Have you ever noticed in Exodus how God tells the people of Israel exactly what His plan is, yet they don’t understand it, panic, cry out, walk away, lose hope, or fall into despair? The Exodus story reveals that God includes people in His plans. Still, we continue to forget, panic, think He has forgotten us. Our expectations often don’t agree with what is happening, but if we are patient, God is faithful.
In Exodus 3, God told Moses that He was sending him to rescue the Hebrews. Moses gave five excuses of why he shouldn’t be the one to go. Five! (Have you ever neglected to follow through on something because you felt inadequate?)
Already in Exodus 3, we know God is going to strike the Egyptians with wonders to get their attention. He also told the Israelites they wouldn’t leave empty handed.
In Exodus 4, God tells Moses to tell Pharaoh that since Pharaoh wouldn’t let God’s firstborn son go, He would kill his firstborn son (v 22-23).
Next, in Exodus 5, the Israelites refuse to listen to Moses because of the harsh treatment of the Egyptians. To make bricks without the straw being supplied is an impossible situation. They had to find the straw and still meet their quota. Because they couldn’t, they were beaten. Moses cried out, “You haven’t rescued your people at all!”
It reminds me that sometimes we feel this way when we feel God hasn’t answered our prayers, or we don’t see Him moving in ways we thought he would as we try to walk by faith in His ways. Rather than life going smoothly, we face one trouble after another. We lose our joy and peace because we feel we’ve been forsaken or forgotten, something. Certainly not heard or rescued.
Moses told the Israelites in chapter 6, that God would deliver them and how. God was very clear about what He was going to do. He told them several times. Yet they must have doubted. Even Moses felt discouraged because the Israelites wouldn’t listen to him. When God asked him to speak to Pharaoh, he gave the excuse again about having faltering lips.
God is so patient. I’m not so patient when I ask someone to do something, and they keep giving me excuses, sometimes the same excuses, just like Moses. Still, Moses’ excuses cost him. We always have consequences for procrastinating and disobedience. I believed Moses accomplished the miraculous signs, but a careful reading tells us Aaron did the talking and performed the miraculous signs. Moses was like God to the people and Aaron like the prophet, but Aaron actually spoke to Pharaoh and turned the Nile to blood, etc.
Again, God tells Moses and Aaron that Pharaoh won’t let them go until He does a mighty act of judgment. The plagues begin at the end of the seventh chapter. God kept His word and did what He had told them many times. People still acted surprised.
We often feel discouraged if our prayers aren’t answered in a certain time, but God’s timing is different than ours. We need to stay calm, not panic. God is teaching lessons to us and to others. It all takes time.
Whatever trial you are facing, know that God promises that in all things He works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). So, let us not become weary. At the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).
The Bible shows us a better way. The examples of their mistakes should help us to avoid them; yet, we still make the same mistakes. We are all the same in our frail humanness.
You are not alone, my friend. People have walked this way, experienced the same emotions, made the same mistakes. Don’t despair. Together, we can remind each other to hang on and to look forward to a reward more awesome than we can imagine. In the middle of stuff, we can lose sight that God’s got this. He has it all figured out. We just need to learn to rest in His presence. That seems a big enough assignment, doesn’t it?