Things are not going as planned, Lord! But Whose plan was in question? Again, as readers, we have the advantage of knowing what is coming. But Pharaoh certainly did not. The foremen of the sons of Israel did not. Even Moses, who had received the plan, his marching orders, straight from the mouth of the LORD, did not.
The plain fact is they all misunderstood, not only what the LORD was doing, but the LORD Himself.
Consider Him, Misunderstood
“But Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and besides, I will not let Israel go,’” (5:2).
1). Pharaoh misunderstood the LORD in his unbelief. Unbelief does not eliminate truth. Refusing to believe oxygen is required for life does not eradicate its necessity; remove the oxygen and truth will demonstrate itself. The LORD was getting ready to demonstrate Himself to Pharaoh. Pharaoh would soon meet Truth; there would be no denying Who He was and the costly ramification of refusing to obey.
“The foremen of the sons of Israel saw that they were in trouble because they were told, ‘You must not reduce your daily amount of bricks.’ 20 When they left Pharaoh’s presence, they met Moses and Aaron as they were waiting for them. 21 They said to them, ‘May the Lord look upon you and judge you, for you have made us odious in Pharaoh’s sight and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us,’” (5:19-21).
2). The foremen of the sons of Israel misunderstood the LORD as they assessed their trouble. They equated trouble as the work of men, namely Moses and Aaron.
“Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, why have You brought harm to this people? Why did You ever send me? 23 Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done harm to this people, and You have not delivered Your people at all,’” (5:22-23).
3). Moses misunderstood the LORD because he forgot what the LORD had said. Although Moses had heard the LORD speak, had heard His intentions from the outset, in the throes of the difficulties, he forgot the LORD’s very words. “But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion. 20 So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go. 21 I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed,” (Exodus 3:19-21).
How are we to respond to Him, Misunderstood?
1). Begin by asking, “Do I know Him?” Take some time to pray through the following Scriptures. The place of understanding begins with knowing the LORD through faith, believing His Son for His gift of eternal life.
- “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day,” (John 6:40).
- “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,'” (John 14:6).
- “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent,” (John 17:3).
- “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son,” (1 John 5:11).
- “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life,” (1 John 5:20).
(If you find yourself with questions about eternal life, please seek counsel from a pastor; or you can email me at the Planting Place: email@example.com.)
2). When we experience trouble, let us not rush to assume it is man’s doing. What if the foremen had stopped to ask the LORD why all this was happening? Would they have rushed to ask the LORD to judge? When we don’t understand our circumstances, let us run in faith to the One Who is Sovereign and ask that we grow in our understanding of Him; He promises to answer.
- “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened,” (Matthew 7:7-8).
3.) When we are called to move out in obedience, we can be sure there will be obstacles. God demonstrates His power through the seemingly insurmountable hurdles to accomplish His will. Though we will certainly not understand every circumstance, we can grow in our understanding of God’s nature and will.
Because our memory is short, we must be deliberate to recall His intentions as revealed in His Word. As we meet Him daily in the pages of Scriptures and in prayer, let us rely on His Holy Spirit to teach and remind us, and to enable us to walk in faith in His promise of provision.
- “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you,” (John 14:26).
Oh Father, LORD God, root our faith in understanding, that we would bear the fruit of radical love and passionate obedience.