“And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian.” (Acts 7:24) If you read Acts 7:20-29 you will find some very interesting statements about Moses, especially in verse 25, for Moses thought that he was the one chosen to free his brethren by the hand of God a full forty years before the event of the burning bush. There have been many commentaries on this time in the life of Moses, and though we have limited information in the Scriptures, a little conjecture is alright if it is done in respect to the Word of God. I would like to just stick to the facts though today as told in the account here, that Moses killed a man, thought that the Hebrew children would recognize him as the one sent by God to free them, and then fled to a distant land.
The man that Moses killed and buried was beating one of the children of Jacob, but if you will notice in Exodus 2:12, before he slew him, “he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man…” Moses did not just rush in without fore-thought to his own personal welfare, he wanted to make sure that no one was around so that he would not have to suffer the consequences of his actions. I will not debate here what Moses did, for the subject matter is not about Moses, but about us.
Many like to think that by sending money to different Christ-centered organizations they are fulfilling a Scriptural requirement, and that is all that is required of them. Others pray, occasionally, for those who are being persecuted, believing they have done their part for the Kingdom of God. It seems that the least that many Christians can do today is the most they want to do, for anything above that would be an inconvenience. They give financially not with a willing heart, but only after searching in the checkbook first to make sure that they have enough food and resources to provide for their families, which is honorable and scripturally correct, but also that the vacation money, the steak money for the get-together this weekend, and numerous other wants are taken into the equation first. The giving of time sacrificially has been abandoned for ‘church’ time, the Sunday morning service, perhaps the mid-week bible study and the get together before Christmas to wrap the gifts to go overseas are in their mind the “necessary requirements” fulfilled. For the average Christian, of which I am ashamed to say I have been, and at times still am, giving sacrificially of time and resources is a thing of the past, for we have placed self- interest and desires above what God has called us to be.
Moses saw his brethren suffering, and if I may so bold as to conjecture just a little here, most times these types of events begin with words, and generally not very encouraging words at that, but words of anger and frustration. Have you ever seen a group of people that have congregated together for some reason, and then found as you walk over to where they are, that the reason was because an individual was talking with them, and that this person was speaking to the small crowd of lost souls about our Lord Jesus. Although you did not know this individual personally, you definitely knew the phrases and terms he was using, for they came directly from the Scriptures. This man was not standing on a ‘soap-box’, this was not a planned event sponsored by a religious organization, just a man who happened to start speaking to someone about the love of God through Jesus Christ to another person, and then a small crowd began to congregate around him.
As you draw near and start to listen, you hear the old familiar story, the one you have heard so many times before, of an indescribable love of a Sovereign God for those that are but dust. Some in the crowd are listening, some always do, but then the rebukes and reproaches start to fly, as they have since the prophets, they castigate and scold him, as he continues to tell those that are still attentive the glory that waits for those that will trust in His Name.
Did you move to his side, lift him up in prayer as he continued to expound on who is the Truth, the Way, and the Life. Did you let the Gospel flow past your lips in between his words, lifting up not only the Scriptures you have known for so long, but this man also, this one who in confidence and boldness of the Holy Spirit lets the Words of life flow through him to these lost souls. As the words of hurt and vengeance flew in your faces, did you give God the Glory for this interruption of your normal day, this praise-worthy event that was recorded for all of eternity. Two brother’s names firmly and forever written in the Lambs book of life.
Or did you stand in embarrassment, hoping that no one there knew you were a Christian, praying under your breath that no one in the small crowd recognized you as someone that attended that church just down the street. (Matt. 26:75) Do you retreat slowly, backing away from the crowd, letting this man bear the burden, the persecution, the rebukes of what began as a short talk now turning into an angry, small mob, showing their hate for the One who loves them, the One who paid the ultimate price for them.
Later, after you had fled to your house, did you tell yourself that next time you would do better, next time you would be bolder, next time. How many hours or days did it take you to fight down the shame you felt, to convince yourself that it was not your place to step up, that it was not your battle. How long was it before you quenched the Spirit of God inside of you, how long has it been since you spoke to anyone the Words of Life.
We are not to emulate what Moses did, but, the longer that I walk with our Lord, the harder it is for me to understand how the lost cannot see this incredible gift of Grace that is offered to all, the more difficult it becomes for me to see the lost as anything but lost, but that is not what we are called to , we are called to love, to speak, to tell the wonderful story. We are called to a different purpose, we are called to stand.
We are called to suffer with Christ when we stand in love, right beside our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering, no matter the cost.