And Then It Got Worse

 You're pumped!

You've heard from God!

The vision has come and you see your destiny. 
You're called. 
You're chosen. 
God is with you and you're ready to go.

Moses knew that feeling. God had found him hiding in the desert, called to him from the bush that didn't burn up, and turned his shepherd's staff into the Rod of God. And if the miracles weren't enough, God even gave him an assistant. No excuses, Moses. Get to it!

So he did. At the end of Exodus 4, he had gone back to Egypt, gathered the elders of his people, told them what was going on, and they caught the excitement. They were getting out of here! God was gonna do something awesome. They cheered, partied, and worshiped like it was 1999. If this had been a movie, the music would have swelled and the camera would have pulled back into a beautiful sunset.

Brimming with power, authority, and confidence, Moses and Aaron strode into Pharaoh's courtroom and demanded that he knock off the nonsense. I can imagine Moses' sly nod to his brother as he twirled the holy staff. Watch this! 

The next thing they knew, they were outside the slammed doors of the palace with the sound of a loud "NO!"  still ringing in their ears. Had they just been thrown out? What was that about? What about...What about all those promises from God?

Have you been there?

You're in good company. If you've followed God for any length of time, you will have noticed that He rarely does things the way we think He will. You cannot second-guess God. His plans are far beyond the scope of our plans, so it's pointless to try to figure them out ahead of time. 

Imagine the dilemma as Moses went back to the eager Israelites to confess that not only had Pharaoh not let them go, but everything was about to get worse. The king was going to increase their labor as a punishment for Moses' impertinence. 

I feel sorry for Moses. How shattering to think you know what God's gonna do and then He doesn't. But God's plan had far greater significance than that generation of Israelites could ever fathom. God is not always as concerned as we are about our tiny piece of the puzzle. He sees the big picture and His plans always work toward accomplishing it.

What if Moses had succeeded the first round? What if one request had Pharaoh quivering and he agreed to let them go without a fight? We would have never had the parting of the Red Sea, the 10 plagues, the plundering of the Egyptians, or the Passover. Already, God was setting the stage for the culmination of his final Passover 1500 years later.

What might God be doing in your situation? All you can see is your corner of the picture. Could it be that God's answer has eternal significance? Could it be that when you set out to obey Him and everything got worse, there is a good reason for it? What if Moses had given up after the first go-round with the Meanie-on-the-throne? What if he had decided he had misunderstood the Burning Bush and gone back to sheep-herding? The ramifications are too disastrous to consider.

What if some day we all say that you?


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