During our evening family devotion, we are currently reading about God freeing Israel from Egyptian bondage. One main question was brought to mind the other night. Why did God take so long to free His people? Couldn’t He have sent Moses to Pharaoh and said, “We are out of here tomorrow, Pharaoh,” and then had the Israelites march right out?
He could have made Pharaoh powerless to stop them as they left the very next day, no plagues, no miracles, and not a single death. Surely, we have all wondered at times why God chooses to do things in a particular way.
In January, I told my boss I could not do what they were asking me to do. It would violate my conscience as a Christian. I fully expected to be let go. There have been many interactions since then, over this, but nothing has happened yet. I have continued to stand my ground. Two weeks ago, I met with the company president and told him I thought my position ought to be eliminated. No one should be asked to do the things they were requiring of me. The company president gave my boss until the end of the month to resolve the situation. So will it be resolved by then? Only the Lord knows.
However, don’t we all have situations that are similar? They just drag on longer than we feel they ought to, or the final outcome isn’t what we think it should be. Maybe you have chosen a direction for the family, and the “troops” are murmuring and complaining. Certainly Moses knew how that felt!
As we read the account of Moses, it seems there was an important lesson God had for him to learn. The same would be true for each of us as we lead our families. When God gave Moses instructions in the desert, Moses revealed his problem. He said he couldn’t do what God asked because of not being well spoken. Think how ridiculous that is. Moses was telling the sovereign God of the universe that he was unable to do what God asked of him. God, Who knew Moses’ every strength and weakness, and Who knew Moses better than he knew himself, knew Moses could do the task.
I don’t think Moses was just making excuses. If this had been the case, he would have kept coming up with fresh excuses when the first one was eliminated. I also believe God would have dealt with him differently if he had been simply making an excuse. Therefore, it was possible that Moses was telling God about a true shortcoming in his life. However, this reveals whom Moses was trusting. Himself! At this point in this new relationship with the Lord, Moses had not learned to trust that God would work in his life and use His power to accomplish His will.
I believe one of the reasons for the long, drawn-out process of delivering His people from Pharaoh was to teach Moses to rely on God. Moses–and we, as well–must see that God will enable to be accomplished what He instructs to be done. God will never tell us to do something that we are unable to do.
After the Israelite leaders accused Moses and Aaron of making “our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh” (Exodus 5:21), Moses demonstrated the key to our success as fathers. Immediately after he spoke with the leaders of the people, in Exodus 5:22 we see, “And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said. . . .” Our response must be the same as his response; we must first cry out to our Lord.
When we don’t understand, when we need direction, when we lack the means to accomplish our responsibilities (i.e., to raise up godly children), we must go to Him in prayer. We must pour out our hearts to Him Who enables, Who strengthens, Who gives peace. Moses was transformed into a man who knew God and relied on Him. May that be true for each of us.