The Space of Grace
I want to more closely examine one of the stories of the Old Testament that often raises questions about what God is like in the way He treats both His chosen people and their enemies. This is in one of the most famed events that has ever occurred in history, the deliverance of the Israelites at the crossing of the Red Sea and the extermination by drowning of the entire military force of Egypt bent on recapturing a whole nation of slaves in defiance of God's intervention for them.
I believe the only way to accurately expose the truth in any story, particularly those found in the Old Testament, is to use the lens of the life and teachings of Jesus as the filter through which to interpret what was really going on. Reports and records by humans of that time are biased by their own perceptions and beliefs about what God was like and cannot be fully trusted to give us a clear view of God's character. That is abundantly evident in the contrast we see in the example and teachings of Jesus compared to all the other messages we perceive from all the other sources in the Bible. Only Jesus is the express image of God and only Jesus can be used as the standard by which we determine the real truth about how God feels and His motives in any given story or situation. Therefore, I have to take the emphasis of Jesus on grace, forgiveness, healing and humility and apply these prominent themes in Jesus' life to all the other stories to discover largely unnoticed details that may be discerned that have been obscured by our traditional but darkened views of God.
As I consider the condition that the Israelites must have been in psychologically when they came out of 400 years of slavery, it is clear that they were a very long ways from having any level of emotional maturity to deal with what God expects us to understand given our far greater light about truth. Thus God was compelled to deal with such immaturity by treating them like very small children rather than thinking, reasoning adults. But at the same time, the principles of truth still remain and the goal of God in every generation is to move all those who are willing to be led toward greater maturity, the maturity demonstrated in the life of Jesus His perfect Son.
For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
I have read a number of times through the myriads of laws of Moses found in the Torah, but I don't recall coming across very much about the option of forgiveness. This is in stark contrast to what I find in the teachings of Jesus. Yet I believe that it must have been a constant ever in the background, maybe an unmentioned option that was simply understood by the judges appointed to guide the people and resolve their issues. But as is still true today, the personality and perceptions of God and notions about justice that each judge felt would certainly influence whether they might turn to that option or would simply administer the letter of the law in each and every case.
But it seems clear to me, given the basic principles of the human mind as designed by God, that as long as the Israelites failed to let go of their resentments, bitterness and emotional pain that was inevitable after so many years of degrading abuse received at the hands of the cruel Egyptians, they could not experience healing from all those emotional scars and they would never be really free of the spiritual bondage from which God longed to also deliver them.
And God spoke all these words, saying: "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (Exodus 20:1-2 NKJV)
Why did God identify two things here that they had been brought out of? Was this phrase repeated simply for emphasis? That may be part of it, but I believe that God was referring to something far more important about the human mind and spirit. It is one thing to be physically delivered from a terrible situation of abuse, control and slavery. But it is an entirely different thing to be emotionally set free from the mind-control and emotional manipulation of an abuser and delivered from the damaging effects of horrific memories even after the abuser is dead and gone.
It is part of our fallen human psyche to crave revenge, to desire retribution for such atrocities and we generally view this as justice. But as long as we cling to these feelings of animosity toward our perceived enemies we actually block our own progress in healing. Whether or not an abuser ever experiences anything the world might term as 'justice', forgiveness must not be made dependent on such notions of revenge. God's ways are radically different than what we have long assumed about justice, but His ways are the only true path to real freedom, recovery, wholeness and restored life.
This is where popular misconceptions about true forgiveness becomes a problem. Because forgiveness is little understood properly and is even less taught or practiced, millions remain trapped in a bondage of slavery to bitterness, resentment, simmering rage and all sorts of other debilitating emotions that are impossible to escape. This is because we are predisposed to think in legal terms rather than coming into the light of the real truth as it is in Jesus.
I believe the context of this understanding about the central necessity of forgiveness helps us to better understand why the Israelites may have been predisposed to misunderstand what God wanted them to know when He gave them His Law, the condensation of the very essence of His character, His description of total perfection. As He spoke from the top of Mount Sinai amid a spectacular display of power, smoke, fire and lightning, the shock and awe of that display was viewed through the lens of hearts that had not let go of deep desires for revenge against their former oppressors. In this case the people's hearts may have taken all this display of power and glory to mean that God just might be not that much different than those who had previously relied on force, intimidation, threats and coercion to extract compliance and obedience from them back in Egypt.
The problem is compounded when we fail to see the God of the Old Testament in any better light than how these freed slaves tended to view Him. As we read these stories of God's dealings with greatly degraded humans and try to fit it into our understanding of what God is like, too often we choose to embrace the deception that the God back then must have been a very different God than who we worship now. Or maybe God somehow improved dramatically over the years and now shows us a much better side after using a very different system of justice generally devoid of much mercy or forgiveness back then. But this violates one of the most fundamental truths about God that must never be overlooked. For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6)
When Pharaoh and his army were drowned in the Red Sea after entering into the opening provided by God while chasing the Israelites; the way we view this event and God's motives in it will dramatically impact our feelings about God. As long as the Israelites viewed that act as an act of revenge on the part of God, that belief about God in the Jewish mindset blocked them from embracing the real truth about a God full of grace and truth as mentioned above by John. The same will be true for us as well.
What can we learn from this epic story that has been passed down to us through so many generations in history? How are we to perceive God's part and His heart in this spectacular event? Was God really bent on 'getting even' with the Egyptians as we have long assumed? Or have we possibly missed the point of this story because we have drawn similar false conclusions about God just as the Jews have done for so many centuries?
Let me offer some alternative interpretations of this story that have come to my spirit as I lay in bed this morning communing with God.
- What motivated the Israelites to choose to walk into that open space in the waters that God had miraculously provided for their deliverance?
- What would have likely happened if they had remained too afraid to move forward?
- How long did they stay in the bottom of the seabed surrounded by millions of tons of water held up only by the wind of God?
- What was their purpose for going into that space in the waters and their destination?
Here are some more questions related to this story from the other side.
- Why did Pharaoh lead his army into that space in the sea? Didn't he know what he was doing?
- What were his motives? Did he have more than one? Did he really understand the risk involved?
- How might be the best way to describe that open space through the waters?
- Why did God leave that space wide open and available after the Israelites passed through? After all, He could have begun to close it from the back side behind the last Israelites to prevent the Egyptians from entering. So why did God keep the waters open supernaturally and allow the Egyptians to follow the same supernatural route provided for His own people?
- What does this tell us about God's attitude toward the Egyptians?
Be very careful about how you handle your answers to each of these questions. Try to be very honest about the first thing that comes to mind when contemplating these things, for what comes first to mind reveals what we really think about God at the deeper levels of our own heart, regardless of what our mind may offer as 'the right answers'.
What in God's terminology, does water represent in the Bible? In prophetic writings, waters represents peoples, yes.
But what else is water used to represent? What about the Water of Life? Jesus! Maybe the two are connected. I am learning more and more about the biblical theme termed 'in Christ' and what it really means. One thing I am learning is that apparently Jesus absorbed into Himself all peoples – all humanity in order to redeem all from the curse. Thus Jesus has delivered humanity from the tyranny of Satan's dictatorship brought about through Adam's sin and abdication of dominion over this planet.
Jesus is the one who guided the Israelites out of Egypt. And it is Jesus Himself who opened up that space of grace in the Red Sea. (Might there be significance in the name of that sea linking it to the blood of Jesus?).
Just before this spectacular deliverance transpired, the Children of Israel had been complaining bitterly to Moses about their desperate situation. With Pharaoh's army closing in on them from behind and the Red Sea blocking them ahead, it appeared that they had been led into a trap with no hope of escape. It seemed clear that they had been deceived by the very ones who had promised to save them. In their minds they had every logical reason to believe that God was against them along with Moses, Pharaoh and all the world as far as they were concerned. Based on circumstances there seemed to be no reason to trust in a God who would lead them in such unreasonable ways.
If we look carefully at how this story transpired, it becomes clear that indeed God did plan for them to be trapped in this hopeless situation. God purposefully intended for these escaping slaves to clearly see that their escape had nothing whatsoever to do with their own abilities, wisdom or power. Consider the following background verses.
Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Tell the sons of Israel to turn back and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you shall camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it, by the sea. "For Pharaoh will say of the sons of Israel, 'They are wandering aimlessly in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.' "Thus I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD." And they did so. (Exodus 14:1-4)
So it really was God that set them up to be trapped between the pursuing armies of Pharaoh and the impossible barrier of the Red Sea before them. And what was the reason that God gave for creating this crisis? I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.
My question is however, in what way do we perceive the honor of God in this story? Do we just assume that since it appears that God was willing to drown the enemies of His people in the ocean while protecting His own chosen ones to safely cross, that this somehow proves that God delights in killing off those who resist His demands? Are we to be inspired to love and worship a God who will resort to supernatural means of killing those who oppose His ways? Or are we so infected with false assumptions about God from the master schemer that has so filled our hearts with dark notions about God, particularly the God of the Old Testament, that we cannot discern anything different from this story? What are we willing to take away from this story about how God relates to those who treat Him as His enemy? And particularly, how does this fit in with the explicit revelation of God – Jesus Christ who taught us to love our enemies and turn the other cheek? Is this a totally different God? Or is it possible we have assumed the same thinking as the immature slaves being rescued from Egypt so long ago without updating our beliefs based on advanced evidences of truth about God?
I find the interchanges between the people, Moses and God filled with very compelling nuances and implications. The Bible says that when the people realized they were trapped between the approaching military forces of Egypt and an impossible barrier of water before them, they were understandably terrified and cried out to God. I'm not sure if their crying out had any coherent message in it or if it was more along the line of expletives. But then it says they turned on Moses and accused him of leading them directly into this trap purely for the purpose of their doom.
Moses, who remember was in the same situation as everyone else, responded with more faith by declaring that they had nothing to fear and that the Egyptian army they saw approaching would never again be seen alive. But what I find even more interesting is God's response to all of this.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward." (v. 15) God instructed Moses to raise his staff over the waters which initiated the beginning of a wind that took all night to open up a channel right through the ocean. There are many details in this story that should be examined in the clearer light of truth revealed by Jesus that can produce many surprising revelations waiting to be discovered. But at this point I want to get the main points down here that have to do with how we perceive God to be like in this story.
The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. (v. 22)
I am now starting to see this as one of the most powerful analogies of grace ever demonstrated in history. Yet maybe for too long we have turned it into a example of revenge by God in our thinking, assuming that God was settling a score with Pharaoh rather than exposing the real truth about the thinking of everyone involved, including Himself. Did God intend to kill Pharaoh and his army in the sea or did something else take place there that we have long overlooked?
What compelled the Israelites to be willing to move into that open space through the waters? In a way didn't they have to repent of their murmuring against Moses and begin to trust God enough to move into that high risk space of grace surrounded by high walls of thundering waters on both sides to walk through to the other side?
When put in that context, this begins to resonate with other events I have never considered before. Doesn't this sound familiar to times when we face seemingly impossible circumstances? How do we feel about moving forward when it seems there are overwhelming walls of angry people all around us held back only by invisible forces that we have to trust as we are asked to step into the impossible future. In those times of great fear and at the same time enormous opportunity, how do we perceive the heart of God, not only towards us but towards our enemies that are threatening to harm us?
But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent." (v. 13-14)
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. (Psalms 23:4-5)
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)
We talk about our need for faith in our relationship with God. And it is true, we need much more genuine faith if we ever want to grow up into the maturity that Christ intends for us and which we need to thrive. But interestingly it does not require a great deal of faith to walk with God through the things that make us feel afraid. However, it does take the right kind of faith, even if it is yet extremely small like that of the Israelites tentatively moving into the strange deep passageway between towering mountains of thundering ocean waves on dry ground. It was a mustard seed size faith that chose to believe that God could be trusted to keep the way open as they hurried across to more familiar safety on the other side of the sea.
Now, here is the important part of this story that I believe we have missed for too long. And because we have missed it we have failed to perceive the true character of God here as revealed in the life and teachings of Jesus. Remember, it was Jesus Himself who was in that cloud and who was directing events throughout this whole episode.
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:1-4) The cloud, the food, the drink and the rock all represented Jesus who was directly interacting with them all throughout these events. This is born out in the teachings of Jesus and all the illustrations and labels that He gave to Himself.
Now let's go back and look at what happened with Pharaoh in contrast with what had just happened with the Israelites in relation to the sea. Pharaoh had the very same options as did the Israelites who had just passed through ahead of him into that open space of grace. The walls of water were still being held firm keeping open that tantalizing passage through the sea. However, Pharaoh's options and the outcomes of his choices were determined by his belief system and his own opinions about God. This is where I think it is vital to take a little time to unpack what really happened in this story in the light of the real truth about God as revealed by Jesus Christ.
- What was in Pharaoh's heart as he faced his options before plunging into that supernaturally provided space of grace?
- What had been in the heart of the Israelites just before they decided to move forward into that space of grace?
- Compare the two mindsets, not just about the risks and danger involved but more importantly about how much they were willing to trust in the heart of the God that had opened up a channel through the sea.
- By choosing to move into that supernatural space, what decision was made by the Israelites?
- By choosing to move into that supernatural space, what decision was made by Pharaoh?
- What presumptions about God – the One holding up those walls of water – made the difference in the outcomes of each choice?
- What implications does this have for us today in our decisions and our perceptions of God?
Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. (Exodus 14:23)
There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment. (1 John 4:18 GNB)
While I am sure that Pharaoh must have had some level of fear about plunging into such a high risk situation ahead of him, his selfish rage and grn;">
Concerning some of the miracles which had already taken place during the ten plagues that had just devastated the entire land of Egypt, Pharaoh had imitated them with acts of magic by his own priests. But even those pagan priests had to admit that the power they were up against as revealed by Moses and Aaron was beyond their capacity to duplicate. Even so, when faced with the highest risk of all, the vast waters of the entire Red Sea parted right through the middle by the wind of the God that Pharaoh had consistently defied, Pharaoh chose to lead his entire military resources into that space of grace that had provided safe passage for his escaping slaves. He was so bent on restoring the status quo, his abusive system of absolute control over the Israelites, that he refused to believe that the God of Israel had claimed these people as belonging to Himself now and not to Pharaoh.
What made the difference in how the waters acted after the Israelites passed through when Pharaoh attempted to do the very same thing? Was the collapse of the walls of water about God changing His mind and deciding to resort to violence against Pharaoh while He had shown mercy to His own people? That is what most have long assumed and seems to be what Moses and the Israelites assumed. But is this really the truth about this event? Why is this important to know? Because it is very possible that we may again find ourselves in situations similar to this in our own lives. And what we take from this story will determine how we relate to our own deliverance when we are faced with crisis in our own lives.
Let me ask a few questions again.
- What if Pharaoh had come to his senses before entering that sea and had acknowledged what was really going on there?
- What if he had rationally assessed his chances of getting all the way across this long, narrow channel supernaturally held open by forces far beyond his own control and had honestly considered other options? What were his options anyway?
Pharaoh could have reasoned that since he was not in league with the One who had opened up the waters, then it might not be safe to risk his life and the lives of his entire army depending on the power of a force with which he had been consistently hostile. In that case he might have made a choice to stay where he was and turn back to Egypt. But that would have wounded his pride and involved admitting defeat in the eyes of the world. This he had already proved he was unwilling to do.
What did Pharaoh really need? Isn't it what we term repentance? To repent means to humble one's self, to 'eat crow' as the saying goes, to be willing to admit that we are wrong and that God is right. Yes, it does involve losing status and prestige and power that we have built up for our reputation. But isn't that what God has always meant when He calls anyone to repentance? Isn't this the essence of repentance itself; to lay our human pride in the dust while exalting and acknowledging the greatness and sovereignty and goodness of the God of the universe? Pharaoh still had that option even though it was a humiliating option he was unwilling to accept. The Israelites that had gone before him through this space of grace had trusted in God more than their logic or fears of what might happen if they walked through such a terrifying place. The book of Hebrews speaks of this emotion in a way that may surprise us until we put it into this kind of context.
It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31)
Why is it so terrifying to fall into the hands of a loving God? That is the pivotal question that has the potential to confront many of our own misconceptions about God and flush out into the open some of the hidden lies we still harbor in our hearts. Just because something is terrifying, does that imply that it is something we should avoid? Or does it have to do more with our frame of mind, particularly our beliefs about the God with whom we are dealing and our assumptions about how He deals with sinners? All of these things play into how we will experience the unavoidable terror when encountering a power far beyond our own ability to comprehend or control.
I can hardly imagine that Pharaoh, and especially his soldiers, did not have a heightened level of terror as they may have cautiously hurried into the middle of the Red Sea surrounded on both sides by high walls of threatening waters, with the wind howling around them and the seabed beginning to soften beneath their feet and bogging down their chariot wheels. Both groups that entered that space of grace did so with some terror I think it is safe to say. But one group emerged unscathed out the other side and the other group drowned as grace rejected bots and their horsemen." So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak, while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh's entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained. But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. (Exodus 14:26-29)
I need to leave some of what I am starting to see here for another time. But I want to just note in the above verses that because Pharaoh had rejected the grace that God had supernaturally provided for the crossing of the Red Sea, God simply allowed nature to return to its normal state. God did not use force to impose death on Pharaoh and his army bent on killing His people. He simply respected the choice of Pharaoh to resist truth, to resist grace that inevitably forced away God's hand of protection that was keeping danger at bay. This is a theme seen not just in this single event but can be traced throughout the entire story of the Exodus, the plagues of Egypt and all that transpired in these events.
I believe this is highlighted in the sign that God instructed Moses and Aaron to give to Pharaoh early on in the showdown between the superpowers of light and darkness. When Moses and Aaron approached Pharaoh requesting the release of the Israelites from slavery, they performed a miracle that has largely received little notice because it doesn't seem that significant to us. But the better we understand this principle of the protecting grace of God and the danger of refusing and consistently rejecting grace, this miracle takes on far greater meaning.
Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, "When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, 'Work a miracle,' then you shall say to Aaron, 'Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.'" So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, and thus they did just as the LORD had commanded; and Aaron threw his staff down before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. (Exodus 7:8-10)
I have long assumed that this miracle was simply the beginning of a contest to see who could perform the most impressive miracles and God's side started out with this small one. But there is far more symbolism in this miracle than many have considered before. Let me explain a little.
God had just instructed Moses about how to view himself in relation to Pharaoh. I believe this also has many applications, for our sense of identity and how we perceive ourselves in relation to others and to God makes all the difference in how we react under stressful situations or threats. Then the LORD said to Moses, "See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh that he let the sons of Israel go out of his land." (Exodus 7:1-2)
When we see that God intended everything that Moses did to represent Himself during the ensuing encounters, we pick up a key hint as to what was implied when the rod was thrown down and turned into a serpent. Because Moses represented God and Aaron represented Moses the prophet, God was sending a clear message that I do not believe was lost in the keen discernment of Pharaoh and his priests. They knew Moses very well from when he had lived in Egypt years before. Let me explain what I believe we need to perceive in this miracle of the rod turning into a serpent.
The rod in the hand of Aaron, Moses' representative, symbolized God's authority over events on earth. People could be relatively safe just as the rod would be good for useful purposes as long as it remained under the control of Aaron, indirectly representing God's power. But as soon as the rod was released from the Aaron's hand and he no longer maintained direct control over it, the rod was transformed into the symbol of evil, of Satan himself. Likewise, when direct control was reasserted over the out-of-control serpent threatening danger and death, immediately order and safety was restored.
The significance of this symbolism was not lost on Pharaoh even though many today seem to have missed it. Pharaoh knew what the implicit message was to him from God, but he rejected it in favor of his own magical resources and reliance on his pagan religion. Yet the message remained as a warning to all involved that if anyone forced God to release His protecting hold over circumstances and powers, that vacuum created by the withdrawn protection of God would immediately be exploited by evil powers which would result in disaster and destruction. That is why Aaron's serpent devoured the magically produced serpents of the rods of the priests of Egypt; it symbolized that evil forces once released would not even respect other destructive forces but would act in destructive ways.
The message seen in this early warning to Pharaoh was clear: as long as God keeps His hand over the powers that are present in this world, grace can keep us safe. But when we reject God's sovereign control over these evil powers, in the end we are the ones responsible for the disastrous outcome and we should not blame God for the consequences that happen after His protecting hand has been pushed aside, releasing the rod of power. We have chosen that route and God respects our decisions by allowing the rod of power to be taken over by the enemy, the ruler of this world who's sole purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10)
Ever since sin entered this planet by the abdication of Adam as the sovereign over this world, God has still kept His hand as much as possible on the rod of power while evil continues to spread. But evil is spread through individuals making choices that force God's hand off the rod of power allowing Satan to turn that rod into an agent of venom, poison and death. Only as we repent of our resistance to God's grace and begin to trust Him can He again take hold of the serpent by the tail and restore our protection again. Although much of the language of how these stories are described appears to support darker views of God, remember that they were written by people who had far less objective views of God than what we are privileged to know in these last days of history.
If we view this story of Pharaoh's demise in the Red Sea in the context of this warning by God to him through Moses and Aaron in the miracle of the rod, we can see more clearly that after many times of increasing rejection of God's hold over the rod of power in his life, Pharaoh finally made his last fatal decision to presume on the grace of God that was holding back the waters of the Red Sea while still rejecting the very One who was providing the power holding them back. As a result, God respected the choice of Pharaoh who was in essence forcing God to release His hand from the rod holding back his own destruction resulting in the demise of Pharaoh and his entire army. All of this was Pharaoh's choice, not because of any determination on the part of an offended God.
"As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD, when I am honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen." (Exodus 14:17-18)
When Israel saw the great power which the LORD had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in His servant Moses. (Exodus 14:31)
The question remains: are we willing to believe in the Lord and in His servants? Or does our belief not go much beyond the shallow level of trust the Israelites had that caused them to keep complaining and grumbling and accusing God and Moses of not caring about them for the next forty years? Can we learn from their sad mistakes and move forward into deeper trust as we see more clearly the true character of the God who had such difficulty getting His children then to see Him correctly?
Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13)