I have been teaching through the book of Exodus with the youth group. I have just been taking it chapter by chapter and really without an outline. I wanted the scriptures to just speak for themselves. When students would ask questions, we would stop and examine the scripture more closely. When we ran across the following scripture, they asked a ton of questions.
Then, as they came out from Pharaoh, they met Moses and Aaron who stood there to meet them. And they said to them, “Let the LORD look on you and judge because you have made us abhorrent in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.” -Exodus 5:20-21
The students asked what “abhorrent” meant. I said, “to quote the Grinch, “Stink, Stank, Stunk”. That’s what it means in Hebrew. So I decided we needed to look into this passage a bit more. Here is what we found. The leaders of Israel in Egypt were mad at Moses and Aaron because they had made the leaders of Israel look bad in the sight of Pharaoh. Yeah, that Pharoah. The slave-driving, ruler of them, who held them in captivity. The leaders were upset that Moses and Aaron had made them look bad to Pharoah. So here are our takeaways.
First, I was not surprised. Having read and studied the Old Testament and the Israelites, I have seen their behavior patterns. The leaders here would be the same ones that wanted to return to Egypt while in the desert. So, it was no shock to me that the leaders reacted this way.
Second, we care how we “look’ to people that we don’t really care about anyway! I know our teens care about how they look to their peer groups. They dress like the crowds, they talk like the crowds, and they all just want to fit in. I get it. We as adults do it too! As parents we want our kids to not be social outcasts, we want them to have friends. We want them to enjoy school. We want them to fit in. Why? Because it is easier to fit in than to stand out. We as Christians should stand out. We should be different. We should be noticeable. What we should not do is try so hard to fit in with the world. We must be unique as Jesus is unique.