Good morning my friends,
God is here. God is good. God is kind. God is faithful. This is what we believe. We repeat these things to each other to remind ourselves of the character of our God: “God is good all the time; All the time God is good”. But do you always feel that? Do you always believe in every situation of your life that God is active in it? That he is watching out for you? After all, Jesus taught that if we take care of the things of the Kingdom the Father will take care of our needs.
How quick we forget the promises of our God. How quick we revert to our own strength, our own desires, our own will. How quick we return to living in the world of “What you see is what you get”. We may say that we worship the unseen Creator of all things but we act as if he does not exist. We really are no better than the down trodden Israelites; in fact we are worse.
When Moses and Aaron first came to the elders they were so thankful that God cared they dropped to their knees and began to worship:
Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, and Aaron told them everything the LORD had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, and they believed. And when they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped. (Exodus 4:29-31)
Did you notice the part where it says “they believed”. It did not last long. As soon as Moses and Aaron delivered the message to Pharaoh and Pharaoh reacted by pulling the straw from the Israelites, the people began to react differently to Moses and Aaron. Perhaps they had been looking for quick results. They could not possibly comprehend what God was doing. They reacted with the mentality of “What you see is what you get”:
The Israelite foremen realized they were in trouble when they were told, "You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day." When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, "May the LORD look upon you and judge you! You have made us a stench to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us." (Exodus 5:19-21)
Their reaction was enough to discourage Moses who went out and asked God what was up:
Moses returned to the LORD and said, "O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all." (Exodus 5:22-23)
This is pre-plague Moses. His faith and trust has not yet developed, but it will. His resolve with God is not yet there, but it will come. First he has to face the fears and doubts of the people. What I find amazing in this is that God actually took Moses into his counsel and told him what he was doing. He had not yet truly revealed himself to mankind but he was about to in a spectacular way, for the benefit of his people. Knowing this now Moses went back to the people and they responded as we might imagine:
Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage. (Exodus 6:9)
It is hard to compare ourselves to this young nation because they were at a great disadvantage. They had not heard from God for generations; they were enslaved; they had no personal involvement with God. We however have had centuries of involvement with God. We have the stories, the eye witness accounts, the recording of miracles, signs, wonders. We have God’s written Word, his personal testimony. We have the Holy Spirit. We know God’s character and we know how he often works. Yet, we still exist within the mentality of “What you see is what you get”.
Oh, I know what we say but I also know that what we say does not match what we do. We say that we trust God. We say that we believe his promises. We say that we live by faith as we have been instructed to do. We say we do not belong to this place but to the place prepared for us. We say lots of wonderful things that sound great and match the vocabulary of the Bible. So why do we use credit cards when we run out of cash? Why do we put such an emphasis on “things of the world” instead of the things of the Kingdom? Why are we so “enslaved” to this place and ourselves when Jesus has set us free from all things that would keep us in bondage?
If we truly want to be renewed as we have said we want to be; if we truly want to serve him like we say we do; if we truly want to live the life Jesus called us to, we need to be honest before our God. Just like the desperate father who sought help from Jesus for his son, we need to cry out to God, “We believe! Help our unbelief.”
In the quietness of our spirit we need to gently whisper in the presence of our God - O Lord, revive us again – and then prepare ourselves for what will follow.
"Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.' " (Exodus 6:6-8)
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." (John 14:1-4)