Then Moses went back to The Lord. “Lord,” he protested, “How can you mistreat your own people like this? Why did you ever send me if you were going to do this to them? Ever since I gave Pharaoh your message, he has only been more and more brutal to them, and you have not delivered them at all!”
God had promised Moses that he would be used to deliver Israel from their bondage to the Egyptians. I’m sure he thought it would only take one meeting with Pharaoh, maybe with a brief “staff turns into snake” demonstration, and the next day the people would be leaving Egypt for their new home.
But that’s not the way it turned out.
Pharaoh’s response was to become increasingly cruel to the Israelites, forcing them to produce the same number of bricks but without providing them with straw. As a result, they accusing Moses of making them “a stench” in Pharaoh’s nostrils. Moses, in turn, goes to God and essentially asks, “Why?” Why isn’t God keeping His promise the way Moses thought He would? Why are things worse for God’s people now than they were before? Why is all of this happening???
If we’re honest, we’re also pretty quick to ask these questions when God doesn’t act when and how we expect Him to act. Right? I know I have.
God responds to Moses:
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”
“Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. ‘I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
Moses and the Israelites were angry and confused because their perspective was wrong. They were viewing their situation only in terms of how if affected them. They forgot that fundamentally it wasn’t about them, it was about God’s glory. God was orchestrating events so that He could demonstrate His power to both the Egyptians and the Israelites; so that He would be glorified and everyone would know that it was Him who had delivered Israel.
When we’re in the midst of a trial we’re often guilty of having the wrong perspective. We focus on how we’re being affected, on our own pain and suffering. We need to shift our focus and look for how God can be glorified in the situation, either by sustaining us through it or delivering us from it. In any case, fundamentally it’s not about us. It’s about God and His glory being demonstrated in the situation..