Unsure if I had missed what God said entirely or if it just wasn’t turning out the way I thought it would or should, I knew one thing. The situation was an utter mess. Defeated and embarrassed, I tried to clean up the aftermath. Keyword: I. What I should have done is slowed down and studied the story of Moses.
In Exodus 3:10, God gave Moses the first step He wanted Moses to take; a small step in light of all he didn’t know would be coming.
“Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”
As Moses listened to God’s words, I’m guessing his greatest fears began to unfold. I picture a man, staring at a bush on fire, shocked in unbelief.
Wait … what did you say?
Yet in spite of any inner turmoil, Moses stepped out and obeyed and that is when it happened.
Not only did Pharaoh say no way to the Lord’s command, but his harsh treatment of the Israelites increased. Are you serious, God? That is how I would have worded my reaction. The Bible says, “Moses returns to God saying, “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)
Ah, Moses. I get you! Maybe you do too! You also have said, “Lord, this is what I get for taking that leap of faith? This situation … me … it is all worse than it was before I obeyed you!”
God goes on to respond to Moses’ complaint, “… Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.” God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord.” (Exodus 6:1-2)
I am the Lord. Plain and simple truth. God goes on to tell Moses many other plain and simple truths:
I will bring you out.
I will free you.
I will redeem you.
I will take you as my own.
I will be your God.
After this encouraging conversation with God, after all that God said He would do, things didn’t immediately get better for Moses. In fact, the lives of the people actually got worse. Much worse. But the current situation wasn’t the driving force of their future. God and His promises were. God said I am. Period. No matter how bad the circumstances got – and they were about to get absolutely horrible – nothing changed about who God was and what His promises were.
God has given me promises and you too! Like Moses and the Israelites, for a season, life absolutely may get worse before gets better. Sometimes worse is required to get a situation to better. But no matter how bad the circumstances, it doesn’t change a thing in God’s kingdom. Sometimes, like the account in Exodus, our situation gets worse before it gets better because God is setting the stage for His power to get the most exposure! For His glory to be seen the greatest. For Moses and the entire Israelite tribe, that day came when the million-plus Israelites walked out of Egypt, loaded down with the wealth of that nation in their bags! (Exodus 12:36)
So, Lord, when my circumstances seem to get worse rather than better, I’ll remember your faithfulness in Egypt and I will trust: You will do it in my life as well!