Disappointment with God

As I write this post, I’ve just finished reading Exodus 5 for my quiet time. It’s one of my favorite chapters. Moses has finally accepted his calling to confront Pharaoh on God’s behalf. It was a gutsy decision on his part. He didn’t really know at first if he could trust God to do it. After finally stirring himself up to take this risk because God asks him to, he and Aaron go to talk to Pharaoh and what happens? Everything gets worse. Not only does Pharaoh not let Israel go, he actually increases their labor. The Israelites angrily tell Moses,

May the LORD look upon you and judge you, for you have made us odious in Pharaoh’s sight and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.

Moses goes back to God and asks plaintively

O Lord, why have You brought harm to this people? Why did You ever send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done harm to this people, and You have not delivered Your people at all.

I always find this poignant. Especially that final line: … and You have not delivered Your people at all. 

Tonight I was thinking how easy it is for us to feel let down by God when we have made some effort to obey or trust Him, and things haven’t gone as we expected.

Based on what I think was the leading of the Holy Spirit, I spent some time mentally retracing my decisions and desires over the last few months. I made a short list of about 10 things in my life I feel the same way as Moses about. Then I went through each one and prayed Moses’ prayer back to God for my own situation.

I don’t think the point was that God wanted me to rehearse complaining to Him. Instead, I think it made me more aware of my tendency toward self-pity. Also, oddly, I felt as though God was drawing closer to me through the exercise.

Moses was wrong, of course, in thinking God had let him down, just as I am wrong when I feel let down by God. God was still going to deliver His people; He just hadn’t delivered them yet. The battle between Jehovah and Pharaoh was only beginning. Our timetable and God’s are very different.

I sensed God reconfirming His desire that I pour out my heart to Him. I ended my quiet time by laying before Him once again a specific request I’d had, one I’d felt disappointed in up until then.

Then I remembered the verses at the end of the Psalm we looked at yesterday in Sunday School:

Unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living … !
Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD. (Ps 27:13-14)

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