Gleanings of Wheat: A Blog dedicated to cooking, kids, and Christ

Monday, January 28, 2008

Exodus 1-3 Reflections

Joyful Afflictions
But the more they afflicted them,the more they multiplied and grew...(Exodus 1:12)

The Israelites are under the great oppression of the Egyptians and are fruitful, the Egyptians see the threat that could be posed by this mighty nation and seeks to crush their spirit, subdue their desires, and destroy their sons in order that the Israelites might never rise up against Egypt. And despite their best efforts the Israelites just keep going. They are crushed, yet not destroyed. In fact they just keep growing. There is no mention of the Israelites actually trying to rise up and escape their circumstances, rather we see them crying out to God (vs 2:23).

And so it is for the Christian. It is in times of affliction, in times of great distress that we find ourselves growing. And this growth is not done in our own efforts, but in submitting to the will of God for us at that moment. Though we long for deliverance, though we often wish we were not going through such times, it is after we are delivered that we can cry out with joy for God's wisdom in bringing us through it the long way. The tough times cause us to treasure God's deliverance all the more.

Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word. Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments. Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes. (Psalm 119:65-68)

A Humble Spirit
And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. (Exodus 3:11-12)

The first time I read these verses I sort of chuckled when Moses said "Who am I?" After all, was not this the same Moses who was brought up as an Egyptian in the house of the Pharaoh? Who better than one who knows the customs? But then I stopped and reread it and was profoundly struck by the humility shown in Moses. Though he was raised in Pharaoh's home, he seemed to already have grasped what a superior God he stood before. In that moment he showed that no matter how great our past, or how bad (Moses did, after all, flee Egypt for murdering an Egyptian) it was when God calls us to do something it is in His strength that we shall do the work and not our own. We could be ruler of the land, or a beggar on the street, and if God calls us we can be sure He will work in us to will and to do His good pleasure.