Moses and Aaron have succeeded in convincing the elders they have heard from God. In verse 31 of Exodus, Chapter 4, the people bow their heads and worship God because He heard their prayers and responded.
Feeling all warm and fuzzy, Moses and Aaron boldly approach Pharoah with the very words God gave them: “Let my people go.” But Moses seems to have forgotten that God already told him about Pharoah’s attitude problem. So when Pharoah replies, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go?” Moses is deflated.
Confidence waning, Moses replies back to Pharoah declaring that God wants them to take a three-day weekend in Palm Springs, lest He fall upon them with pestilence or the sword. Now where did Moses get that far-fetched idea?
Nevertheless, the king responds unfavourably, as there is obvious work to be done in Egypt. In fact, he ups the ante and increases the workload by enforcing the daily quota while the Hebrews find their own straw to make bricks. No more Mr. Nice Guy.
During that time, straw was a major component in building solid structures in the Middle East. Although clay bricks were sturdy on their own, modern Egyptian architects had learned that adding straw to the mix helped bind the clay, increasing strength and protection from sun damage, weathering and the occasional earthquake. In keeping up with the latest technology, Pharoah was building a state-of-the-art kingdom for himself that would stand the test of time. And no one, not even God, was going to mess with his plan.
Moses and Aaron were at a standstill and shrugged their shoulders and they stood looking at each other with a blank stare. The first step had gone so well. They faced their fear and it subsided when the people believed they had really been sent by God. But the second step was a separate matter altogether. God hadn’t left them to fend for themselves. He was right there with them, but in order for the plan to proceed as He planned it, there had to be some opposition to spice things up a little.
Sometimes it’s like that when you step out in faith. You’re 100% sure you’ve heard from God. You have a sense of peace and confidence that this is God’s will, you have all the confirmation you need, and the circumstances seem to be lining up with God’s perfect timing. So you take that first step of faith. You give your notice. You start the business or the ministry and the entire Universe loudly applauds your courageous act of faith. You’re a modern hero. But when the applause stops – and it does – that’s when you discover who you really are and what you really believe.
It’s after that first step of faith that something usually happens to test your level of confidence. Something happens or someone comes in with opposition, throwing a wrench into your plan. And that’s just it – your plan isn’t going as you hoped it would. But ironically, God’s plan is right on track. In fact, He is so confident of Himself and His ability to see you through, He allows for a few tests and trials along the way because He knows He can cause them to work together for your good and His glory. And you’ll have an even better testimony when the day is done.
But even though you’ve read the Bible and you know it generally goes this way, when it happens to you, it’s always a shock. When things go wrong, thoughts of disillusionment may arrive at your doorstep uninvited. Subtle reminders of losses, failures and disappointments from the past arrive unexpected and suddenly you find yourself doubting God and cursing the day you left your comfort zone. The next guest to arrive is intense fear as you wonder to yourself, “What am I going to do now?”
Moses and Aaron are in a difficult position. Because of them, Pharoah has tightened his grip on the people. He beats the Hebrew leaders into submission with the intent of turning them against their so-called “leader” and passing the message on to the rest of the people.
It’s a classic ploy of the enemy to bring division among God’s people because he understands the power of unity and the power of disunity. Even God marvelled at what the people were able to accomplish in the book of Genesis when they built the city and the tower of Babel simply because they were in unity and agreement.
When the Israelites come back to Moses and blame him for their trouble, the pressure is too much to bear. While he may have kept it together before the people, in private he lets God have it. In Exodus 5:22, Moses goes so far as to accuse God of mistreating the people and once again retreats to his former stance of questioning why on earth God sent him and not someone else. As if that weren’t enough for one day, Moses backs up his accusations with supposed evidence and blames God for the current circumstances the people now find themselves in.
I’m not sure about you, but if I were God at that moment, I would be heating up the griddle and loading the gun. All judging aside, we can jump on Moses for blaming God and getting angry, but isn’t he just like you and me? If you haven’t been there yet, then you and Jesus are quite possibly the only ones. Eventually ,everyone comes to that place. I never thought I would, but I did. You may never think you will. But if you’re human, you will. Deep in every man’s heart is the belief that God is not really a good God. Or you may secretly believe that God is a good God, but He’s not good to me. You can deny it or you can let God search your heart and show you what’s in it.
Have you ever stepped out in faith and been disappointed? Or are you still suffering from something that happened when you were little and you feel like you can’t trust God because of it? Have you ever wondered why or how God could have let you down?
When you take that first step of faith, you will be introduced to your very own personal demons. It’s better to confront them and deal with them so you can get past them. It’s that or continue to live with them. Someone once said, “You can’t go back. You can’t stay here. You must move forward.”
The second step of faith is to remember what God promised you. If God didn’t do what He said He would do, then the story isn’t over yet. If you’re tempted to quit or you find yourself frozen in fear, then go back to God, find your bearings and let Him lead you forward into your destiny.
What is standing in your way and how are you dealing with it? Please leave your comment below.