Sunday, July 24, 2011

An encounter with Moses

This week I have been reading in Exodus.  When I think of Moses, I remember the many Bible stories taught to me in Sunday School as a child at Covenant Baptist Church in Columbia, MD. I remember the burning bush, the plagues, the red sea, and of course the Ten Commandments.  What intrigued me most though during my recent reading of scripture was something that I don't really remember being taught (the concept may have been taught but maybe not the story).  A section of the story that is not as well-known or broadcasted (maybe others noticed it- but I just don't remember it).

It is in Exodus 5- where Moses and Aaron go and do what God asked them to do -speaking with Pharaoh- asking for the Hebrews to be allowed to go into the wilderness to worship God. Moses and Aaron obeyed God's commands.  Then the story starts to turn and after Pharaoh denies their request he increases the workload on the Israelites and many Isrealites were beaten.  The very same Hebrews whom Moses and Aaron came to protect began to hurl insults at them and ask God to judge Moses and Aaron.  At this point in the story, the heroes don't seem very mighty.  They don't seem to be helping the Hebrews.

I can picture Moses and Aaron questioning why the Lord sent them to do this task and feeling very defeated.  In verse 22 Moses asks God why God ever sent him.  He questions what God is doing.  This just seems so relevant to many life experiences today.  There are many times where we feel called to do something for God and we do it and then we experience more trouble or hardship.

I believe this story needs to be told to more people.  We are going to face struggles in life where things just don't make sense or add up.  In this life, we may even question why God sent us to a certain place or called us to a certain task - a task that maybe included heartache or fellow believers who didn't support our decision. The one good thing is that later on or maybe even once we are in Heaven we will see the whole picture that God sees and understand why our story was written the way it was---but for right now we just have to trust. In chapter 6- God promises deliverance and begins with "now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh...."  - did the deliverance come right away?  No, but it did come and many awesome miracles and lessons were granted to the Israelites.  Were Moses's decisions always supported- even by his fellow Hebrews?  Nope.  Moses couldn't rely on support from others.  As I heard in church today- his source of significance/worth could not come from his accomplishments or achievements but had to come from his relationship with God- his willingness to follow God with all of his heart no matter what happened.  As the pastor at the church I attended today (Hyland Heights Baptist) said, where is your source of strength- is it in what you do or what you accomplish or is it in Christ?  Is it in your circumstances or is it in the deep relationship you have with Jesus?

I know that for me, God even orchestrated the perfect time in my life to read about this scenario- He is sovereign and in control!  I love that God also used a sermon this morning to share the following verses which provide comfort and were words spoken to the Israelites. I love the first part of it ( which is also not as well-known as the last verse) Isaiah 40:27-31 "Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden form the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God"?  Have you not known?  Have you not Heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchableHe gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.  Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

May God grant you strength today to continue to pursue his call on your life!