Saturday, April 6, 2019
“But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, ‘O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say it was with evil intent that you brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’?” [Exodus 32:11-12]
God said to Moses, “Now let me alone.” God was enraged. God wanted to consume the Israelites. But, thankfully Moses didn’t leave God alone. What do you do in the face of somebody else’s anger? Personally, I can’t imagine how terrifying it must have been for Moses to face God’s anger. Yet, Moses did. Moses sticks with God and talks God off the proverbial cliff. Moses explained to God that the press release after the demise of the Israelites in the desert would indict God. The Egyptian headlines would read, “Yahweh Destroys, As Planned.” Anger can be deadly. Yet, is anger necessarily wrong? Anger is not wrong. God had every right to be angry with the Israelites. Yet, we must be careful with what we do with our anger. The story line of Exodus would have been different if Moses had not stayed present to God’s anger. What might this teach us today about staying present to someone’s anger?
God of all emotions, I stand in awe of Moses’ willingness to stay present to your anger. I admit I usually flee from the anger of others or I respond with anger of my own. Help me to be present to anger, whether mine or someone else’s, so that harm is not perpetrated in the heat of the moment. Amen.