“When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites.Acts 7:23
For forty years the boy who had been pulled from the reeds of the Nile lived in the house of Pharaoh and was educated in the ways of the world, but all the time knowing he was different. Somehow even in the midst of all that Egypt offered and despite the stigma of being associated with the enslaved people of Israel, he “chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward” (Heb. 11:25-26).
A visit to the people of God throughout the world will find them “at their hard labor” (Ex. 2:11). No matter our position or power, no matter our education or place in life they are our people. All those who have Fellowship with the true God and worship Him as Father, Son and Spirit are our people. The hard pressed, the crushed, the perplexed, those in despair, the persecuted. They are not abandoned, not destroyed” (2Cor. 4:8-9).
These are our people. They belong to us and we belong to them. There pain is our pain. We should enjoy life and its treasures without ignoring their suffering.
Moses “chose to be mistreated” when he could have enjoyed comfort. He chose disgrace rather than “the treasures of Egypt.” He did this because he saw beyond that which is perishing to that which will last. Somehow he saw in the faces of the trampled masses the face of Jesus the Christ and he wanted to be with them in Christ.
Even while we enjoy the earthly gifts and hold our earthly treasures we should possess a certain restlessness. There should be a longing in us until we see the face of God. For those who are suffering, this restlessness comes easy. Those who are mistreated cry out to the Lord daily, “How long oh Lord must I wait!”
They, with us, are the people of God. We belong to them and they to us.
Together we enter into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights and, following Moses, climb that dark mountain. We too long to see the face of God.
In giving up during lent we participate in the plight of all God’s people in order to extend the love of God the Father. God the Father extend His own love to us in His treasured Son. We then, as Children of God love as God loves those called by His name.