The plight of the Israelites had gone from bad to worse. The people of Israel had given up on Moses and Aaron and even started blaming them for their additional problems. They were done listening and had given up all hope of deliverance. Meanwhile, Moses was ready to throw in the towel. Within the first few days of his mission, it seemed that his efforts had failed. At the first sign of resistance, Moses was ready to give up.
Can you relate? You feel called out for a specific purpose and feel that God has given you a special mission. You’ve met Him in the wilderness and experienced a holy ground moment. You’re ready to go conquer the world in Jesus’ name. But immediately, nothing goes as planned. Your allies and partners give up and don’t believe your words. Or maybe those you’re trying to reach and save reject you. Things seem to go from bad to worse. You’re ready to throw in the towel and you ask God, “Why?!”
This was where Moses was at. Remember, he was rather new in his leadership role and had a lot to learn. But God knew that. So when Moses called out “Why God?”, God answered. And this is what He said:
“I am the LORD. 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. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. 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. 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. 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.’”
At first glance, this word from God may seem to be directed toward the people of Israel, for God even said “say therefore to the people of Israel.” However, I believe this passage was for Moses more than Israel. Why? Because Israel didn’t even listen, and God knew they wouldn’t. He wanted to encourage Moses and remind him of his holy mission. God wanted to speak truth into the lies of doubt and discouragement Moses was facing. He was building Moses into a leader with faith, backbone, and holy confidence that was needed for the trials ahead.
And it worked. From this point on we do not see a doubting, weak Moses. Throughout the rest of the time in Egypt and with the ten plagues, Moses doesn’t falter. He is unwavering in his request of Pharaoh and unfazed when things continue to get worse in Egypt. His leadership among the Israelites remained strong and full of authority despite the fact that he was unpopular. This was definitely a turning point in Moses’ life.
So what can we learn from this? We will face times in our lives when we feel like Moses did—alone, discouraged, useless. But just like God needed to remind Moses of certain things to encourage him and get him back on track, so also God wants to remind us when we get worn down by life’s hardships.
Next week, we’ll look at five things God reminded Moses of in this passage and how we can apply those lessons to our lives. In the meantime, take some time and reread this passage of Scripture and ponder how this word from the LORD changed everything for Moses. Therefore, how might it change you? Until next time…
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