Exodus Devotional Day 3 | We’re All Going to Face the Troubles of This Life
The Book of Exodus
The Greatness of God to His People in Need
Exodus Chapter 7, Day 3
“8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’” 10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. 12 For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Still Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.” (Exodus 7:8-13)
We’re all going to face the troubles of this life, one way or another. The Christian life isn’t about being with God in a way that you avoid all pain and trouble--rather, it’s about going through those things with the almighty, powerful, and good God who really is for you. Take note of a few scriptures:
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” - (John 16:33)
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” - (1 Peter 4:12-13)
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - (Romans 8:35-39)
Whether we’re facing persecution from a world that hates Jesus, from demonic forces that hate Jesus, or from the broken world of curse-contaminated natural disasters (like pandemics!), God has given us a heads up...preparatory truth that trouble is coming. But, by the grace of God, the Lord is not surprised, he is at work in the midst of it, none of it will be in vain, and he will go with us in all of it.
Indeed, in the famous Psalm 23, the writer isn’t praising God’s goodness because he didn’t have to go through the Valley of the Shadow of Death--instead, he’s praising God for being there with him to get him to the other side.
In Exodus 7, Moses and Aaron are facing Pharaoh and God has warned them: Pharaoh will not obey the command I’m giving him through you. Things are going to get darker before they get brighter. But, I will be with you and I will accomplish my promises. So, Moses and Aaron do the only thing they know to do in these uncertain times: they obey God, though it seems strange and foolish; though it may even seem counter-productive.
To be sure, Pharaoh and his magicians have their own response, but we see the foreshadowing of God’s authority and victory when Moses’ and Aaron’s serpent devour all of Pharaoh’s. The question is, in uncertain and troubling times--times you will go through--will you go with God, or will you go on your own? Will you obey God in uncertainty, or will you go with your own plans or the unbelieving world’s?
Over the course of the last week or two, with the disturbing and worrisome news about the COVID-19 virus and what it’s doing to our economy, have you been tempted to leave off from prayer, meditation on God’s Word, and obedience to his will?
If you have, there’s good news: you can repent and turn around right now. Let’s do that together today, as his church.
If you find your faith weak in the face of today’s circumstances, the Lord is patient and kind--just as he was to Moses. He didn’t abandon him but gave him what he needed in his weakness. It’s not the strength of your faith that matters most, but the strength of him you have faith in. Pray for greater and greater faith, even in weakness.