As a recommendation from a friend for a good book on leadership, I recently began reading through Exodus--the account of God helping Moses lead the people of Israel out from the bondage of slavery in Egypt and into their own land. I have read this book several times, but as is common when I read the Bible, new fresh things stood out to me. One such thing can be found in chapter 6, verses 6-13.
You can read it HERE, but in this section, the Lord asks Moses to share a beautiful promise with the Israelites.God promises to deliver them from the slavery of the Egyptians, to redeem them with wondrous acts, to bring them to a land of their very own, and best of all, He promises to take them as HIS people--to be with them as their mighty and loving Lord.After Moses shares this wonderful message, you would imagine the people would be encouraged, hopeful, and ready to witness God’s mighty hand bring them out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.But, their response is not so.Verse 13 states, “...but they did not listen to Moses because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.”
This verse made me sad.Here the people are being given an amazing promise from God--the only one who can actually follow through on such a promise.Yet, their spirits are so broken and hopeless that they can’t even bring themselves to listen, trust, or believe that their mighty God will save them.I then realized that I do this too.Sometimes there are situations in my life or the lives of my friends that seem hopeless.When I experience them or hear of them, my heart is downtrodden. I look to God’s promises for encouragement and strength to move forward, but I have trouble really believing them.I don’t see how His plans could be good or even how they might work out for good (Romans 8:28).I’m unsure if He really hears our cries and will deliver us out of our troubles (Psalm 34:17).I doubt His faithfulness.
But, what encourages me about this verse is that even though the Israelites were so broken that they couldn’t hope in or even listen to God’s promises for them, God remained faithful to follow through on what He said.In Joshua 21:45, as the Israelites stand free in the land God had promised them, they recount, “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”Their distrust in what God said did not keep Him from delivering them from the harsh hand of the Egyptians and bringing them into a land of their own.In the same way, I know that even when I refuse to listen or feel so broken that I can’t trust in God’s ways, He will be faithful to make good on all his beautiful promises.All shall come to pass!Praise God that it doesn’t rely on me.Praise God that even when “we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).
Are there areas in your life where you distrust God and how He is working things out, or areas where you feel so broken you don’t even care to listen to the good promises He has for you?As we walk through these places, may He give us the strength to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). For, “the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6).