Exodus 5:22. Then Moses turned to the LORD and said, “O LORD, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me?
Things aren’t going well for Moses. It seems as though what God has asked him to do is never going to happen. Pharaoh sure isn’t letting anyone leave and he’s just making life more and more miserable for the Hebrews. He took away their straw for making bricks. Then he called them lazy and told them to get back to work.
On top of all this the Israelites aren’t exactly pro Moses either.
Exodus 5:21. and they [the Israelites] said to them [Moses and Aaron], “The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”
Remember, Moses already has an identity crisis. And here again it must seem like he’s right back where he was when he fled Egypt. Not an Egyptian. Not a Hebrew.
Moses doesn’t just question his own ability (why did you send me?), or God’s plan (why did you send me?), he questions the very heart of God (why have you done evil to this people?)
Have you ever talked to God like this? Have you ever asked God “why?” Have you questioned the goodness of God?
If your answer is a quick “NO, I would never talk to God the way Moses did,” “I would never question God,” then I would dare say you haven’t really been in the battle. You haven’t said yes to doing much with or for Jesus.
But for those of you that are in the trenches, serving wholeheartedly, struggling daily to gain an inch of ground against the Enemy, suffering for righteousness sake, and, along the way, doubting the goodness of God and doubting yourself. For those of you who are keeping it real, let me encourage you that to doubt, to question, to scream, to want to quit is all a normal reaction to this great war that we are in.
What will we do with our pain?
How do we not quit? How do we not let our own failures drive us to despair? How do we not blame God in the process?
What answer does God offer Moses in our story?
He reminds Moses of who he is and what he will do.
Exodus 6:1-8. But the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.” 2 God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them. 4 I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. 5 Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. 6 Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. 7 I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’”
How does God try to reassure Moses? He recalls his name and his deeds. He says, I am the LORD. Ehyeh. I will be who I will be. And I will do what I will do. And what I will do is rescue you in a spectacular way.
Moses, do you believe this?
Christian do YOU believe this?
Do you trust that your God HAS saved you and that he WILL save you? Do you trust the covenant promises of God? Do you trust that God hears your groaning? That he knows that the Pharaohs of this life are against you, but that that is actually what he is using to accomplish his plan? Do you trust that God will take you to be his own possession? That he will guide you to the promised land?
In other words, do you trust that you are in Christ and that Christ is in you?
I wish I could tell you that when God told Moses this suddenly everything got better. And I wishi could tell you that when Moses told the people everything God said that they totally received it, and started packing their bags for the Exodus. But…
Exodus 6:9. they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.
Is your spirit broken today? Has slavery to this life beaten you down? Are you doubting not only God’s plan but also his goodness? Are you tempted to see your life as working for evil rather than for good?
Will you trust the outstretched arm of God in the work of Christ in you today? He is alive in you. In Christ everything is working for your good in God’s time. The Jesus in you is the God of the Exodus. Not just your exit from sin and self and Satan, but also your exit into the life and love of God.
Brothers and sisters stay encouraged today. All that God allows is necessary. All that he withholds is for our good. And the best is yet to come. That’s “to live is Christ.”