Updated: Dec 20, 2021
When the Lord was about to deliver the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt, He commanded Moses to tell the Israelites the good news. Not only was he going to deliver them from their cruel slavery, but He had a beautiful piece of land set aside for them where they could be free and could live comfortably. When the Lord was finished telling him these things, Moses announced this good news to the Israelites.
But then we read about their reaction in Exodus 6:9. “Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage.”
The Israelites did not hear what Moses was telling them because they had no hope. They suffered under various Pharaoh’s for four centuries and were treated harshly by their slave masters. Why would the Egyptians let them go? Egypt was a world power, heavily armed and well-trained in warfare. How could a bunch of slaves ever fight for their freedom and succeed? After so many years of bondage, they had lost their faith in God and they found it impossible to trust in Him. They were tired of waiting for His intervention. God promised to deliver them from Pharaoh’s firm grasp and bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey, but they could not even listen when Moses brought an encouraging word from the Lord.
Of course, God had not forgotten them and had already declared their freedom. He was far more powerful than Egypt’s army and far wiser than Pharaoh. He was fully capable of setting them free. All that the Israelites needed to do was to put their trust in the Lord. But they could not see past their present circumstances.
We are tempted to criticize the Israelites for failing to trust in the Lord, but how often do we react in the same way? How often do we feel handcuffed by circumstances and become prisoners to our fears? The difficulties facing us can have such a firm grip on us that we find it difficult to see with the eyes of faith. All of us will face similar challenges, so it is important that we learn a lesson from the Israelites. That being, we cannot allow circumstances to dominate us. No matter how hopeless the situation might seem, we need to take God at His Word. We cannot tire of calling out to Him day and night. We can never fall for the lie that He has forsaken us. We must hold on tight to His Word with listening ears and attentive hearts.
These trials afford us the opportunity to deepen our relationship with God, assuring that we have Him as our number one priority. He is greater than any problem we face and He understands what we are going through. In every situation – no matter how discouraging – let’s put our trust in Him. God is still able to part the Red Sea; allow Him the opportunity to part yours.