They forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt, wondrous works in the land of Ham, and awesome deeds by the Red Sea. Therefore God was set to destroy them—had not Moses, God’s chosen one, stood in the breach before God, to turn away God’s wrath from destroying them. – Psalm 106:21-23 (NRSV)
In July, the U.S. government announced it had sold the only existing copy of the album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, by the Wu-Tang Clan. The album had previously been owned by notorious Pharma-Bro, Martin Shkreli, and was sold as part of his conviction for fraud.
You better believe I loved reading that article.
This is the guy who raised the price of an important HIV/AIDS medication from $13.50 per pill to $750. This is the guy who only bought that one-of-a-kind album by one of the greatest hip hop groups of all time so that he could “keep it from the people.”
He’s the worst. And it’s so satisfying to see him destroyed. Like watching the Yankees lose. Or an anti-mask official test positive. It just feels good. To me.
Then there’s Moses. The people he’s helped God liberate—the ones he’s performed numerous miracles to protect, and feed, and hydrate—he leaves them for a minute, and they start worshipping idols.
And God is incensed, ready to destroy them. A just punishment. So satisfying.
Until Moses gets in the way. Moses steps into the breach between the people and God, between these wrongdoers and their rightful comeuppance.
What kind of compassion must it take to do something like that? I have no idea.
God, give me a love that will step into the breach.
Vince Amlin is co-pastor of Bethany UCC, Chicago, and co-planter of Gilead Church Chicago, forming now.