S57P5 – Lessons from captivity: reminders of who God is
Then God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by My name, Lord, I did not make Myself known to them. I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, whom the Egyptians have enslaved, and I have remembered My covenant.”
We all experience times when we forget simple truths. One man had spent a rather long period suffering through a thankless and stressful job. His cries to the Lord for deliverance from that place were daily. Sometimes they were even hourly. He just could not discern what good thing was being accomplished by his being there when he was so miserable and desired to do so much else. He had conversations with people in which he said it was clear that God was neither listening to his prayers nor doing anything to relieve him. He even brought these accusations to God himself. He had decided to stop believing that the Lord always hears us and works things for our good. In those times, God was always faithful to remind him that could not be further from the truth, whether gently or sternly.
Life’s circumstances sometimes have a way of momentarily changing our minds about things we know to be absolutely true. Those who believe in God and trust in his word know that He will never leave us or forsake us. They also know that faith is not bound by that which we see and experience. Today’s passage follows the cries of Moses in which he accuses God of pretty much abandoning his people. They were oppressed, and He had not stepped in yet to deliver them. It is the flawed idea that until we see the result, no work has been done. There also is a component of pride that suggests that God must answer for himself because we are not pleased or satisfied with a circumstance. When we begin to think and behave like this, the Lord is right and just to remind us of who He is.
God’s reminder to Moses here is rather gentle. The Lord reassures him that his promises and his people have not been forgotten. We also see in scripture instances in which God’s reminder is certainly more assertive and severe [Job 40:6-14]. Would we not be better served by seeking understanding with humility? Would God not be better served if we search what we know about him to gain insight into our circumstances instead of letting our circumstances drive what we believe about him? Perhaps He would not need to remind us of who He is if we simply took the time to regularly remind ourselves and not let go of those truths. Father, make us people who daily rest and meditate in the truths we know about You, accepting them as unconditional regardless of what we see and experience.