MUSTARD SEEDS POSTCARD: Hatshepsut Temple at Deir el-Bohri, Egypt
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
One of the temples I was very excited to visit was that of Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bohri. Hatshepsut (1479-1458 BCE) was not content with being a co-regent with her infant stepson Thutmose III, she had in mind something different. In the second year of the co-regent reign, Hatshepsut named herself Pharaoh and donned the Pharaoh’s beard. She had herself depicted as a male pharaoh in traditional clothing and in the same postures. However, she never changed her face, still appearing very feminine and pleasant looking.
It is uncertain why she waited until the third year to take the throne but there are several theories. Whatever her reason, Hatshepsut was one of the most successful Pharaohs reigning for 20 years until her death in 1458 BC. Hatshepsut is credited with establishing new trade routes and increasing Egypt’s wealth beyond what it had every been before or since. She avoided wars and conflict with neighboring kingdoms by creating trade. She also built on a grander scale during her reign than any other pharaoh except for Rameses II. This proves she was in command of enormous wealth and created many jobs for her people. She commissioned building projects throughout the country. Her temple at Deir el-Bohri is one of the most impressive temples. (pictured above) In addition, she had two enormous obelisks raised at Karnak and elsewhere.
Unfortunately, those that reigned after her did not have the same appreciation. Immediately after her death and Thutmose III’s rise to the throne, Hatshepsut was erased from history, her images destroyed, and her name blotted. Her campaigns, building projects and trade routes were credited to Thutmose III and he backdated his reign back to the death of his father, Thutmose I. Thutmose III did not want anyone to remember his stepmother. However, this scheme has backfired on him Hatshepsut is well known today, and her temples are visited by thousands of people each year. Her story is both inspiring and amazing. Hatshepsut took a risk took control and, in the process, prospered her people and country.
This may seem a strange subject for a Mustard Seed, but I think it is a good reminder that though your choices and actions are not immediately seen, your life and actions have a direct and lasting impact on the world around you. What you choose to do, to say in any situation makes an impression, it influences everyone around you and not just today but tomorrow.
It is a tremendous responsibility that many of us never think about, but certainly should. God’s Word tells us plainly that we are responsible for our actions and how they impact. We have been given many talents and abilities and we should employ them to help and encourage others. As Christians we need to think before we speak and weigh our words. Do our words lift, or do they tear down? Do our actions portray what Jesus would have us show of his love? These are questions that we should be asking ourselves daily.
Your choices and words live on through those around you and will reach further than you ever thought possible. Make sure you consider what you do or say carefully.
Typist for Jesus