“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land. I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the people of Israel, “I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD.”‘ Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.” Exodus 6:1-9
I will. I am. I appeared. I established. I have heard. I have remembered. I am the LORD. I will bring you out. I will deliver. I will redeem. I will take you to be My people and I will be your God. I am the LORD. I will bring. I will give. I am the LORD. Promise upon promise from the great I AM, the covenant God who made, called, and loved His people, were not enough to persuade them to believe and hope, because theirs was a terrible lot. The heavy misery of their oppression had broken their spirits to where no balm of benevolent promise could heal.
We tend to criticize with disbelief when observing with hindsight. Watching from up high gives a vantage point that those in the crush do not have, and it is easy to judge and referee when we have the big picture. The Israelites were so weighed down with their cruel circumstances they could not see above them. Their ears were too stopped with groaning and cries of complaint to hear the melody of promise, their vision so overwhelmed with the impossible task before them they could focus on nothing else.
And we can do the same. Hard responsibilities, ornery colleagues, physical pain, the burden of grief, can all consume our energy and deplete our ability to hear and welcome God’s good promises to us. In every circumstance, He is compassionate, enough, and working good, but we can get choked by despair and fail to take the hope He offers. (Psalm 103:8-14; Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 4:19; 1 Peter 5:10)
Oh Father, no matter my circumstances, keep me clinging to Your I ams and I wills. You are worthy to be trusted and praised.