It’s not easy to let God be God when His way makes no earthly sense – at least from where we sit.
You will go through various types of trials in your life. There are the “brought this on myself” types of trials where we experience the downside of the sowing and reaping principle. Then there are the “because of Jesus” trials where we experience a measure of persecution for our faith. Anytime you experience physical, emotional, relational or financial intimidation because of your faith, that’s persecution and it still happens, particularly on a worldwide scale.
And then there are the “makes absolutely no sense to me” types of trials. Not that these don’t make sense to God, because God has everything under control. It just doesn’t make sense to us. This is the most difficult trial for us to accept.
I’m teaching through the life of Moses in our Wednesday night UPLIFT service and tonight we’re in that section of the story (Exodus 5 – 7) where Moses has his first conversation with Pharaoh (think the “let my people go” song). Moses is God’s reluctant messenger marching into Pharaoh’s oval office asking for the release of the Israelite people from Egyptian captivity.
Needless to say, Pharaoh was unimpressed with the request and unmoved. He sends Moses away and actually increases the hardships upon the Israelite people – which in turn causes the Israelite people to turn on Moses (“we thought you were here to help us but you bring us nothing but more trouble”).
Can you imagine how Moses felt? He attempts to free his people, in obedience to God’s call mind you, and things become more difficult for them. It’s disconcerting and perplexing because Pharaoh seems stronger than ever and God has not come through on His promise to deliver His people. Not to mention that instead of becoming a hero to the people, they are viewing Moses as a zero and a loser.
Why doesn’t God just do this and do this quickly? Why make this deliverance process more drawn-out and difficult and dramatic than it has to be? It makes no earthly sense.
What does Moses do? He does what we’ve all done by going into the presence of God with questions. Listen to his words from Exodus 6: 22 Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”
Moses brings his case to God with two questions and two parallel accusations:
1) Why have you brought trouble?
2) Why did you send me? (You can almost hear him, “I told you this would not work.”)
3) This has brought nothing but trouble from Pharaoh.
4) You have not brought deliverance at all. God, you’ve not done what you said.
What does God do in response to this lament? He responds and He reassures. He responds to Moses and He gives him something to hold onto. He gives Him an insight into the kind of good and trustworthy God he is serving. We’ll walk through God’s response to Moses tonight in UPLIFT (found in Exodus chapter 6 and early part of chapter 7).
Just know that you serve a God who keeps His promises. You serve a God who holds the future in His hands. You serve a God who does not run on human logic and whose ways are higher than your ways. You serve a God who asks you to trust and obey even when things do not make sense to you. And you serve a God who, in the words of Charles Spurgeon, is “too kind to do anything cruel, too wise to make a mistake, and too deep to explain himself.”
Romans 11:33-34 33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?