Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”-Exodus 5:22-23
Have you ever felt disheartened while in the midst of trying to accomplish something the Lord has placed on your heart?
Maybe you felt like you just didn’t have the time, energy or financial resources to do what needed to be done.
Or maybe you just weren’t getting any support from friends or family.
You felt all alone, like it was just you and God.
In desperation, you looked around for some external sign that you were indeed on the right track.
All you needed was just one positive word of support from somebody, anybody.
Even just a friendly smile from a stranger would have done the trick.
But there was nothing.
And then things took a turn for the worse.
Well, this is kind of the situation Moses and his brother Aaron found themselves in.
What I want you to notice is just how ordinary these men were and how much we can relate to them in our daily circumstances.
In spite of being in an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe, Moses and Aaron manifested all of the weaknesses and foibles that plague all of us in the worst of times.
First, notice the exact words Moses and Aaron said to Pharaoh when they made their request to him for a 3-day release from heavy labor.
“Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword.”
Did God actually tell Moses and Aaron that He would strike the Israelites down with plagues or the sword?
Surely this was an embellishment that Moses and Aaron felt they needed to add in order to maintain some sense of composure while standing before such an awesome and imposing man as Pharaoh.
This reminds of what Eve told the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
“but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
God never told Adam and Eve that they couldn’t touch the tree, just that they could not eat from it, lest they die.
God usually operates with an economy of words that are sharp and to the point.
However, isn’t it just like us weak human beings to try to add to God’s Work or Words because we are so intimidated by the present circumstances we are facing?
Second, notice how quickly faith can disappear when adversity suddenly rears its ugly head.
The Hebrews were fully persuaded and prepared to follow Moses.
However, as soon as Pharaoh imposed an impossible-to-meet work load on them, they immediately turned on Moses and blamed him for the further abuse they were now suffering.
And in turn, Moses started to take out his frustrations on God.
The spiritual takeaway is obvious.
Following God has consequences and will more times than not invite adversity.
I’ve met so many people who assumed that as soon as they became believers, their life would immediately ascend onto some upward trajectory leading to a trouble-free, maple-syrupy idyllic existence.
“Now that I’ve become a believer, God’s gonna find a hot wife for me.”
“Now that I’ve accepted the Lord, He’s going to bless me with a high paying job.”
“Now that I’m believer, God is going to cure my lower back pain.”
…ad infinitum ad nauseum.
Sure, the Lord may provide you with the girl of your dreams, a dream job, and grant you perfect physical health.
But He may not.
Actually, I can vouch from painful, personal experience that He may not.
As with Moses and Aaron’s situation, things may actually take a turn for the worse.
And it’s during those times, when things go contrary to expectations, that we need to remind ourselves that in spite of the pain and the hopelessness of the situation at hand, the Almighty Powerful Creator of the universe is still in control, ever watching and working out all things for the good.
So let’s try to cling close to Him in both bad times and good.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“And we know that in all things
God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.”