Too many of us, believers and unbelievers alike, go through life pretending to be God. Moses in the Bible is a great example of this.
As he was growing up, as a prince of Egypt, Moses was surrounded by ambitions of greatness. I’m sure that more than once he thought that he might get a shot at being Pharaoh. And once you were Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, you were basically god on earth.
But Moses had another influence upon his life: his godly mother Jochebed, who surely taught him that he was a Hebrew. As much as he identified with the powerful in Egypt, Moses also identified with his people, who were slaves in Egypt. That’s why on day, when he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrews, he murdered him (Exodus 2:11-12, NIV).
What Moses was doing was taking things into his own hand. God’s job was to deliver his people, and if God looked like he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to be doing, then Moses would do it himself! Moses was pretending to be God, and that didn’t end up very well for Moses.
For God to teach Moses to stop pretending to be God, he had to teach him humility and meekness. Toward the end of his Moses’ life, it is said of him that he,
was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth (Num 12:3, NIV).
So much so, that the Lord said of him that,
[w]ith him I speak face to face… and… he sees the form of the Lord (Num 12:8).
It’s right to feel bad about the things that make God feel bad. But it isn’t right to think that we are God.
When you know that you aren’t God, then you are ready to really know who God is. The more you know that you aren’t God, the closer will be your relationship with the one who is.
Back in Egypt, it was right for Moses to feel upset at the suffering of his people. God felt bad about it too. It’s right to feel bad about the things that make God feel bad. But it isn’t right to think that we are God.
As we look at the world around you, it is right to feel upset at the suffering, the injustices, and the evils that are everywhere. It is right to work to dismantle unjust systems. And it is right to do all that you can to help the suffering and the oppressed.
But we have to be very careful not to get ahead of God and stand as judge and executioner against others. We may never do like Moses did and actually kill someone, but as Jesus taught to condemn them in our hearts is the same thing (Matthew 5:21-22). This is serious, because when we do this, Jesus said that we are “in danger of the fire of hell” (v.22).
Let’s tread gently and in genuine love. We need more of the humility that Moses discovered later in life. Let’s remember that we aren’t God.
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez. Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question.