Before You Accuse
“When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, ‘Why do you strike your companion?’ He answered, ‘Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’”
Exodus 2:13-14 (ESVUK)
How quickly we ignore our own wrongs and accuse others of theirs.
The very next day after Moses had committed murder, he tried to sort out an argument between two men who were fighting. One of them was ‘in the wrong’. How? Had he punched and knocked the other man to the ground? Did he have him in a hold, ready to strangle him or to snap his neck? Was he holding a knife to his opponent’s throat? Had he picked up a nearby brick or stone in order to bash his head with it? It appears that Moses condemned the stronger assailant, and that he felt superior to the two men, and that, conveniently, he had put the memory of his own prior crime to one side.
There are, of course, times when we should intervene sensibly and carefully when we see a problem, but that is not the issue being addressed here. Moses’ question, “Why do you strike your companion?”, is one to which he would have known the answer had he examined himself. Moses himself had struck someone before in vengeful rage.
In Matthew 7:1-3 Jesus commanded his followers, “Judge not that you be not judged…why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Sometimes we condemn others for committing the type of sins of which we too are guilty. For example, do we criticise others for lying when in fact we don’t always tell the truth?
I wonder whether Moses would have acted differently if he had known and taken to heart the words of Jesus. What if Moses had said something like, “Don’t do it. I understand, I too have lost my temper and hurt someone else. It’s not worth it. Don’t do it!”? We don’t know what happened next save that Moses ran away in fear. But did the man in the wrong proceed to kill the other person?
Next time, before we accuse someone, let’s examine ourselves…who are we to judge another?
Father of compassion, help me please to resist judging others. With the guidance of your Spirit help me to be aware of my own problems. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.