darkness, but without precious bodies and without light, they will forever be hostage to each other."
"The lesson is so dark My Lord! Will Abraham's children ever ever receive the land and power of your promise? Will they ever learn?" cried the angel.
God grew frustrated over telling Perambula about Moses. Although in the description He could provide commentary, it was time to take the angel to Egypt.
"Perambula, let us go to Egypt so you may witness for yourself the conditions Abraham's children fell into as they struggled with slavery."
"Are you forcing me to go with You, or am I allowed to refuse my lord?"teased the angel.
Without answering God quickly started the journey back in time, but not very far in space.
Perambula raced to keep up.