Moses and His Really Bad Day

Exodus 5-6

“The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement.

 I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me’, or

 ‘Help me.”

-Billy Graham

God had spoken into the obscurity of a shepherd’s life and gave Moses a monumental call, “…the cry of the children of Israel comes unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now, therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.”. 

There is a great sense of excitement and anticipation that goes into a new journey following God. He equips you, provides and opens doors of opportunity you never thought were possible. Your heart races as you wait to see God’s plan unfold. Can you imagine the day Moses stood before Pharaoh and with the power of the Almighty God behind him, says, “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, let my people go!”. 

There the ultimatum had been thrown down like the spear of a mighty warrior. Surely Pharaoh would crumble and fall to his feet in fear of God. How could he not obey the words of the All-Powerful God of the universe? Moses stood firmly waiting for the answer he had told the Israelite elders was coming, “You are free.” But faith is not grown in the easy success or easy answers.

“Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.” Unexpectantly, Pharaoh laughs at Moses and mocks the true and living God. You can almost hear Moses’ mouth drop open, as he begins to think, “I did hear God right. Am I in the right country, with the right Pharaoh?”

Then without God’s directing Moses begins to play “Let’s Make a Deal” with Pharaoh. “…let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God…”. Pharaoh yelled back, “You think the people need rest?” In defiance Pharaoh “commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall law upon them; ye shall no diminish out thereof: for they be idle; therefore, they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.” The children of Israel couldn’t gather the straw and make the brick that the Egyptians required each day. The taskmasters beat the leaders of Israelites for not meeting their quota and made sure the slaves knew it was all Moses’ fault. 

Moses’ day of excitement and anticipation had quickly turned into his “really bad day.” What was God thinking? The people he came to rescue, now hated Moses. And Pharaoh said, “NO WAY !”

 It is here that God reminds Moses that the “call” was not about Moses but about God. “And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. “YHWH or Jehovah means, “covenant-keeping name.” God wanted to remind Moses that God “keeps his promises.” If you look at Exodus 6: 1-8, you will see God says, “I will” seven times. 

Just because Moses had a bad day, it didn’t mean that God was not going to keep His promise. But it would be in His timing: His way. And for His glory. 

When Satan tries to crush your excitement and anticipation in following Jesus, remember the rest of Moses’ story. Bad days don’t change God’s character, and bad days shouldn’t change your faith in the promise-keeping God.