When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. (Exodus 4:21).
So Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all." (Exodus 5:22-23)
I love it that in chapter four, God explicitly tells Moses that He will harden Pharaoh's heart so that he will not let the people go. In the very next chapter, Moses is down in Egypt facing a hard hearted Pharaoh who will not let the people go, and he's upset. God gave Moses the heads up on what was about to take place, and yet by the end of chapter five Moses seems shocked that God has not yet delivered the people.
I wonder how many times we have done something similar? Did not Paul tell Timothy that those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution? (2 Tim. 3:12). Did Paul not also say that we will be heirs of Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him? (Rom. 8:17). So why is it that when we suffer and are slandered, we act like this isn't supposed to happening and take it as a sign of God's abandonment? Did not Peter say "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you" (1 Peter 4:12).
Pastors abandon their posts over things like this. People flee from church to church over things like this. We nod in hearty agreement when we hear the above verses read, and then we whine like babies when it comes to pass. I'm guilty! I confess it! I'm a whiney baby like everyone else. I take great comfort in the fact that God is merciful to us in our weakness. He knows that hearing of a trial and bearing up under a trial are different things. I am tremendously happy that the Lord had patience with Moses and continued to use him. Persevere, brothers and sisters! The Lord said there'd be days like this, and He is faithful to do all that He has promised through us for His glory. "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" (Gal. 6:9). Amen.
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