It was a blessing to me to be teaching Sunday School this week, as it forced me where I really want to be anyway, in the Word. I taught on Exodus 14, which I encourage you to read. But one of the parts that stands out to me the most is this:
As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Wow, the Isrealites were pretty harsh, and in fact, openly hostile towards Moses and God, who had just helped them escape slavery in a most dramatic fashion. But the point I made in class on Sunday, and the one that keeps sticking out in my mind, was Moses’ calm and reassuring response. He could have been angry, yelled at them, and pointed out how wrong they were. But he didn’t.
Moses responded by lovingly reassuring them that their deliverance would come. (And boy, did it!) So how did he do it? How did he absorb their attack, yet still respond in love?
The answer is easy to see, but sometimes not so easy to apply. The answer is that he looked on them with a Godly love, which sees beyond the words or actions, and straight to the heart. He saw, instead of their hostility, their fear.
I keep wondering to myself, what if we all did that? What if we all saw past the accusations and hurtful words, to what’s really underneath, at the foundation of it all? In this case, it was fear. But it could be anything. It could be brokenness, loneliness, grief, anything. If we all did this, the possibilities for peace in our lives, and in our world, are almost incomprehensible. It’s almost hard to even imagine how far reaching it could be.
Moses listened to the anger they spewed at him, but all he heard was their fear. Amazing! I want a pair of ears like that! And he saw with eyes of love, because he saw with God’s eyes, not with human eyes. Yes, I want a pair of eyes like that, too. If we SEE with love, we can RESPOND in love. There’s no other way a loving response is possible. A reassuring response like Moses’ could never flow from a place of pain, or of feeling insulted, hurt, and unfairly attacked. True love, and therefore a truly loving response, can come from God – and HIS love – alone.
Love flows only from love. And God IS love. So if I abide in it, and abide in Him, the wisdom and the love that “sees beyond” can flow from me too.