12.12.12 "Don't question, just surrender"

Today’s Reading is Exodus 5:22-6:1 (NIV) God Promises Deliverance

22 Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people?(A) Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued(B) your people at all.”

6 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand(C) he will let them go;(D) because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.”(E)

As I read this, my first thought is... OUCH... Moses is being awfully bold with God, telling Him He’s brought even more trouble on His people and hasn’t rescued them!   But then  I think of how I would be feeling if I was in Moses’ place.  He’s scared to death that he’s not equipped to do what God is telling him to do...he just had Pharaoh throw his request for freedom back in his face and take straw away from the Israelites for their bricks...the Israelite foremen were beaten for not making the same number of bricks (without straw)....and now the people were mad at Moses because they were in worse shape than before!  Moses was at a place of desperation, fear, and anger... and I think he was also telling God, “see, I told you so!... I told you I’m not the right guy for the job...  I told you I can’t do this!”   But in this place of desperation - for Moses and for the Israelites - God says NOW you’ll see what I can do!

Pastor’s message on Sunday talked about God taking us on journey’s that take time, in order to transform and change us.   Moses and the Israelite slaves wanted freedom - but would have loved to have had it immediately.  God could have easily done that... he could have zapped Pharaoh into obedience or zapped him dead - but instead he hardened Pharaoh’s heart so he wouldn’t let the people go immediately.  Isn’t that a crazy concept?   Why would God do that?  I believe it’s about the journey God wanted Moses and the Israelites to go on.  It wasn’t about Pharaoh at all... it was about the people.  What better way to grow the people’s faith and trust than to allow them to experience and see the powerful hand of God over a period of time... through a series of plagues on the Egyptians.  Ultimately, the Egyptians would know that He was LORD too, but it was important for the Israelites to know that even more.  If Moses was going to be confident enough in God to lead the people out of Egypt, and if the people were going to have faith enough to follow the LORD and Moses into the desert with no plan... their faith was going to have to be strong - otherwise they would have opted to stay enslaved where they had a routine and food and no surprises.

Even for us now, we can be content with bondage because getting out of bondage takes work.  It can be uncomfortable and scary leaving a place of bondage.  That’s why quick fixes rarely work... we have to be changed from the inside out for the freedom and change to take root.   So God takes His time with us.  He delivers us slowly, patiently, transformationally,  so it lasts.  He tests our faith, gives us hard things to do, doesn’t always answer all our questions,  and gives us many opportunities to see His power so our faith will increase.  If He can deliver us from our doubts in the small things - He can accomplish a lot through us in the big things!

I think this is what He was doing for the Israelites.  Preparing them for the big things ahead that would ultimately test their faith in ways they could never imagine.   Did they fail some, yes.  Do we fail some, yes!  But God is faithful and patient to bring us... His work...to completion.

God promises to deliver!  I don’t want to question how He does it - I just want to surrender to it!

What are your thoughts on this passage for today?  Does it resonate?  Is God speaking to you through this?   Share what’s on your heart.