And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.
—— Exodus 2:11-12——
As humans we seem to be fixated with fixing. We want to find solutions to the problems, answers to the riddles. While the instinct to fix things surely derives from our longing to return to Eden, we, as Christians, must avoid the danger of healing this earth’s troubles via the strength and might of man.
We read (in Ex. 2:11-12) that Moses assesses the problem and discerns the injustice accurately. Tyranny, government overreach, racial tensions, and high taxes were all in play here. However, his solution was built on the sandy soil of humanism; he endeavored to accomplish God’s purposes using the devil’s tools.
A chapter later we see a contrast to Moses in God Himself: “And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians (Exodus 3:7-8a)”. Moses and God both saw the afflictions of the Israelites; however, the Hebrew amplifies God’s seeing by repeating the word for seeing/sight twice.
Moses sees and God sees sees; or—we might say—really sees. Whereas we might see the problem and the apparent solution, God sees the deeper problem and is Himself the true solution. Humanism offers a cure that only speeds on the cancer’s development, because it refuses to submit to God’s perspective on the disease.
We must not be as Moses, looking left and right, and then proceeding by the might of our own strength and authority. We are to look to God and His judgement on all things. This is what it means to live by faith, not by sight. We live by God’s judgements and not our own; and this applies to what we do in public or in private, in the voting booth or in our living room.
Humanism wants to live in defiance of God’s judgement and bring about redemption through moralism. Christianity, in contrast, lives by faith in the judgements of the God who has “come down to deliver” us from the hand of the Egyptians. A world of things can and ought to be said about this “God who came down” and dwelt among us.