Allow me a minute to refresh your memory on Moses. Pharoah is afraid of the Israelites so he not only orders their slavery, but also the death of any male child born. Moses’ family hides him and then Pharoah’s own household takes him in. He grows up and God calls him to be the savior of the Israelite people, leading them out of captivity from Egypt and into the promised land. Feel free to read Exodus if you need more of this oh-so-amazing story.
For now, let’s hone in on this beautiful exchange between Moses and God. It should be noted that Moses starts this relationship with God with submission but also some insecurity in regards to whether he can do what God is calling him to. He doesn’t think he is capable. He’s also not exactly sure who God is at this point. He does, however, choose to obey so he goes to Pharoah and tells him that God said to let His people go and worship Him for 3 days in the wilderness. How do you think that went over? If Moses didn’t know much about God, can you imagine what Pharoah knew of the Him? He knew nothing. It’s also important to remember that he’s the ruler of Egypt, not used to taking orders from anyone. So, he says no, but then he goes a step further and increases the Israelite’s (already tedious) labor to punish them for “being lazy.” Remember friends, this is the first time Moses is trusting in this God he is just getting to know!
So, what does he do? He immediately begins to question God!
- Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble? Why did you send me? Ever since I obeyed You, I have seen nothing but hardship. You haven’t done a thing to rescue us!”
(my paraphrase of Exodus 5:22-23)
Oh man, how many of us reading this can raise a hand high in the air that we have probably had the same response more times than we can count!? God promises us something and the first time we step out in faith, things go south… fast! Our response can be heard, ringing from the words of Moses in Exodus. Why, God? Why aren’t You fulfilling Your word? Why are things harder? Since I said “yes” to you, things seems to be worse, not better! Why?
I’m so glad the story doesn’t end here. I’m so glad we have an amazing Savior who hears us first and then responds in compassion and mercy. Just read God’s response and soak in His goodness, friends:
- “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you out from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it you as a possession. I am the Lord.”
Who doesn’t have to grab a tissue right about now!? Listen, if you hear nothing else, hear this. God isn’t afraid of your why’s. He’s not offended that the first time you encounter resistance, you struggle, question, and wonder where He is. He is ready for the conversation and He is able to bring the deliverance you seek. Don’t give up hope today. He is faithful to do the work He started. The journey of the Exodus was long and wrought with hardship and pain but if you read it to the end, He did exactly as He promised.
Let me end this encouragement to you with another paraphrase:
I am the Lord. I will bring you out of this. I will free you. I will redeem you with my powerful hand. I will take you as my own adopted son or daughter, an heir to my Kingdom. I will be your God, the faithful Father and King you so desperately long for. I will bring you to the land I promised you and I will give it you with joy. I am the Lord.