I’ve been reading in the book of Exodus over the last few weeks. Our church’s Bible reading schedule this year is a 240 chapter overview of the main points in the gospel narrative from Genesis to Revelation. The book of Exodus is a rich source of gospel truth that I enjoy more and more every time I read it. Something just blew me away when I read it last week. Usually when I read the account of the burning bush, I tend to focus my attention on the doubts of Moses. Have you ever noticed though that during the entire 2 chapter discourse that God told Moses exactly what would happen in the future. Here’s all the things Moses knew before even stepping foot before Pharaoh:
1) Pharaoh wouldn’t initially listen to Moses and would harden his heart. (3:19; 4:21)
2) God would unleash a number of mighty signs before Pharaoh would break. (3:19-20)
3) God would kill the firstborn son of Pharaoh. (4:23)
4) The Israelites would plunder the Egyptians. (3:21-22)
5) The Israelites would walk out of Egypt as free people. (3:16-17)
That’s pretty significant. I would think that if I knew what was going to happen before I went and did something, that I would have a lot of confidence in my task. Sure enough, chapter 5 of Exodus plays out exactly God said it would, yet look at vss. 22-23 when Moses speaks to God again. He says, “O Lord, why have you done this evil to this people? Why did you send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.”
As I read this response of Moses I was amazed that he didn’t have more faith. I mean didn’t he remember what God had told him. Everything was happening just like God said it would, yet he seemed surprised and shocked as if God had put him in a bad situation. Have you ever done that? You’re reading about someone in the Bible and you have a condescending, “can you believe this guy?!” thought in your head.
Before we give Moses the spiritual noogie treatment, we need to look in the mirror. God’s Word is filled with promises and warnings to us, telling us exactly what is going to happen to us, yet we respond with the same doubt and lack of faith that Moses had. Think about it. God tells us that the world will hate us, yet we have a difficult time when people scorn us for our faith. God tells us that we will face trials of many kinds, yet we are baffled any time there is a testing of our faith. God tells us that He disciplines those whom He loves, yet we struggle with doubt when God corrects us.
There is so much that God tells us in His Word. We are no different from Moses. We give ourselves too much credit and ascribe greater glory to ourselves when we think we would have handled circumstances differently than the people we read about in the Bible. It is a wonder whenever we respond with faith. God deserves so much awe and worship when you think about how patient He is with us.
Whatever your crisis of faith may be right now, I promise you that there is a truth from God’s Word that speaks to the very issue you are dealing with. Instead of looking for an extra word from above or a special sign from God, what God really wants us to do is rest and believe what He has already told us.