Points to Ponder: Suppose Moses Had Taken Anger Management
Points to Ponder
Suppose Moses Had Taken Anger Management
Talk about being born with a silver spoon in your mouth - did Moses start out with the best of breaks or what?
The pharaoh was getting nervous about the population explosion among the Hebrews, so he ordered the execution of all the boy babies that were born to Hebrew women. Moses' mom hid her youngest son at first (we don't know how his older brother Aaron avoided the sentence - he was three years old at the time). But Moses was set afloat in the Nile in a little ark of sorts, was picked up by Pharaoh's daughter and was raised in the palace. No doubt he had a college scholarship, keys to the chariot on the weekends, a "Club Cairo" membership, and all the benefits of being a royal son. But, he also had been nursed by his own mom. His sister Miriam worked that one out. He probably got some education about his heritage from occasional conversations with Aaron and Miriam as they grew up and could stay in touch.
Who knows how it all happened, but Moses had a heart for his heritage and his people. When he observed a Hebrew being beaten by an Egyptian taskmaster, he was enraged. The suffering and injustice being inflicted on his people was within view of his comfortable living situation. He could go out, dressed in his clean Egyptian outfit with manicured nails and smooth hands and feet. From a position of privilege he could see injustice without recourse or remedy for his Hebrew brethren (Exodus 2). So he took the law into his own hands and killed the taskmaster, burying him in the sand. When the word got out, he became a fugitive in Midian, taking a job as a lowly shepherd for 40 years.
Of course that's how he came upon the burning bush, the call of God, and his return to Egypt to lead his people out of there. As always, the Book is better than the movie.
But just suppose, Moses had kept his cool while he was in Pharaoh's court. His adopted mom was the big guy's daughter. If he'd just used his position in the household, he could have done a lot for the Hebrews.
He could have worked for social justice. After all it was Pharaoh's daughter's soft heart that had taken pity on Moses as a baby and saved him from the death penalty. He could have wielded his influence and position of privilege to advocate for better working conditions, health care, and other benefits that could have made life more bearable in Egypt.
But, even if he had done all of that, and the Hebrews had been made more comfortable, they would still be in slavery. Is there really social justice if slavery is made more comfortable? Sometimes we can use a position of influence to do some really good things. But does the good we seek to do lead to freedom or does it make complacency a comfortable, even more reasonable, option?
Moses had been a slave himself because he was a son in the family of Pharaoh. Then he became a slave to the path of a man on the run. He was never really free himself until he obeyed God. God trained and humbled him with a flock of sheep so he could handle the call to shepherd people. God redeemed him to be about the business of leading others to redemption.
Certainly his upbringing in the palace helped him to know how to access the royal court when God sent him. And the long years in the wilderness trained him on how to survive with few resources.
Could Moses have led the people out as a young son of Egyptian royalty? All things are possible with God, or course. But if Moses had managed to make their slavery more bearable, even comfortable, would he have heard the call of God to leave? Would the people have dared to follow him out if he had? Can slavery ever be comfortable? Would you be willing to walk away from a good "sure thing" so that you could pursue the best - even if that path is more difficult, costly, or uncertain? And suppose you can't know it's the best unless you first leave the good?
A life sentence in a palace of gold is but a fleeting moment compared to walking with the King Himself on the Best path for all eternity.
Sometimes "this is as good as it gets" isn't so great. A gold chain is still a chain.
This column can be found on the web at: www.fumcl.org. Pastor Whitmore is not affiliated with Picket News, nor does he submit material directly to our publication. We regularly reprint interesting articles found at his public web site and encourage all readers to visit for similar material.