Not by taking law in our own hand, but trusting the Lord.
Text: Exodus 2:11-22
As Christians, we can relate closely to this passage. Moses finds himself in a situation where he saw how the law is twisted to favour one party over the other. And because of the fact that the Lord did not do anything to help his people in this situation, Moses decided to stand up for Israel's in God’s place. He took the law in his own hands.
We can see this type of desperation, around us and even in our own lives. We see desperation in the way we respond to social network and we hear it in the comments given on the news of the day and looting is also an example of people tanking the law in there own hands out of desperation.
We want to do the Lord's work for him, because we do not like to see how things are getting out of control.
1. We want to take the law in our own hands.
Things were getting out of hand for Israel. The first two chapters of Exodus tells us that things only became worse and worse for Israel, and it looks as if God does not care or have control over this situation.
It started when Pharaoh saw that Israel became a great and strong nation and he was afraid that Israel will become rebellious against Egypt. Therefore, in desperation, he decided to suppress the people by making them slaves.
When he saw that it did not work, then he gave the Hebrew midwives, in secret, the order to kill the Hebrew male children at birth when there mothers does not look.
But that did not work either and therefore the Pharaoh gave the instruction to all Egyptians in absolute desperation to throw every newborn Hebrew boy in the river.
And then, just when it seems that Moses will be able to save the people of God because of the fact that he grew up in the palace of the Pharaoh, and therefore will have the necessary leadership training, then he mess everything up. In desperation, he lost his temper and kill an Egyptian. The result was that he was forced to flee.
So the situation of the people just got worse and worse. Is that how people feel about the situation in South Africa today? Does it feel that things is getting out of hand?
We are confronted with the feeling that maybe God is not here. When things are getting worse and worse, then we ask: "But, where is God now?" Is He still in control?” And sometimes it remains not only to the question, we might even lose our temper, and in desperation we take law into our own hands.
Moses killed an Egyptian. He could not handle the injustice anymore and therefore he took law into his own hands.
And then one of his own people came and ask:
"Who made you a prince and a judge over us?" (Ex. 2:14)
With this question Moses realized that he was not appointed by the Pharaoh, neither by God to be the judge.
If the Lord expects us to act, then he will give us the authority that is necessary.
So, why do we want to take law into our own hands? What drives us to do that, while it is often not at all our place to judge.
There are two reasons.
The first is: We want to be in control.
We want to be in control because deep inside, we do not trust in the Lord. Therefore we ask, "Where is God now?"
We want to be in control. We want to take God's place. And therefore our efforts to be in control, often fail. Maybe it’s your marriage or your work or your children.
Another reason why we want to take law into our own hands -
The second is this: We think our time is the best.
Here we see the depth of sin our lives. We are arrogant because we think we are wiser than God. We think that we know better, and therefore we can not wait for God's time.
However, look at Moses. When he wanted to lead the people out of Egypt in his time, he need to flee for his life. When God led the people out of Egypt in his time, He gave Moses the authority to lead the nation even with great wonders out of Egypt. We need to wait on God's time because it is best for us!
2. Trust in the Lord!
Christ is the perfect example for us.
The last days before Christ's death, humanly speaking, things got completely out of hand. His disciples fought over who was the greatest. They were not committed to Him, and when he asked them to pray for him, they fell asleep. One of his disciples betrayed him and another one denied Him.
And then in the garden of Gethsemane, almost 300 people came with sticks and swords to take Him captive. This whole situation seems to be out of control and therefore Peter took his sword and amputates a soldier's ear. He was desperate. The situation drives him to react in the same way Moses did in our text. He took law into his own hands without the authority given to him.
Jesus responds was different. He healed the soldier's ear. He gives himself over to be crucified because he did not want his will to be done, but the Father's will even if His life is at stake.
When we look at this situation it seems that God is not in control. Yet Christ did not try to take charge. He said to Peter, that it is in His power to immediately call on to 12 legions of angels to save Him, but He did not because He trust the Father.
So, why would we trust the Lord?
In marriage, we must trust one another. But we will only trust each other when we see that our spouse make decisions that is in my best interests. The more you see how your spouse wants to accommodate you, the more you will trust him/her.
So, if there is a situation where you need to trust your spouse to be in control of your affairs, then you will trust your spouse to make the right decision even if you disagree with the outcome.
We will only trust God with our lives if we see the big sacrifice that He made to save us. We can trust God with our lives, because why would He humiliate Himself to pay for our sins. God saved us and nothing can take away that salvation.
Look at this passage. The Pharaoh tried to keep the Israelite's as slaves, and yes, they did suffer, but the suffering was limited and their salvation everlasting.
More so in the New Testament. Our salvation is grounded in Jesus Christ. God himself came to earth. He became human and He died. But then He is raised from the dead. Christ came to open a door for us through death, our enemy. We are not slaves of sin anymore. We are saved by Christ.
This love of God gives us peace. We do not need to be in charge of our lives because the Almighty God is. We do not need to determine the perfect time, because our omniscience God knows the perfect time is.
Christ is our salvation, and no one can take that away from us. This does not mean that we will not be confronted with suffering, but it does mean that a time will come that we will be completely free from this bondage of sin in this world. Christ opened that door for us.