Exodus 5:19 And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task.
20 And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh:
21 And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.
22 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me?
23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.
This week there was a news report that stated that the BC baseball association decided to remove God from their pledge. They changed the wording from “I trust in God” to “I trust in myself”. Quite a change. This change is a long time coming, but it is very reflective of the spiritual nature of this country. The article I was reading further stated that this was quite the change since they stated that 84% of people worldwide and 67% of Canadians believe in God or a higher power.
This reporter obviously has no understanding of Who the true God is. Believing in a higher power is not very encouraging. The devil is a higher power than man. There are many people who hold ungodly beliefs and serve a false god that they believe is of a higher power than they are. It is true that many people are religious, but they are religiously lost.
As we look at our text we see that the Pharaoh had a religious belief system. The nation of Egypt believed their Pharaoh was a god. They believed in a higher power, but they rejected the true God. Even the Hebrew officers believed in a higher power, but they did not believe in the true God. Moses also needed to understand Who the true God was. He had a very shallow belief in God, but he needed to get a much stronger and deeper understanding of the true God.
When we do not have a right understanding of Who God is, we draw wrong conclusions about Him. We expect Him to act according to our imagination, rather than according to His righteousness.
In our text we know that the officers were chosen by Pharaoh as the representatives of the children of Israel. They were the ones who were to convey Pharaoh’s demands to the people of Israel. These officers now understood they were not in Pharaoh’s good books. Those who hate God have no interest in the true God.
In verses 20-21 these officers met Moses and Aaron. They thought they had a good case. They called upon the LORD to look at what Moses and Aaron were doing and to judge them. They did not seem to comprehend that the LORD had chosen Moses and Aaron for the task at hand. God warned them at the outset that Pharaoh would be stubborn and would not immediately let the people go. God also promised that He would win and Pharaoh would lose. Pharaoh had the opportunity to choose wisely, but God knows us better than we know ourselves. He does not predetermine that a person must go to hell at death. He does understand the wickedness that is in our hearts and He knows when a person is determined to reject Him.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Those who reject Him will go to hell, but they are given the opportunity to be saved.
These officers blamed Moses and Aaron for their lack of favour with Pharaoh. Pharaoh’s issue was with God, not with Moses and Aaron. Moses was met by the LORD while he was watching his father-in-law’s sheep. Moses saw a bush that was burning but not being consumed. When he went to check this out, the angel of the LORD spoke to him from that bush. The LORD then began to lay out His plan for the children of Israel. It was time for them to leave Egypt and go to the land that God had promised to Abraham.
This Pharaoh did not own the children of Israel. They were God’s people. This Pharaoh did not even own the Egyptians. He assumed that he was all powerful and could do as he pleased. These officers had bought into his lies and they were more willing to bow before him than they were in trusting the true God.
In verse 22 Moses was obviously troubled by the response of the officers. He had forgotten the negative response he had received some 40 years earlier when he protected a fellow Hebrew against an attack by an Egyptian. The Hebrews were not appreciative of Moses’ intervention. Moses had to flee from Egypt as a result of that event.
Moses was acting on God’s command. He needed to learn that few people will appreciate God’s Word and God’s will. We see again here that Moses addressed the LORD as Lord. It was a name used to express reverence for the Lord.
Moses wanted to know why He had acted in such an evil way toward the Hebrew people. Moses accepted the assessment of the Hebrew officers over the truth of God Himself. God had not brought the evil upon the people. It was hard-hearted Pharaoh that had brought the evil upon them. God would work out His plan and show not just Pharaoh but the entire nation His greatness. He would also show the Hebrews Who He was. Moses needed to trust God and know that God was doing the right thing. God is always right in all His dealings.
It was true that things had not gone as Moses had expected them to go. Moses had not listened to what God had already told him. The LORD told him that Pharaoh would not immediately let them go. God’s will would be done. All those involved in this matter were given the opportunity to learn some important truths regarding the true God. It is important to trust God even when we do not understand what He is doing. Moses was assured that the LORD’s will would be done. He needed to develop a true relationship with the LORD. That does not happen when a person accuses God of being unjust. God is merciful and He gives people time to get to know Him. Those who learn to know Him as He truly is will be blessed in following Him. Moses did learn some important lessons regarding Who the LORD is. There were some things he never accepted and thus he suffered some unnecessary stress in his role as leader.
As we have been reminded before, God recorded these things for our learning. We should not shake our heads at Moses and think we are so much better than he was. We can learn the importance of trusting God even when we do not understand everything He is doing.
Those who are truly saved will be guided by the Holy Spirit to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. As we grow, we come to appreciate His wisdom and His omniscience and His omnipotence. For those who are saved, we have the privilege of learning to trust Him even in the midst of difficulty. Until we die, there are things we need to learn regarding God and His ways. Full clarity will come when we are invited into our heavenly home.