Thursday, March 28, 2019
After yesterday’s review of some practical principles of faith, let’s move forward in the life of Moses and see what God has in store to teach us.
Exodus 5:1-2, 22-23 Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the desert.’” Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go.” Moses returned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”
After finally accepting all of God’s provisions and choosing to participate in God’s plan for the deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt, Moses and Aaron met with the elders of Israel to tell them what God had said. After hearing God’s plan and seeing God’s miraculous signs confirming His presence, the elders fell down and worshiped God. But we will see later in the story that their worship was a response to the results they saw rather than being worship centered on God alone. They worshiped God because of the benefit it would bring to them rather than because of who God is. This is always a mistake.
After the worship service, everyone was pretty pumped up. That’s what worship services should do for us – they bring us together in the presence of God and equip us to go out and accomplish God’s purpose. Moses and Aaron immediately set up a meeting with Pharaoh. They went to the meeting with every anticipation that they would get immediate results.
But Pharaoh doesn’t respond as Moses expected. Pharaoh makes some bold and arrogant statements and decisions. He first sets himself up above God by saying that he doesn’t need to obey anyone other than himself. Then he tries to prove his power by taking it out on the slaves. He made the work more difficult for them. This isn’t looking anything like deliverance, and Moses takes it up with God.
Moses complains to God because the plan isn’t working out the way he wanted it to. Moses forgot that God had told him earlier (see Ex. 3:19-20) that Pharaoh would not be an easy sell, and that there would have to be a mighty move of God’s miraculous power in Egypt with signs and wonders. Only then would the people would be released. Moses needed to be patient and wait for God to do it His way.
That is so hard for us to do, isn’t it? I can relate to Moses in this one – I want it done now! But God’s purpose is always more multi-faceted than the one outcome that benefits us. God was setting up a power struggle between Himself and the powers of evil represented by Pharaoh. In that struggle, God was going to win and bring glory to Himself for all time. It would have been awesome enough from our perspective for Pharaoh’s heart to be softened immediately and to release the slaves. But God knows that no victory is real victory unless it is total victory, and total victory is the total destruction of evil. Pharaoh not only needed to be brought to his knees in surrender to a higher power, but he also needed to be judged for his rebellion against that power.
This is a beautiful picture of our salvation. More on that tomorrow. For today, let’s apply the patience lesson. Here are four steps:
- Let God develop the plan.
- Let God oversee the process.
- Let God accomplish His conclusion.
- Guard your heart against looking for the quick solution that produces an immediate benefit.
Participating in the purpose of God is not about us and what we gain, but rather it is about God and His glory. Be patient – in the end His glory becomes ours!