Word of Encouragement (06/21/2022)
Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.’” (Exod. 4:1)
Moses said this after the LORD told him what His name was, why He was sending him back to Egypt, and how He would bring the people of Israel out of Egypt. This was done in a long speech, spanning 9 verses (3:14-22). But Moses managed to come up with another excuse. How infuriating it must have been to God to hear these words of Moses! Some of you know what that feels like. You do your best to explain something in the nicest and best way possible to someone and, after all that, the person comes back and acts like he didn’t hear anything you said. It’s amazing how patient God continued to be with Moses.
But let’s give Moses the benefit of the doubt and say that he was saying this because he genuinely wanted to be well-prepared for his mission. He could see that the people would have a ton of questions for him. Why should they believe anything he had to say, especially after he had been gone for such a long time? What if he were a false prophet and listening to him would cause a worse problem for them? It is one thing to believe God’s message; it is another to be so gullible as to believe in everything.
Whatever his motivation, this was a valid question and the LORD treated it as such. So, God responded to it by giving Moses a couple of signs. If the Israelites would question Moses’ authority, these signs would show that Moses was indeed sent by God and his message to them came from God. This is important to remember the purpose of these signs: it was not to make Moses’ life easier or more comfortable; it was to validate Moses’ identity as God’s messenger.
But in this response to God, Moses went further than simply asking a legitimate question. He was making a definitive statement about what would happen if he should go back to his people. Do you see the ridiculousness of what was happening here? Here is Moses, a finite creature with an infinitesimally small amount of knowledge in comparison to God’s infinite knowledge. And he was telling the sovereign God, who declares the end from the beginning, what would happen in the future, and he was sure of it.
How easy it is to make this mistake! We assess the situation with our limited knowledge, and, if we reach a conclusion, we mistake it to be what is true and real. We do this with people and their intentions, too. We fail to realize that our perception of something is most likely not what it actually is. Our field of vision (both literally and metaphorically) is narrow; we don’t have a 360-degree view of things, not to mention the bird’s eye view, the X-ray view, and the ultrasound image (again, both literally and metaphorically). How foolish it is to think that the little sliver of view we have of things and people is the entire reality! I’m not saying that we should not do our best to assess the situation according to all the available data. But we must have the humility to acknowledge that our conclusion is still an interpretation, not the entire truth.
Do we doubt God’s love because of what is happening in our lives—actually, because of our limited and possibly faulty interpretation of what is going on? Do we allow fear to grip us and paralyze us (against God’s assurances and promises) because of what we think will happen? And do we complain to God about the thing that we are imagining in our minds even though they have not happened yet? Let us choose to trust in our omniscient and omnipotent God, who loves us and will not do anything that will harm us. He, who loved us enough to sacrifice His Son, can never harm us. Humble yourself before God and wait patiently till God’s good and gracious will is worked out in its due course!