Moses and Aaron went, stood before the most powerful man on the planet, and boldly delivered the straightforward message from the God of Israel, “Let my people go” (Exo 5:1).
Pharaoh’s response? “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go” (5:2). To prove his point, that same day, Pharaoh commanded his taskmasters, “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 … Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.” (5:7-9).
The workload got heavier, the slavery more cruel, and Moses–the supposed savior–got blamed by the very people he’d come to deliver.
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.” (5:22-23)
Despair. Doubt. Disillusionment.
When things don’t go the way we thought they would, it’s easy to despair, to doubt ourselves, and to blame God. I put myself on the line, stepped out in faith, and the outcome I anticipated turns out to be a door slammed in my face? Where were you, God? Why did you do this? Don’t you see what’s happening? Is this what you wanted? I tried to do the right thing, but you haven’t come through at all! Exodus 5 is dripping with despair, doubt, and disillusionment.
But it also stands as a timeless teaching moment and a relevant reminder. Just because God hasn’t, doesn’t mean he won’t. His timing may not line up with our expectations, but that doesn’t mean his will isn’t right on time. When we can’t see, he can. When we don’t know, he does. When we’re ready to throw in the towel and declare everything a lost cause, he very well may just be getting started.
But the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see … 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…” (6:1, 6-7)
Just because he hasn’t, doesn’t mean he won’t. Just because you think he’s late, doesn’t mean he’s not right on time. Just because we’re frustrated, doesn’t mean he is. Just because I don’t understand, doesn’t mean he’s not on the verge of saying and showing, “Now you shall see.”