March 17, 2023
WORSE BEFORE BETTER
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pay close attention to this. I will make you seem like God to Pharaoh, and your brother, Aaron, will be your prophet. Tell Aaron everything I command you, and Aaron must command Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave his country. But I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. Even then Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you. So I will bring down my fist on Egypt. Then I will rescue my forces—my people, the Israelites—from the land of Egypt with great acts of judgment. When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”
Exodus 7:1-5 NLT
God first spoke to Moses at a burning bush and Moses reluctantly obeyed and made the trip to Egypt to speak to Pharaoh and the children of Israel. Immediately things got worse for the children of Israel as Pharaoh gets mad and makes them produce bricks without providing straw. The Israelites get mad at Moses because he has caused Pharaoh to get mad and take his anger out on them. Now that things are looking worse God comes to reassure Moses of His plan to set His people free. After the initial set-back Moses is probably needing assurance and a reminder of God’s plan. It is interesting that God does not give Moses a timeline of how long this is going to take. If Moses was like me, I would have assumed that God would prepare Pharaoh in advance. Then I’d walk in before Pharaoh, and he would say yes to my request. But God tried to prepare Moses that the deliverance was going to be a process. God wanted Moses to know it was going to get worse before it got better. There was going to be tough times between the promise and the fulfillment. Moses had to keep his focus on the victory that was coming. Bible scholars speculate the various plagues lasted somewhere between two to three months. Some say it was longer. We don’t know for sure, but everyone agrees there was a length of time that was at least forty days. While that may seem like a short period of time in the long scheme of life, I’m sure that was a crazy time for the children of Israel. Chaos was reigning in the land. There was nothing that seemed to go right. When God wants to do a work in our lives, He often starts by giving us a dream or promise. This dream propels our faith to believe for something better. Rarely does God show us the timeline of how long this dream is going to take to come to fulfillment. Dreams often don’t come with dates. Dreams also rarely show us the difficulty of the process. Dreams focus on the result, not the path to get there. Most often we must walk by faith and figure out the path as we live in obedience to God. Once we begin the process to the dream, we often encounter pain and discomfort. Sometimes we even have setbacks and failures on the road to our dreams. Many people give up on their dreams as soon as pain shows up. They decide the pain is too much. They decide it must not be God’s dream because it is too hard. But the truth is that anything God calls us to will involve periods of pain and disappointment. If you can’t endure the pain, you can’t enjoy the victory.
Holy Spirit I ask for Your help so that I can clearly see God’s plan and purpose for my life. I ask You to help me take the right faith steps to see Your kingdom come and will done in my life. Help me to be willing to endure the momentary pain to achieve Your victory in my life.
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