Exodus 2:12 | Unforgiving Social Media

I am continually shocked at what people will post online to social media. The most frightful however is when others post recordings of someone else’s out of control bad behavior. I tell my kids that they should conduct themselves with the assumption that someone is always watching and always recording because in this current world with cameras everywhere is it true. Sometimes our posts will get us fired from jobs or will cause embarrassment to family or community. The Bible tells us that what we speak out loud reveals what is in our heart. Sometimes that evil and bad behavior we try to keep a lid on gets out. I pray no one is recording me at that moment or I think myself clever with a post that is actually self-sabotage. It seems we think we are clever in our sins and Moses who was raised up in the shrewdness of Egypt thought so as well. What is true then is true now. Nothing is hidden forever. What we have done will be exposed.

12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. Exodus 2:12 NIV

Moses wanted to be a hero to his people and so he saw an opportunity. He knew it was wrong as evidenced by the evaluation that no one was looking (except for the Hebrew he was rescuing) and the deed was done. This Hebrew that was being beaten by the Egyptian promptly told a few people who told a few people and by the next day everyone in Egypt knew what Moses had done.  

13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. 14 Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity. Proverbs 28:13-14 ESV

Moses had not thought through his vigilantism. Murder was in his heart and out of the heart comes the overflow. Consequences are hard. Moses had to flee Egypt and all he had known because of this sin. In the wilderness Moses contents himself to a new life outside of the power and strength of Egypt. I wonder if it will ever be possible for society to walk away from the evil of social media? Many will be forced into that wilderness after the pitch fork mob of cancel culture comes to get them. The casualties on both the left and right are growing.

10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. Psalms 103:10-13 ESV

Moses deserved what happened. Cold blooded murder is chilling but God is compassionate and restores what is broken. Whatever our sins for those that fear God can put their future lives and their current trust in his perfect hands. God will heal what is broken. God will love the unlovable. He is full of grace and mercy.

Ask Jesus for forgiveness. Speak to him in plain language. That is what real prayer looks like. Talking to him and believing he is in control in spite of our rebellion.

8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9 ESV

1 Timothy 1:8 | Lawless Evil

Today is another day where there is a killing of the innocence without regard to human life at some soft target be it a school, a place of worship, a concert, a nightclub, a workplace, or a retail establishment. My heart breaks. Lawlessness abounds. Right is wrong and wrong is right as society thinks itself enlightened and progressing into supposed fairness and supposed justice.

8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers 1 Timothy 1:8-9 ESV

One of the things that makes America great is law and order. It is a pardox that I did not understand in my youth. Law allows for freedom. I can safely go where I want because of laws. Anarchy restrains freedom. Without rules then I will live a guarded and fearful life because of the lawless and the murderer. Murder is evil and God has written into our very nature that it is wrong. Outside of the authority of government (war and capital punishment) God grants no person the right to take a life. I don’t need a law to tell me murder is wrong. But the law against murder condemns those who seek to take up that evil.

Peter in his first sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) speaks of lawlessness the same lawlessness that Paul is talking about here in 1 Timothy. Peter reminds the audience that it was lawless men who unjustly crucified Jesus (they corrupted the legitimate process of capital punishment for their own selfish desires) but that this lawlessness was done according the plans of God.

23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. Acts 2:23 ESV

Translation: God allowed Jesus to be murdered. God knew people would murder his son and he allowed it to happen. Today when people are gunned down God know this will happen and yet God allows it to happen. The restraining hand of the Holy Spirit is removed from society and evil lawlessness is allowed to roam free.

7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 ESV

The evil of murder is just a taste, a mouth of ash, of what is to come when the restrains on evil are lifted completely. Outside of the freedom and greatness of America many have lived and continue to live in lawlessness. God has permitted this. God has allowed this evil.

God has also allowed peace and prosperity. God has allowed peace and prosperity that makes these killings all the more shocking. These killings are a wake-up call and a reminder that God’s grace and mercy are available. Everyone including the lawless will be held to account. God has not overlooked this lawlessness. God comforts those who draw near in this moment of anguish. And God sees the big picture that our life here be it long or short is temporary. God calls us to an eternal home where evil lawlessness is not found. This pain and this anarchy are temporary while we pass through. Are you making your home here and now or are you looking to an eternal home? Submit to Jesus repent of your lawlessness and draw near to the Creator. Ultimately peace, security, and home will only be found in Him.

9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 2 Peter 3:9-10 ESV

Genesis 4:7 | God’s Mercy to a Murderer

sin

God after the fall continued his fellowship with Adam, Eve, and their Children. I imagine that the relationship was similar to that of the days in the garden where God would be present in some form building a relationship with Adam and Eve. This side of the fall and curse however resulted in need for an offering for sin and an acknowledgment of how one’s sins break the relationship with God. Eve’s first two sons Cain and Abel are recorded providing offerings to God as I would assume Adam and Eve had been doing as well. Their offering may have been modeled after what God did for Adam and Eve after the original sin where God himself killed an animal to provide skin covering for their shame.

21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Genesis 3:21 ESV

The outcome of these offerings from Cain and Abel should remind all of just how quickly sin escalates in the heart of men and how it impacts their family and God’s relationship with the creation.

6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. Genesis 4:6-10 ESV

Cain and Abel both provided offerings to God however Abel’s offering was accepted by God and Cain’s offering was not. The acceptance of Abel’s offering resulted in fellowship with God the Creator. In fact the next time this kind of offering is mentioned within the Bible is when God was setting up the regular rules of engagement to Moses and Aaron.

41 The other lamb you shall offer at twilight, and shall offer with it a grain offering and its drink offering, as in the morning, for a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the Lord. 42 It shall be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. Exodus 29:41-42 ESV

The offering that Abel provided allowed him to meet and speak with God and God accepted the offering. Cain’s offering was rejected but still in God’s mercy and grace he continued the relationship with Cain speaking directly to him to encourage him to do the right thing if he wanted acceptance. Most likely God rejected Cain’s offering because of a heart and motive issue and he warns Cain that sin is “crouching at the door”.

14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:14-15 ESV

What Cain should have done is repent of the anger in his heart and turn toward God to do what he knew would be the right thing to do. God clearly indicates that He would have accepted Cain. Even after Cain had killed his own brother God in a display of undeserved mercy gives Cain an opportunity to repent for what had happened, but Cain rejects the grace of that moment by claiming to not know about what happened to Abel. God knew what happened so the questioning from God to Cain is an opportunity for Cain to turn away from the sinful path and to restore the relationship.

God provides that same opportunity for people today. While we are all sinners that deserve death because of our rebellion, God has provided his own substitutionary payment. He provided an offering we could not provide ourselves so that we can be like Abel standing before the Creator accepted and in fellowship. God’s advice to Cain is still true to people today and even more so because God has revealed his saving grace from sin in Christ.

7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him… 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:7-8; 14 ESV