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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Crossing Over: Facing fears

As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone so that we can serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today, for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. But you lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground. Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them, and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers.” ~ Exodus 14:10-18

And still the challenges mounted.

One of the more troubling lines in all of scripture for me has always been "and the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart (or the hearts of the Egyptians)."

I've just never believed that God would do that.

But I think that sometimes we do still place blame for God on all kinds of things.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Why did God allow this person to die?

How can God keep letting innocents be bombed out of their homes?

If God is so good, why is there natural disasters and violence and war?

There isn't a universally accepted answer to those question of how an omnipotent God allows evil to exist.

So for me it's important to remember instead where God is: with us. Beside us. Behind us.

Suffering with us when we suffer.

We might not have an answer to those questions, but we have One who will not let us face the darkness alone.

  • When have you felt God's presence with you in dark times?

  • How do you comfort someone who is angry at God when bad things happen?

  • How does God call us to act when evil is present in the world?

Walk with me Holy One, when I face the evils of this world. And help me to walk with others. Amen

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