So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage. Exodus 6:9
Discouragement, despondency, oppression. Life’s challenges can offer temptation to bow to these. Loss of a job, a loved one, diagnosis of a life-threatening disease and the list could go on.
Sometimes obedience results in compiling opposition. It can be draining and exhausting.
But not beyond God. He understands and cares deeply.
Enough to leave the perfection of heaven and enter the sinful world in the form of a man into circumstances of rejection from the beginning with no place to be born.
And he would have done it if only for you.
You. Whom He chose to work miracles through.
If only we would obey no matter the circumstances.
In this case, the Israeli life was already that of slavery. Nothing easy about that. But now it was getting worse. And Pharaoh? He didn’t know the God of Moses and Aaron. Their request for a three day journey to offer sacrifices to their Lord, was merely time away from work. Or time away from slavery? I wonder what really bothered him.
Either way, he responded to their request by making their lives harder with more work and accusations of laziness. Their hearts went from worshipful belief in the God of Abraham, to despondent disbelief.
I’m not sure I would have been different. Although I certainly hope I would. From outward appearances, life got harder when Moses approached the Pharaoh. Just as the Lord had warned.
It’s one thing to be warned… it’s another thing to experience the hardship.
Even Moses cried out to God in confusion over the opposition!
Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have You brought harm to this people? Why did You ever send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done harm to this people, and You have not delivered Your people at all.” Exodus 5:22, 23
Have you felt this way before? Convinced you were acting in obedience only to face opposition and trouble? And with that, the temptation to bow to discouragement based on the seen.
In response to Moses, the Lord stated, “I am the Lord” three times, and “I am the Lord your God” once. He emphatically stated,
Say, therefore, to the sons 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 their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. ‘Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. ‘I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the LORD.’” Exodus 6: 6-8
Moses conveyed this message, but the Israelites were overcome by discouragement.
How many blessings do we miss by giving in to discouragement?
It’s tempting to put too much weight on the seen and human historical track record. All the while our savior yearns to overwhelm our hearts with His glory and life-giving truths and to show us His power!.
Lord, open our eyes to your heart for us amidst our struggles. In your beautiful name, amen.