“Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its wonted flow when the morning appeared, and the Egyptians fled into it, and the LORD routed the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not so much as one of them remained. (Exodus 14:26-28)
Dear friends, rather than ask Pharaoh why he refused to let go of the Israelites, I need to ask myself why I often refuse to let go of the past hurts and faults of others. Rather than feel sorry for Pharaoh and his cohorts who drowned in the sea, I better warn myself that my desire to oppress others, by all means, could lead to drowning in the middle of the sea.
Having enjoyed the services of slaves for hundreds of years, the Egyptians suddenly realized they couldn’t manage without them. Meanwhile, these were the people they terribly maltreated. We never value what we have until we lose it.
On the other hand, Moses told Pharaoh that they were only going to offer sacrifice to God in the desert but days went by and the Israelites were nowhere to be found. Perhaps, Pharaoh upon realizing he had been tricked, took offense at the Israelites and decided to go in search of them.
Like Pharaoh, you may have been cheated, deceived, insulted in the past but unlike Pharaoh, you cannot afford to spend the rest of your life pursuing people. You must let go and move on. Unforgiveness is deadly! Every act of revenge always backfires. For attempting to pursue Israel, Pharaoh and his cohorts got drowned in the sea.
After twenty-seven solid years behind bars, Nelson Mandela said: “When I was about to walk off the prison into a life of freedom, I knew that if I refuse to forgive those who hurt me, I would still be in chains.” Forgive, do not get caught up in the middle of the sea.
In the Gospel passage, Jesus was preaching when he was told his mother and relatives wanted to see him. Jesus used the occasion to teach a very important lesson: “whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
I can say Jesus is my brother not because I am a native of Israel, No. Jesus is my brother because I live according to His words. This is why I am so confident in life; I know I have a big brother who has my back. I know that because Jesus is my brother, all those pursuing me to pull me down will drown in the sea like Pharaoh and his cohorts.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me to live by your words and touch my heart to forgive and let go when I am hurt. Amen.
Bible Study: Exodus 14:21-15:1, Exodus 15:8-12 and Matthew 12:46-50).