Breath Prayer – Take 2-3 minutes today to pray a simple breath prayer. Get somewhere quiet and relaxing. Breathe in deeply, and then breathe out fully. As you breathe in, ask God to fill you with His presence, grace, love, peace, etc. Consider using the list of spiritual fruit in Galatians 5:22-23. As you breathe out, offer to God the things you need Him to take from you – sin, doubt, shame, anxiety, fear, etc. Pray this way for just a few minutes, trusting God to work, and then begin reading today’s Scripture.
A Stubborn Faith -- Moses Meets Pharaoh
by Tom Richards
As I looked at today’s reading and some of the verses that come before and after Exodus 5:1-5, I was impressed by Moses’ and Aaron’s “stubborn faith”. Moses encountered God in the burning bush in Exodus 3 and was told of his mission to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites to freedom. In Exodus 3:10 God says “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” Moses was reluctant to accept this assignment, to say the least. However, he finally obeys God.
As Moses is preparing to go to Egypt, God makes an interesting statement in Exodus 4:21 “The Lord said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.” That had to be hard to hear for Moses, but with the support of Aaron, he moves forward – returning to Egypt, addressing the Israelites and sharing God’s plan, and then to Pharaoh as we see today.
Big surprise (Not!), Pharaoh refuses to let the Israelites go! In fact, he is pretty emphatic about this as we read in Exodus 5:2 “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.”
As the story develops, we see Moses and Aaron return to Pharaoh repeatedly until finally the Jews are freed to leave Egypt and head to the Promised Land.
Moses was reluctant, but he was ultimately obedient to God’s calling. However, that did not mean things went smoothly for him. In fact, things were anything but smooth. Yet, with God’s help, Moses (and Aaron) remained faithful and continued to follow His command regarding the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt.
I am guilty of thinking that if you do the right things then you get the results you want. If you are obedient to God’s commands, things will go smoothly with your health, finances, relationships. Unfortunately, that is not always true (remember “But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go”!). Yet, like Moses, we are called to have a “stubborn faith” because we have a “stubborn God” who pursues us as his children and desires nothing more than to lead us out of slavery to the Promised Land.
Thank you Father, for the faith of Moses (and Aaron), for the fact that they were human and had feelings that many of us have had, and yet demonstrated a “stubborn faith” in you. Help us demonstrate that same kind of faith, even when --- or perhaps especially when things do not go “smoothly”.