I’ve been reading about You: what a monster You are.
For years, I’ve mindlessly recited the Song of Moses in Morning Prayer:
I will sing to the Lord, for he is lofty and uplifted,
the horse and its rider has he hurled into the sea…
The chariots of Pharaoh, and his army has he hurled into the sea;
the finest of those who bear armor have been drowned in the Red Sea.
The fathomless deep has overwhelmed them;
they sank into the depths like a stone.
Why did they die like that?
You made it happen. You remember: Joseph, annoying but innocent kid brother; resentful and unspeakably cruel older brothers; famine, a migration to Egypt, a few hundred years, things go bad, it’s time to leave. The ruler of Egypt acting out his nature, dare I say his God-given nature, refusing to let the Israelites go, and remaining obstinate, and then You reaching right into the situation:
But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh (Exodus 9:12)
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 10:20 and again at 10:27)
Your response to Pharaoh’s obstinacy is to inflict punishment after punishment:
And then Your final abomination: killing all the first-born sons of the Egyptians. All those boys, dead in the night.
You did it; You made sure of it. Then You caused Pharaoh’s army to follow the Israelites into the divided sea. Pharaoh’s soldiers were no different from ours; they did what they were ordered to do. You pitilessly drowned them all.
When someone goes bad, we say “something got into him.” Some people even say that the Devil got into him. But maybe it’s not the Devil. Maybe it’s You.
When people are gutted and crushed by pain and loss, it’s a commonplace in my religious world for someone to assure them that God is suffering with them.
Listen, with me You don’t have to put in an appearance. No weeping and wringing Your hands, You can skip it. I know what You’re like.
April 26, 2020 COVID-19 Infections and Deaths