Summary: At times it is hard not to get impatient with God. It’s hard to wait for Him to move. But such impatience can cause us to act rashly and our rashness can cost us dearly.
OPEN: Caitlin was a 4 year old and an only child. She really wanted to have a baby sister and kept pestering her mother asking when she could have one. One morning Caitlin told her mother, "Maybe if we both prayed out loud, God would hear us."
So they prayed together. As soon as they finished, Caitlin asked, "What did he say?"
Her mother explained that it doesn’t work that way; sometimes it takes a long time to get an answer.
Caitlin was indignant: "Do you mean we were praying to an answering machine?"
Caitlin wanted an answer from God.
She didn’t want to be put off.
She didn’t want to talk to some celestial answering machine.
She didn’t want God to “get back to her” some time
– She wanted answer NOW!!!
– And she was impatient because God didn’t seem to answer quickly enough.
You know… you don’t have to be a 4 yr old to suffer from that kind of impatience.
ILLUS: The great New England preacher Phillips Brooks was noted for his poise and quiet manner. At times, however, even he suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day a friend saw him pacing the floor like a caged lion.
"What’s the trouble, Dr. Brooks?" asked the friend.
"The trouble is that I am in a hurry." said Brooks. "but God isn’t."
It’s easy to become impatient with God
Even some of the great men and women of Scripture grew impatient.
A case in point is Moses.
Now Moses is one of the greatest men of the Bible.
He is a model for preachers and elders and men of all walks of life.
In fact God told Moses that one day He would raise up a prophet like unto him – that prophet being Jesus. And so Moses was a model even for Christ.
And he was a man of great faith.
Hebrews 11 tells us that the decision Moses made to chose his own people over the Egyptian culture he’d been raised in – was a decision based on faith.
But Moses’ faith here was marred by impatience.
And his impatience cost him dearly.
We all know the story:
Moses is born in a time of trouble.
His people have lived in peace in Egypt for a couple of hundred years or so. But then a Pharaoh come to the throne that viewed the Israelites as being dangerous no his nation.
The suspicion of many scholars is that – some time before Moses was born – Egypt had been invaded and dominated by conquerors known as the Hyksos. For years the Egyptians suffered under the yoke of these foreigners, but eventually they rose up and drove them out.
From that day on the Egyptians became suspicious of any people that weren’t like them... people like the Israelites who lived in their northern region.
For, even though the Israelites had lived amongst them for a long time, they had never really blended in.
· They had looked different
· They ate different
· They talked different
· And of course – they worshipped different.
These Israelites served only one God vs. the dozens the Egyptians worshipped.
And worst of all – there were too many of them
If the Hebrews decided to overthrow the Egyptians, their numbers were a threat
So the Pharaoh decided to reduce the risk by reducing the number of potential soldiers Israel might be able to put into battle. And one of the ways he did that was by ordering every newborn male child to be thrown into Nile
When Moses born, his mother – Jochebed – obeyed the order, but her obedience to Pharaoh was a bit creative. Instead of simply throwing her child into the water to drown she built a him a boat of bulrushes and set him afloat – trusting God for the outcome.
And God did!
He delivered her child.
He arranged for daughter of the Pharaoh to find him… love him… and desire to raise him
Then Pharaoh’s daughter saw the need for someone to raise him
And again - in the providence of God - Jochebed was chosen to be his nursemaid
So for the next 40 years of his life Moses was raised in the courts of Egypt. As Acts 7:22 tells us:
“Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.”
But not only that… his mother raised him to know he was a Hebrew. And she raised him to know that the Israelites were his people and that God had made promises to his people.
Amongst those promises was one that God had made to Abraham about 400 yrs previously: "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions “ Genesis 15:13-14