Long Obedience

Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, “Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.”’ But Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice? I do not know the LORD, and I will not let Israel go… Why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens…’ The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, ‘You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, “Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.” Let heavier work be laid on the men…’ And the foremen, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over [the people of Israel], were beaten and were asked, ‘Why have you not done all your task of making bricks today and yesterday, as in the past?’

The foremen saw that they were in trouble; and they said to [Moses and Aaron], ‘The LORD look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.’ Then Moses turned to the LORD and said, ‘O LORD, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.’ But the LORD said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand… he will drive them out of his land. I am the LORD.'” Exodus 5:1-2,4,6-9,14,19-23; 6:1-2

Isn’t God true to His word? Aren’t there blessings in obedience? When Moses finally approached Pharaoh, bravely armed with God’s promise, all he met was trouble, for himself and his people. This was not how he thought things would go. God lifted his chin and reminded him Who He was, that He had made himself known to the patriarchs, He had established His covenant, He had heard Israel’s groaning, and He would bring them out, deliver and redeem and plant them in their land. While His timing and circumstances may not be what Moses would choose, He was still fully “on it,” His word would not fail. (Exodus 6:2-8)

Pathway, W Coast NZ

Obedience does not guarantee freedom from hardship. Sometimes God uses ‘slow’ to sharpen our vision, deepen our knowledge of Him, increase our expectation. His promises still hold, but His ways are higher than ours– He has more to teach than easy resolution. Would we trade quick answers for the sanctifying lessons of long obedience, the spiritual fruit of patience learned, the blessings of increased prayer, the broader understanding of God’s sovereign ways and character, the sweeter fellowship with His Body when unified in anticipation and growing faith? (Isaiah 55:8-9; Galatians 5:22; James 5:16)

Lord, keep me persevering in long obedience, trusting You to be Who You are, and to do all You have promised. Have Your way with me along the way, that You be exalted.


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