Children of Israel

When Moses returned to the Israelites in Egypt, for the purpose of leading them out of bondage, it is doubtful whether he was at first hospitably received by those whom he desired to uplift. No doubt there were some who immediately turned to him and had faith in his words, but we cannot believe that the whole Hebrew people did so. This people had for many generations been in slavery to the Egyptians, and to break the fetters of that bondage may have seemed to them a hopeless task. Necessarily, a power superior to that of the Egyptians was requisite to free them, and in the mental darkness of that slavery they had forgotten the power of God. Moses' first task, therefore, was to renew their understanding of God's omnipotence and omnipresence, to teach them that the power of God is greater than any so-called material power, and that, guided, protected, and sustained by the divine power, they had only to leave their tasks and go with him to the promised land. Many were the obstacles to block his purpose, but finally, when the thought of the people was awakened to a measure of faith in God, the Israelites successfully took their departure from Egypt.

Moses' work did not stop with the Exodus from Egypt. The mental purification which was to destroy material yearnings and enthrone faith in Spirit then began. Many were the trials which beset them upon their journey, but in none of them was the divine aid found wanting; for every obstacle was overcome, every need was met. As trials multiplied, however, the people murmured at Moses, and we read that they longed for the fleshpots of Egypt; for there, even in slavery, their material needs were supplied. Yet, notwithstanding the ingratitude and lack of faith which they displayed, Moses did not cease to care for them, teaching them the divine law and patiently guiding them.

The Act of Obedience
November 15, 1919

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