2148 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Sinful Slavery

When Moses and Aar­ on began to inter­cede before Pha­ raoh to let their peo­ple go, the an­ swer to this was increased work for oppressed Israelites, to the point that they raised an out­cry against their inter­ces­sors: ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh (Ex. 5:21). This is exact­ly what the soul of a repen­tant sin­ner expe­ri­ences. When the fear of God and one’s con­science — the inner Moses and Aaron —begin to inspire a soul to final­ly rise up onto its feet and shake off the yoke of sin­ful slav­ery, joy pass­es through all of its mem­bers. But the ene­my does not sleep; he heaps moun­tains of men­tal obsta­cles — thoughts that sin is in­ sur­mount­able, and brings in fear from all sides — fear for one’s pros­ per­i­ty, for exter­nal rela­tion­ships, for one’s influ­ence, even for one’s life. It even hap­pens that one stops hav­ing only just begun. Be inspired broth­er! The Lord of hosts shall be exalt­ed in judge­ment, and God that is holy shall be sanc­ti­fied in righteous­ ness (Is. 5:16). God is stronger than the ene­my. Cry out to Him, and you will hear the same thing that Moses heard then: Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh (Ex. 6:1). The ene­my does not have pow­er over a soul; he only can fright­en it with il­ luso­ry ter­rors. Do not give in, en­ dure, go for­ward coura­geous­ly, say­ ing to your­self: I will not give in even unto death, and I will go brave­ly wher­ev­er the Lord calls me, with the spir­it of repen­tance which now acts in me.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse