In Chapter 6 of Exodus, Moses is dealing with pressure from all sides and he’s about to crack. On one hand, Pharoah has completely disregarded Moses’ request to release God’s people and cranks up the oppression another notch for the people. On the other hand, the Hebrew slaves and their officers in charge are breaking their backs to meet Pharoah’s demands and who do they blame but Moses for aggravating their situation.
Since this wasn’t his idea in the first place, Moses brings it back full circle, gets in God’s face and blames Him for everything. Making an even worse case for himself, Moses further reminds God that, ahem, He hasn’t exactly come through with flying colours on His promise and done what He said He would do (Exodus 5:23). Wow. Talk about arrogance.
Admittedly, any one of us would probably have the same reaction after we’ve gone to the trouble of stepping out in faith and things didn’t go the way we thought they would. It’s easy to come unglued when you’re the one out on the edge. Stress and pressure can cause even the strongest faith to come unhinged. Your first reaction might be to throw your hands in the air and say, “Why me?” Or worse, you throw God’s words back in His face and accuse Him of being less than faithful to His Word.
Unfortunately, Moses can see only the small picture within the larger frame. He is only in Act 1, Scene 1 while God has a whole lot more of the story to unfold. To recap, Moses obeys God, albeit reluctantly. He leaves his comfort zone and goes out on a limb for God. Then Moses bombs in front of everyone and finds himself at a place where He doesn’t know what to do next. But instead of approaching God with humility, he comes armed with accusations. Wrong thing to do. Problem is, Moses is focused on himself and his limited abilities instead of God and His unlimited abilities.
God opens the chapter by calming Moses and reassuring him that He is in charge of everything, even Pharoah himself. Addressing the attempted character assassination, God reminds Moses exactly Who he is dealing with: “I am the Lord…God Almighty…JEHOVAH.” The Hebrew El Shaddai designates God Almighty as the strong or powerful God and His next few sentences are filled with ‘I have’s’ and ‘I will’s’ as God jogs Moses’ memory of not only what He has done, but what He will do to redeem and deliver His people from bondage.
God lovingly reassures Moses and tells him to relay a personal message to His people to comfort them. “…I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land…and give it to you for a heritage: I am the Lord.”
Notice how God affirms His identity to Moses and the people more than once? Above everything, even the deliverance itself, God wants them to know Him more. In fact, that is His primary goal in all of this. More than rescuing His bride and bringing her across the threshold into the Promised Land, His one desire is that she know Him more intimately in the process.
Isn’t that all God wants from us? We want so badly to receive everything He has promised, whether it’s restoration of finances, family reconciliation, salvation for our loved ones and community or enlarging our ministry’s reach and influence. All God wants is for you to draw closer and love Him more than you did the day before.
Too many times, we want what is in God’s hand while He wants us just to take His hand and trust Him as He leads us into a deeper, more intimate walk with Him. He wants you to hear His heartbeat and for that, you must be very close. You know how when you just know what someone is thinking without them even saying a word? That’s what God wants with you. Better than a best friend, closer than a brother, God wants to be your Everything.
Where are you right now? Are you complaining or blaming God for your current circumstances? Do you think it’s possible you’re only seeing a small part of the picture and there’s more to the story than you’re aware of? You can choose to get angry and give up on God’s promise or you can draw closer and lean on Him. If you allow Him to bring you through in His way and His timing, God will show you a side of Him you’ve never seen before.
When I was in full-time missions, I faced my fear of having an empty cupboard. I was not only out of food, I was out of money to buy food. It was during that time that I personally experienced God as Jehovah Jireh as I watched Him provide for me in powerful and practical ways. Amazingly, I never missed a meal.
Have you ever been through something and come out the other side knowing God in a new and different way? I would love to hear your story. Please feel free to share your thoughts below.