The Words of the Morris Family
Moses and Myself as a Providential Person
The following is expanded notes from a sermon given at Chung Pyung Lake 40-day workshop, January 14-February 23.
"For what purpose did God give the tablets of stone, the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant? When the Israelites set out for the wilderness after completing the four-hundred year indemnity period incurred due to Abraham's mistake in the offering, God struck the Egyptians with signs and plagues and drowned a host of Egyptian soldiers who tried to follow the Israelites across the Red Sea. The Israelites could not return to Egypt, not only because God's Will forbade it, but because they had become bitter enemies of the Egyptians. They had no choice but to complete the journey to Canaan. God had driven them to the point of no return. Nevertheless, the Israelites repeatedly fell into faithlessness during their journey. In the end, there was danger that even Moses might act faithlessly. To cope with this situation, God set up an object of faith, one which would remain unchanged even though the people might change." (Divine Principle, p. 247)
It is understandable that the Israelites acted faithlessly throughout their wilderness journey. Although they wanted freedom from slavery, they had no clear idea of what that meant. They had never seen Canaan and had no idea if it really was a land of milk and honey. All they knew was what they had experienced in Egypt, and while they grasped from time to time that God wanted much more for them, they could not keep such a vague vision burning in their hearts as the journey became more complex, and took longer and longer to complete.
What is surprising as we read the Divine Principle is that God worried even Moses might act faithlessly. What kind of faithlessness could Moses possibly have had? Here at Chung Pyung we have learned there are four clear categories in which we most commonly make mistakes in God's providence and thus create sin. Those categories are: Sexual Misconduct (do not think, look, touch or eat of the fruit); Tithing (attending the public purpose); Fallen Nature (failure to see from God's point of view, etc.); and Hurting the Heart of Others (failing to live for the sake of others).
Was Moses like Solomon? Did he have many wives and concubines? No. The Bible records no sexual misconduct according to the standards of his time. Also, did he fail in his zeal toward the public mission? No. Even when Moses had to go to Midian for 40 years, all he did was long for and prepare to return to his people still enslaved in Egypt. He never wavered in dedication to the vision that God had inspired within him. He was not like John the Baptist, proclaiming one day that Jesus was the "lamb of God" and then sending disciples another day to ask if Jesus was the messiah or not.
We can say with assurance that Moses was not faithless in his personal life, nor was he faithless in his attendance to the public vision. Rather, Moses' faithlessness fell into the other two categories of which we have been made more aware in our experience here at Chung Pyung.
If we look closely at Moses' life we can see a certain pattern which reveals that Moses had a serious character flaw. Whenever Moses let that character flaw take over he expressed a real fallen nature which led him to hurt very deeply the heart of his followers. In this way, Moses set up a difficult pattern for Jesus to overcome in his day as he walked the same providential course to take his people out of bondage to Satan and into freedom under God.
What kind of fallen nature did Moses suffer with? I cannot say for you, but I will honestly say for myself that I resonate with Moses' problem because it permeates my life.
Moses was an angry man.
Why was Moses so angry? Think about his life. He grew up in a luxurious but very fallen environment--the palace. His mother was nearby, and he knew that she was his mother, but she could never dare to act as his mother. He could not dare to act as her son. Throughout his life he knew that he had to carry out an awesome responsibility, but no one could truly support him or help him. No one could understand what was going on in his heart.
There are some parallels here to what the older children of Rev. Moon's family have had to endure. America is just like the Pharaoh's palace. Their parents were nearby, but for the sake of raising up members in difficult times of persecution, they did not dare pay so much attention to their children. On the other hand, the children wanted their parents love, but with leaders and members constantly, morning, noon and night, coming in and out of their home, they could not even hope to interfere and act as children. They had to retreat to their own rooms and take care of each other as best as they could. They knew they had an awesome responsibility to fulfill, but they were often overwhelmed by loneliness.
Had they seen in us a deep heart of gratitude from which we loved and served God's providence, it might have made their loss worth bearing. However, they personally received a great deal of complaint and criticism throughout their youth. Sometimes members foolishly unloaded their heavy situations upon them. It was inappropriate, but it happened. It must have been incredibly painful to see members living such dirty lives, knowing that their parents were constantly sacrificing in order to resurrect them. Finally, they despaired, "are these people worth the loss of my parents love?" They looked at us and thought, "Maybe not."
Even so, their parents love is still coming first to us and only second or even as a third reference to them. They still have to stand in line, receiving their parents love indirectly much of the time. How deep the hurt, the anger. It is something for us to think and pray about.
Let us focus upon this very real problem of anger in Moses' life. I believe it is a central problem in everyone's life and runs through history like a cable cord, linking us all directly to the fall of humankind.
According to the Principle, "God commenced the dispensation to start the course with Moses act of killing an Egyptian." (p. 235). Let me point out something here. The Divine Principle explains that God could use this act, but it does not necessarily say that God directed Moses to commit murder.
In the biblical account of this story we read that Moses, "....looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand." (Exo 2:12) It is clear that Moses knew his deed was not good. Had he beaten the Egyptian and chased him away, it would have had the same effect. The Israelites would have witnessed his love for them, and the palace would have still have cut him off.
Murder was excessive on Moses' part. It is true that his people were suffering. However, his anger took hold of him and held sway over him. It was probably not the first time that Moses had been angry in his life and it certainly would not be the last time that this anger would defeat Moses and cause harm to God's providence.
When do we encounter this problem again with Moses? "When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the two tablets of stone and went before the Israelites, he found them worshipping a golden calf....Moses' anger burned hot when he saw this. He threw down the tablets of stone and broke them at the foot of the mountain." (p. 245).
The Divine Principle doesn't mention this, but Moses' anger carried even further. In the Bible we read, "Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it." (Exo 32:20) Even that was not enough to soothe Moses' rage as he instructed the Levites to smite them down by the sword. About 3,000 men died in one day. (Exo 32:27-28) I am sure those who were spared recommitted themselves and followed Moses more faithfully after this severe punishment. But with what kind of heart did they do so? They followed with a heart of fear and terror, not of loyalty and love. Think about it. Husbands, fathers, brothers and sons died. Wives, daughters, sisters and mothers mourned. Such anguish in the camp that day. It was not easy to follow Moses. One had to weigh which was more harsh, the deadly desert or Moses' temperament.
Moses had just come down from the mountain. Had he not just received the Ten Commandments, a new truth from God? Had he not just been inspired with the significance of the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle? Had Aaron received anything about these matters? Had the people? No. Only Moses knew of these tremendous new things of God's providence.
The contrast between the scene before him at the base of the mountain and the beatific encounter that had just occurred would have discouraged anyone. However, should he have thrown down the tablets? In the final analysis, with whom was God more concerned? Moses or the people? Did God tell Moses to have the people fast for 40 more days, or did Moses have to fast again for those days? Did the people have to write upon the tablets, or did Moses? It is clear that God was more concerned with Moses' mistakes than with the foolishness of the people.
The Israelites certainly disturbed God and caused God to express frustration, but Moses was their leader. If Moses were to fail, then his people could not hope to succeed. In fact, this did indeed happen. Moses would eventually fail and neither he nor the generation that he led out of Egypt were able to enter the promised land.
How about ourselves? We are supposed to be leaders within our church movement. How many times have we been privileged to hear Rev. Moon's sermons? How many workshops have we attended before prior to this one? Some of us have to been to more than one 40-day workshop. All those times God carved the Principle into our hearts, but we came down from the mountain and dashed God's hopes upon the ground.
Now, after so many failures, Rev. and Mrs. Moon have asked us to come to Chung Pyung and carve the Principle into our own hearts. That is why no one is giving us lecture here, but rather we stand and read it out loud to ourselves. We have to plant it deeply into our hearts by our own effort this time. They have asked us to create the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle within our own daily lives. The Ark and the Tabernacle are symbols of the Messiah. (p. 246) The Tabernacle is symbolic of the Messiah's body and the Ark is symbolic of the Messiah's spirit or mind. The schedule here at Chung Pyung is to remind us that we have been called, as Tribal Messiahs, to live by the physically and spiritually demanding standard of the Messiah. We were given the opportunity seven years ago to realize the ideal of
However, we know that no Blessed Family lived up to that standard. We should have been the most sacrificial families in our hometowns. Instead, we all thought about our past years of struggling and following the strict requirements of our movement. We thought to ourselves, "We live in our own homes now and no one is checking up on us, so we can relax."
Is that the way to become the Messiah for others? Did we resurrect our hometown? There is only one way to be the Messiah for others. Jesus set the standard, and Rev. Moon lived by that standard, and more than once nearly died by that standard. With his wife and family suffering for the public purpose every hour of their lives, that standard was extended until now it can cover the world, spiritually and physically.
Should we pay attention to that standard more or less than traditional Christians? The messianic standard is absolute faith, absolute obedience, absolute love. Either we have that standard or we do not. Our time at Chung Pyung is to reflect about many points, but I believe this is the main point.
Although Moses had reason enough to feel righteous anger toward his people, he should have come down from the mountain and had pity upon them. He should have taken Aaron aside and taught him the Commandments. Then, with Aaron at his side, he should have paid indemnity with sweat and tears, patiently teaching the people God's word.
There are two kinds of anger. It is so easy to slip from righteous anger into fallen anger whenever we let anger take hold of us, rather than control it for God's purpose.
There are moments when we do feel righteous anger, and if we can keep everything under control and express ourselves fairly calmly from God's point of view, we can express anger. However, the very split second that we let anger control us, we immediately slip out of righteous anger into fallen anger. Immediately. We must be so careful with this aspect of fallen nature. It is so closely tied to the original sin that we all have a very difficult time keeping it under control.
Can we afford such anger toward our members? We have to step very carefully. How carefully? Rev. Moon once confessed that he spoke abruptly to one old woman during the early church years and for seven years this one moment hurt his conscience. Do we have that kind of standard?
It is true that Rev. Moon expresses himself forcefully in front of leaders, but did that ever destroy anyone? I have been to a few leaders' meetings and while it was difficult to digest Father's deep felt emotions, afterwards on the way home I felt renewed and could re- determine myself to work harder for God. I can say for sure that I have never had to drink melted gold, nor have I ever seen Father tear apart the Divine Principle in rage.
How about ourselves as leaders? Are we clear in which column we stand? How about at home. Have we spoken quickly, harshly to our wives or husbands? How about our children? We may not lose it in front of babies, but when they are older and more resistant, how have we measured up? These are Blessed children. How about members who are struggling with their fallen nature and especially in America, their horizontal culture?
Can we afford to yell at them out of our frustration because they will not respond to sermons about tithing or attending to the church? They may not worship golden calves, but there are many things in their life more important than living by the strict standards of the Principle.
How about Dr. Shimiyo, the President of our seminary in America? What about his students who have not attended Chung Pyung? What shall he do when they make mistakes or show a poor attitude?
I am not saying that we can never be angry. I am only saying that we have to be so very, very careful with this deep feeling. Anger, even righteous anger is something from the wellspring of the fall. Without the fall, would God have needed righteous anger?
If we think about the real source of anger, we can understand that Lucifer was the first being in the universe to feel and act upon anger. Did Lucifer have the right to such a feeling? From God's point of view, more love than Lucifer could ever imagine was coming his way once Adam and Eve reached perfection. Only from Lucifer's limited, personal point of view was anger a possible emotion to choose. How could Lucifer have escaped his personal frustration and anger over what he so badly misunderstood as to be God's plan for his life?
The fall carries with it a great deal of anger, and our expressions of anger many times only tie us closer to fallen nature rather than separate us from it. How can we hope to escape from the anger that we feel and the uncontrollable rage that so often accompanies it? I do not know about anyone else here, but I have prayed about this point so many times with tears, crying out to God because I want to escape from all that to which anger binds me.
Once Adam and Eve had fallen, they felt deeply disappointed in themselves and in each other. That disappointment led to accusation and resentment. How angry they must have been when they left the Garden of Eden in fear and shame. They must have had so many fights, blaming each other for being no longer able to live in the Garden. That is how Cain and Abel learned to deal with their problems toward each other.
There was one slim chance for God to catch them as they left the Garden. God called out for them, but they ran away from God and hid themselves in shame. When God finally engaged them in conversation, they could not repent for their mistake, but rather pointed the finger at each other and refused to take responsibility for their actions.
They could not recognize the opportunity of that moment. They simply could not realize that God was God. In other words, had they come to God and cried out for God to help them, then all the power in the universe would have been unleased upon them at that very moment. I have no doubt about that. In my prayers here at Chung Pyung, whenever I have cried out sincerely to God, I have felt so much love coming into me, even as I reveal truly disgusting things. I feel so empowered to take care of all those situations and problems that I created up to now.
God was reaching out to Adam and Eve, giving them a chance to reconcile. What an amazing moment it would have been if Adam or Eve had hung their heads and cried out to God, "I did such a shameful thing, My Father, please help me to clean it up!" Tragically, they could not believe that God was God. They could not allow God to help them solve their dilemma. Thus, they sealed their relationship with Lucifer by denying the existence of God within their lives. Only Lucifer could help them from that moment on. God had to follow his children out of the Garden and throughout history work behind the scenes to repair the damage they had done.
Finally, let us return to the story of Moses. Why did God give Moses the inspiration about the Ark of the Covenant, the Tabernacle, the two tablets of stone and the Ten Commandments in his first ascent up the mountain?
There is one rather obscure sentence in the Divine Principle that answers this question. "Yet when the Israelites lost faith even after witnessing these [ten plagues], God attempted to restore the ten plagues through indemnity by giving the Ten Commandments." (p. 253-4) The Ten Commandments were a replacement for the ten plagues.
Why did God give those awful plagues? Did he care so little for the Egyptians and love so much the Israelites that he would condemn one and save the other? The Divine Principle has a simple and clear answer. "....by repeatedly manifesting His powers, God wanted to show the Israelites that He was God." (p. 241) Furthermore, God wanted to show the Pharaoh that He was God! In this way, the Pharaoh was to willingly, not reluctantly, release the Israelites. Had the Pharaoh truly realized that God was God, he would have never chased after the Israelites which resulted in further death to his people.
We have been here for over 30 days at Chung Pyung, and we have been praying about all these points. We have misused our bodies, we have cheated the public purpose and we have not kept a high standard at home where we thought no one was looking.
We are carving it all into our hearts. Every day we have been reading the Divine Principle, and hopefully, we have come to realize that the Divine Principle is not enough. Are you shocked when I say that? We desperately need to have the real experience of God in our lives, in our bones, in our marrow. That is why we have been asked so many times to "open our hearts" and let God come in.
God went looking for Adam and Eve. God is always looking for us. Why? Because God wants to invade our privacy? NO! It is simply because God wants us to know that He is God! That's it. That's all. That's everything.
God wants to experience the great power and love of God in tangible, not theoretical ways. It is not enough to go to a seminary and study about God. Look at Dr. Hendricks, the President of our church in America. When he finished his doctorate program, Rev. Moon sent him out fishing for several months. Nothing less than real relationship will ever satisfy God. And nothing less will ever satisfy us. Until we have these experiences with God, we will always be frustrated within ourselves, and anger will eventually bubble up and overwhelm us. We have to learn carefully the lesson that Moses' course teaches us. When Moses ended his career by striking the rock twice in anger, a major pattern was already deeply ingrained within the Israelite people. After Moses there were many prophets. They were all righteous and many were very, very angry. The people had learned to respond with resentment to each and every one of them. Finally, when Jesus had to lower himself into John the Baptist's role, it meant that he had to speak to the people as a prophet. This put Jesus in an extremely dangerous position.
As a prophet, he would have to speak to the people directly about their faithlessness to God. That is why he had to clean out the temple. They knew that the temple was for worship, not for changing money and selling chickens. Jesus' cleaning of the temple only stirred up ancient feelings, even though he accurately confronted them with how low they had let things slide. It was not too long after this that the Jewish leaders plotted to collaborate with the Romans to get rid of Jesus.
Can we see how anger runs from generation to generation? The Divine Principle is so clear on this point: "Hence, Moses' act of striking the rock twice was the remote cause which, should John lose faith, would compel Jesus to a forty-day fast and face three temptations in the wilderness for the purpose of restoring the foundation of faith. John the Baptist actually did become faithless and Satan invaded the foundation of faith which John had laid. This was the immediate cause of Jesus undertaking a dispensation of forty for the separation of Satan by fasting for forty days and overcoming the three temptations." (p. 271)
Moses could not enter into Canaan because he allowed his problems to overwhelm him. Jesus could not bring about the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth in his lifetime because the people around him allowed their problems to overwhelm them. We live in the precarious position of both of the above positions.
Here at Chung Pyung, we can confront this problem and cry out to God over each time we let anger take hold of us rather than the other way around. Let us allow God to enter into those moments as we repent for them. Let us allow God to take over those moments. Let us stop gazing over the hill, hoping to somehow get there, but secretly despairing that we will ever reach the standard of heart required for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Let us race over the top of the mountain that separates us from God. I cannot say for you, but I know who will be on the other side waiting to embrace us as sons and daughters with arms as wide as the cosmos.
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