Summary: How God responds to the "why" questions of life.
The “Who” To Moses “Why”
By David Moore, Pastor, Braehill Baptist Church, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Text: Exodus 6:1-8
Introduction: Phillip Brooks, a famous pastor of the 19th century, was in his office, pacing the floor, frustrated. Somebody walked in and saw him and asked, "What’s the matter, pastor?" He said, "I’m in a hurry and God isn’t!" (Patrick Allen - sermoncentral.com/sercentral/sermon.asp?SermonID=31031)
As we open our Bibles to Exodus 6 this morning, we find this is exactly Moses’ problem. For eighty years God has been preparing Moses to do something truly great, to lead 2 million slaves out of the grip of the world’s superpower and into national freedom and Moses wants it done after one, maybe two visits with Pharaoh. But God is never in a hurry. You see all we have is time, whilst God has eternity. God doesn’t have to finish His work within the limits of our finite time spans, even if we die, God is not done. His work goes on through someone else, so you and I who are constantly rushing to beat the clock have to learn that God is not in a hurry, and that we must be patient while He works out His purposes.
You will recall that Moses and Aaron have made their first visit with Pharaoh. The result was not what they had hoped for, indeed as things transpired it was much worse than they might ever have expected. Instead of letting the people go, Pharaoh decreed that the people would stay and that their burdens should be made greater. Then, after a delegation of Israelite officers visited with the king, Moses and Aaron became about as popular as Hugo Duncan! The Israelites hated them. In fact they pronounced a curse upon them!! “The LORD look upon you and judge.”
Then as chapter five closes out Moses approaches the Lord with his “Why” questions. Why? Why me? Why this? Why now? Moses had to learn the value of patience, of waiting on God.
Now, in chapter 6 God is going to give Moses an answer to his why questions. Now I said last week that the question we should ask when things go from bad to worse is not why, but who? Who is in control here? Who is behind these things? I said that “Why” questions are rarely answered and when they are they are rarely satisfying? But the who question is much more comforting. You see the “why” questions only lead to more why questions.
Illus: A small child constantly asking why.
So the why question only leads us into more difficulties, but the who question leads us to God. In chapter 6 the Lord answers Moses’ plea by answering the “Who” question. This chapter is about the Lord, and what we need to understand about God when our lives take a turn for the worse. Notice how God responds to Moses’ concerns, and how Moses had to:
I. Trust God’s Plan – vs 1.
A. You know, sometimes when we are dismayed at life, or we are confused about our circumstances or may be even angry with the Lord about how things have turned out we may do as Moses did and cry out to God.
1. In response we might expect God to be angry with us.
a. That is natural – anger usually only serves to stir up more anger.
b. But God is not natural – He is supernatural, and His reactions are almost always the opposite of what we might naturally expect.
2. But notice that God is not angry with Moses.
a. Here we find no word of reprimand, reproach, of rebuke.
b. You see, the Lord knows us better than we know ourselves, and in that respect He remembers that we are but dust.
c. God never fails. God never gets inpatient. God never gets discouraged – but we experience all those things – and never more so than when we put the responsibility for God’s work upon our own shoulders and expect great things to happen.
B. In response to Moses’ cry the Lord simply encourages the man to look beyond the trails of the present to see the final outcome.
1. You know the Lord expects all of us to do that.
2. In Romans 16:20 the Church at Rome were encouraged with the words “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.”
3. In other words they were reminded that their victory in Christ was sure – that no matter how bad things seemed, and they must have seemed bad when we bear in mind that Christians were being thrown to the lions and made to do battle with gladiators armed to the teeth, that ultimately they would secure the victor’s crown.
3. Likewise in Psalm 73 we read of the complaint of Asaph, who bewailed the fact that the godly seemed to do very well for themselves, thank you very much, whilst God’s people struggled daily and suffered at the hands of the wicked.