S211P4 – Lessons from captivity: glory to God above all

Exo. 4:21-23

The Lord said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your hand, but I will harden his heart and make him stubborn so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord , “Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, ‘Let My son go so that he may serve Me’; and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.” ’ ”

When God called her to take the gospel to a people in bondage in a foreign land, she eagerly accepted.  She knew that she would need favor in places of authority, and she believed that God would clear that way for her.  What she ended up encountering was one setback after another. Doors closed where she thought they would open, and she began to question whether she was called at all.  She expected God to simply direct those in positions of influence to open the way.  Instead, they appeared to make a concerted effort to keep her at bay.  What had once seemed improbable began to look impossible.  What she did not know at the time was that this opposition would be necessary so that God could be glorified even more once she finally broke through to bring the message of freedom to that place.

When seeking understanding of how God allows things to unfold in our lives, we must always remember that his glory is paramount.  When God sent Moses to go before Pharaoh, He told him that the king would not give in. Pharaoh’s heart was hard toward God, and it was his will to defy the Lord.  When God caused that will to strengthen, it appeared that He was acting in opposition to the very thing He called Moses to do.  Moses would approach the king time and again, and the people would be denied their freedom over and over.  It was not once and done; this took time and persistence.  We might question this process if we focus solely on God’s people obtaining their freedom.  However, if we understand that the ultimate end of all this was for God to be glorified, then we can begin to see why this prolonged battle with Pharaoh was necessary.  It was for God to assert his rightful place above that earthly king.

It often will be the case that God calls us to things that end up working out in a manner we never would have chosen. If God calls you to occupy a certain office, you might expect him to make that happen in an instant.  While He could do that and bring himself glory, it also could be that He would receive even greater glory by making that happen a different way.  That way might take longer and make us uncomfortable and appear to be anything other than what we expect, but we need to remember the goal. In all of this, our aim should be and God’s aim always is to bring him the glory He deserves.  Father, give us the wisdom in all things to consider first how You will be glorified and to seek that which will bring You the greatest glory.