Athlete, Be Aware of Resistance

Read Exodus 5 & 6

Pharaoh dismisses the LORD’s command through Moses out of hand (5:2).  He may feel threatened.  He may really believe that it is an excuse for laziness (5:17-18).  Either way, persecution increases when Moses and Aaron bring up the subject of God, relaying God’s command and their desire to go and worship.  God is encroaching on Pharaoh’s control and productivity, whether or not He is just being used as an excuse.

We do not like persecution or hardship and neither did the Israelites.  Of course, most of us have no idea how hard it was for the Israelites to live as slaves in Egypt.  Nevertheless, the same Israelites who had just “bowed down and worshiped” God for his concern for them (4:29-31) are surprised and angry and discouraged as soon as Pharaoh turns the screw tighter (5:21).  Moses doubts God’s goodness the moment God’s plan is met with resistance (5:22).  What is God’s immediate response?  He calls Moses back to trust in his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  He reminds Moses about their conversation, of how He had revealed his personal name to Moses (6:3-4).  He reiterates his concern for them (6:5), his plan to rescue them (6:6), and his desire to be their God (6:7).  The Israelites did not want to hear it (6:9) and Moses’ doubt creeps back in (6:12,30).  

Questions for Reflection and Prayer

1. Our passage reminds us that we should never expect God and his purposes in the world to be met without strong resistance.  The passage also reminds us of how quick we are to avoid resistance and to backtrack when we do encounter resistance.  Are there places in your life where the desire to avoid resistance and persecution are keeping you from speaking about your faith or serving God in some way?  
2. God’s response to Moses and Israel reminds us that God is calling us into a relationship of trust.  He reiterates his promises because He calls us to live by faith and not by sight.  How do God’s promises in this passage, which are only fully realized in Jesus and the new heavens and earth, speak into your fears and desires to avoid resistance?

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