Aside

Diving back into Exodus again this morning. I just love how God whispers into my heart as I read and allows things to jump out at me.

I’m in Chapter 6 and I’m reading the genealogy of Moses and Aaron. And, honestly, I’m about to skip over this part. Boring. Who reads genealogies anyways? A bunch of people, another bunch of people, someone lived for a certain amount of years…someone had this kid or that…ok ok, skipping this part and moving on into the ‘meaningful verses’. But this time, instead of skipping the genealogy, I Googled it. “Significance of genealogy of Moses and Aaron”. A Jewish write-up came up and I skimmed through it. I am, after all, a student of God, I might as well educate myself further in these things.

The author points out that in Exodus 6:12 Moses is talking to God and put some blame on to the Israelites for not listening to the message God gave him. But then, in verse 30, the bible seems to repeat itself by saying basically the same thing. The difference is, in verse 30, Moses leaves out the part of the blame against the Israelites. Interesting.

After the genealogy, Moses leaves out blaming the Israelites.

After Moses is reminded who he is and where he came from, Moses stops blaming his people.

This is cool. Moses is reminded that he has a responsibility to these people, he is one of them. I’m thinking it would have been hard for him, growing up in an Egyptian palace, raised by a princess and having that life engrained in him. It was normal for him to think that he was Egyptian. Egypt was home for him, Israel wasn’t. Their traditions weren’t his, their God was new to him, their slavery wasn’t a part of his direct history…he was born an Israelite but it had never been an actual part of his life. Actually, I’m thinking it was probably something he had tried to hide.

But suddenly, when God became real to him, Moses needed to confront the fact that he belonged to these enslaved people and they belonged to him. He was a part of them. They were his family.

And so I finished my reading and started praying. And suddenly God started talking.

The troubled people around me are my people. I might have been rescued out of the muddy river by a God that is full of grace, I might have been delivered into a better life like Moses was, but I was once a troubled person too. Not too long ago, I struggled with their struggles. I understand them, my heart grieves for them, I can feel where they are. I am a part of them and they are a part of me and I have a responsibility to them, to lead them out of their slavery and to show them the life that God has promised them.

I love it when God speaks to me, when I know that the Holy Spirit has just opened my eyes to a message he wants me to see.

“Since I speak with faltering lips…”

Exodus 6:30

I don’t always have the right words or the confidence to say them, but it doesn’t matter. I have a responsibility to my people and I have instruction from God and all I asked to do is be obedient. When I am meant to speak, he will give me the words. All he needs is a vessel to work with. Obedience and a willingness to listen.

 

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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

 

I’m working my way through Exodus. It’s been a couple months in this book and I’m on Chapter 5. Go me. I’m not a slow reader, but I have so many books on the go that it’s hard to finish one reading project before I start another…there’s just so many great books out there and so little time!!

The other night I was laying in bed, starting my reading for the evening, and I decided that Exodus would be the chosen book. It wasn’t quite what I was thinking I needed that night, but I felt like I should.

Ever heard that saying “never should on yourself”? I love that saying, so true. But this time it was a good thing that I should on myself.

Chapter 5. Moses has been told by God to go to Pharaoh and tell him to release the Israelites. Aaron goes with him and between verses 1-21 they present this idea to the king of Egypt.

God was pretty clear, he said he would release his people if Moses went to the king and asked him to release them. So when Moses did this, when Moses was obedient to God and Pharaoh didn’t release them…he, instead, made their lives so much worse…the people turned on Moses saying “May the Lord look upon you and judge you!” (vs. 21).

Imagine, this strong, confidant man who has seen a flaming bush in the desert, who has clear and obvious instruction from God. Who has seen his stick turn into a snake, who has witnessed water turning into blood. This man goes before the king of all of Egypt, a king he can see, he can hear and who rules and punishes before his eyes. He can physically touch this king. And he takes this bizarre idea to this king, this idea that everyone would have thought was crazy, and truly believes that Pharaoh will release an entire nation of people because of it. But Pharaoh doesn’t. Matter of fact, he does the opposite. He punishes the people. He makes their lives impossible. He sets expectations that can’t be accomplished and then he beats them when they aren’t completed.

And Moses is confused, hurt even. Why would God do this to him? Why wouldn’t God do what he said he was going to do?

We all know the end result of this story, Moses presents this idea to Pharaoh several times and finally, after it seems like it just couldn’t get any worse, the king releases the nation of Israel.

God didn’t give Moses a timeline. He gave him instructions and a promise. Moses knew what he had seen, he knew he wasn’t crazy, he knew that God existed and had spoken to him. He knew what he knew what he knew. God had told him he would release the Isralites and so he kept going forward in faith, knowing that God would complete his promise.

God doesn’t promise that life will be easy in our obedience. He doesn’t promise that there won’t be suffering. He doesn’t promise that it will happen in the timing we expect. But what he does promise is that he will complete what he has started. He promises that he will be with us every step of the way and he promises that he will show himself when we need it most. All he asks of us is that we continue to do what he has asked of us, even when it doesn’t make sense. Even when there is an entire nation shouting insults at us, asking us to leave them alone…we answer to God. Not to the people around us.

Did you wonder why I put that line in there “He can physically touch this king“? Because sometimes, when we look around and see the disobedience of those around us or lack of movement, we see what is happening in the physical world, we forget that what we can see with our eyes has nothing to do with the work God is doing in the spiritual realm. You can see what is around you, you can’t see God, and some times, most of the time, it’s easier to trust what you can see rather than trust what an invisible God has told you.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Hebrews 11:1

God asks us to walk in faith, to trust him and to not pay attention to what we can see with our physical eyes.

“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

Romans 8:24-25

God works in and with the impossibilities. He works beyond what we can see with our eyes. And he wants all the glory. He wants to bring us to a place where all we can do is give credit to him. Where there is no other way that we succeeded other than by his hand.

God will do what he has said he will do. It won’t be in our timing. It won’t be how we expect. But he will move mountains, he will set the captives free, he will bring us to the land he has promised and he will show us miracles along the way.

Our God is good. Our God is loving. All we need to do is be obedient, put one foot in front of the other, listen, breathe, walk with him and watch him work. He has never promised that it will be easy, but he has promised to carry us through.