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The Cost of Glory

Updated: Jun 8, 2019

As I read Exodus 4 and 5 this morning, I became aware of how fickle we can be as humans. On one hand, we want the rewards of being a child of God but on the other hand, we don't want it to cost us anything. In these chapters, the Lord sent Moses to Egypt on an assignment that will ultimately lead to the freedom of His people and Moses shared with the elders what the Lord spoke.

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Exodus 4:31 tells us that when they heard these things, "the people believed, and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped."

Their immediate response to hearing that God remembered them, saw their troubles and had a plan to deliver them, was to worship Him.

Although the Israelites believed God and Moses for their pending freedom, doubt crept in when things didn't happen the way they thought it would. Moses and Aaron approached Pharaoh and spoke the words God gave them. Instead of improvement, the conditions were even worse for the Israelites. The work load became more impossible to complete and the beatings became more intense. Pharaoh surmised that if they had time to complain then they had too much time to waste. As a result of this increased punishment, the Israelites, who bowed their heads and praised God only a few verses ago, are now angry with Moses and with God.

The Israelite overseers realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.” When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, “May the Lord look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us. Exodus 5:19-21 NIV

Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.” Exodus 5:22-23 NIV

I can see myself in the Israelites and in Moses. There are many times that I have asked God to move in a situation, to turn it around, to make it better, to fix it, yet when He begins the process and it doesn't look the way I expected it to, doubt slides in. Like Moses, we ask God to show us His glory without consideration of what being able to see that glory will cost. In Exodus 33 when Moses asked to see God's glory, the Lord basically said, 'if I answer your prayer you will die!' Notice that Moses' prayer was for something good. He prayed to see God's glory. The Israelites prayed for freedom. None of these things are bad but as a result of these prayers, bad things could happen. I remember growing up in church, the older folks would say, 'don't pray for patience' because they knew that the only way to learn to be patient is to endure hard times.

I love how God responds to Moses after Moses approached Him in anger. He said, "NOW you shall see what I will do..." I believe that sometimes God allows things to get worse so that we could see the impossibilities but also because He has something greater in mind. The Israelite believed that God was interceding for them to receive a couple hours of freedom to pray but God was working this thing out for them to receive a lifetime of freedom. When we pray and approach God about our situations, His response is based on what He knows and not what we think we know.

I know that you've been praying and it just seems like things aren't improving. Maybe they are even getting worse. I hear the Lord saying, "NOW you shall see what I will do." Now that you've come to the end of yourself and done all that you could do, NOW He can do what He does and make the way for miracles to happen. Don't give up! Stand still and watch the Lord part the waters for you to simple walk across the thing that once looked like it would drown you.

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