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Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

“God’s Failure””

Exodus 5:22-6:1

Moses feels betrayed by God.  He finally was obedient to God’s call and he and Aaron went not only to the people of Israel but also to Pharaoh with their initial request to go into the wilderness for three days to worship the Lord.  The key point of Moses’ message was that God was now about to deliver his people from bondage.  The people bowed in worship and praise to the Lord for this message of liberation.

But that is not what happened.  Pharaoh mocked the message of God.  He took their request to signify that the people were lazy.  He therefore gave orders that they were to make bricks without straw.  They would have to find the straw themselves but still produce the same required quantity of bricks.  Instead of being delivered their situation has become worse.

Moses complains to God.  He even compares God to Pharaoh in claiming both are mistreating the people.  Moses’ strongest words are that God has done “nothing at all” to deliver his people.  We can all face situations similar to Moses’.  We can find ourselves in the midst of distress and turmoil.  We don’t see God doing anything to help us.  Moses’ cry is echoed by other voices in scripture including Job, Jeremiah and even Paul with his “thorn in the flesh” (II Cor. 12:7).

However Moses is wrong.  God is not doing nothing.  He is testing the faith of Moses and the people.  It is easy to trust in the Lord when things are going well.  There are lessons that can only be learned through suffering.  In suffering people either turn more to the Lord or turn away from him.  It is only when we are helpless that we can really understand that salvation is all of the Lord.  There is nothing we can do to deserve God’s favor and forgiveness.

The apostle Paul says that suffering can lead to endurance and finally to hope (Rom. 5:3-4).  This is a lesson we all need to learn.

Faithful and loving God strengthen my faith especially in times of adversity.  May I learn to depend on you more and more.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.