Summary: Why has this happened to me? I’m sure God asked me to do this, say that, move to that job, challenge that leader! Yes, God asked me to do that and now everything has got worse! Why? What do I do? Who do I trust?
Exodus 5:22 to 6:12
THERE ARE TIMES IN OUR LIVES WHEN WE WANT GOD TO MOVE EXACTLY AS WE WANT HIM TO MOVE. BUT GOD MOVES IN HIS OWN TIME, AND IN HIS OWN WAY. A STORY IS TOLD OF PHILLIP BROOKS, A FAMOUS PASTOR OF THE 19TH CENTURY WHO WAS IN HIS OFFICE WORKING ON A SERMON. HE WAS PACING THE FLOOR AND FRUSTRATED, AS HE AWAITED REVELATION AND A PARISHONER WALKED PAST AND NOTICED HIS COUNTENANCE. THE MEMBER ASKED, “WHAT IS THE MATTER PASTOR?” DR. BROOKS ANSWERED HIM….I’M IN A HURRY, AND GOD ISN’T!
† Last week we heard how Moses was in conversation with God. God had promised Moses that he would be with him, that he would speak through him to the Israelites, and to the Egyptian King. Moses had come up with reasons and excuses why he was not the one to do the job. Moses said this to God: “But Lord I have never been a good speaker. I wasn’t one before you spoke to me, and I’m not one now. I am slow at speaking, and I can never think of what to say.” In other words, Moses is telling God that he will get tongue-tied!
† God promised Moses that he would give him the words to say and so Moses came up with another excuse by saying, “Lord, please send someone else to do it.” He doesn’t want the responsibility; he wants to ‘pass the buck’. Lord, not me, send Michael, send Geoff, send Bernard, send my sister; don’t send me!
† God was angry with Moses but did send him his brother Aaron; they performed signs with the staff and the Israelites worshipped (Exodus 4:31).
† Moses and Aaron visited the king and told him about God’s plan. I guess that they were confident, with great trust in God because God had spoken and made it clear through miraculous signs that he could be trusted. They spoke God’s words to the King, and warned him what may happen if God was not obeyed, and what did the King do? He made things worse for the Israelites, made their jobs harder so that they would not listen to Moses.
† When this happened, the Israelites blamed Moses who after all, had done exactly what God had asked him to do. God, it seems, was not in a hurry!
† (5:22) Moses speaks to God, and just like us when things seem to have gone wrong, and just like Moses were things have gone badly wrong, he asks, “Why have you brought this trouble on me? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.” In other words, “Come on Lord, you said you’d do it but you haven’t! Why not!”
† Why, why, why? The question which my little sister asked more than anything when she was 3 years old. The question which we all ask as we get to know about the world.
† And what does God do, what does God say as Moses asks, “why?” What does he do as we ask, “why?”
God re-assured Moses:
† (6:1) “You will see what I will do. Because of my mighty hand he will let them go.”
† Things had gone from bad to really bad for the Israelites as a result of Moses’ God-given task. Have you ever felt that about the things God asks you to do? Perhaps you’ve been convinced God asked you to do something, speak to someone, go somewhere, take a certain job, move to a certain house or place, challenge a local MP, challenge a leader; challenge a decision maker. You’ve done it, you’ve obeyed what God asked you to do, in all good faith, and things have gone from bad to very bad. Have any of you ever been in that place? Are you there right now?
† God comes along side you, like he did with Moses, and he says, “You will see what I will do. Because of my mighty hand, what I’ve said will come to pass. Trust me!”
Not ‘why’ but ‘who’!:
† God came alongside Moses and revealed something precious about himself, something which he had not revealed previously even to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To them he had appeared as ‘El-Shaddai’ which means God almighty. To Moses he appeared as “I AM”.
† To Moses God appeared as God who was, and is, and is to come. To Moses God appeared as “I will be what I will be”. To Moses God appeared and said, “I AM the LORD”. Not a lord, but the LORD.
† Moses was worried about today, as we often are. God wanted Moses to listen to his promise about what would be, what will be, what will come to pass. God promises today a deliverance which will be complete in the future.