So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage. (Exodus 6:9)
The expectations and excitement that first greeted Moses and the message that they were to be delivered had been crushed by the disappointment that followed Pharaoh’s rejection of Moses’ words. As a result of that first meeting, the Hebrews were forced to make bricks and fetch their own straw. Now, at this point, they were in dread of something far worse happening. The intense labor demands and the heavy hand of oppression had suffocated their hopes that it would be any different. Their despair wouldn’t allow them to pay any attention to the promises of redemption.
To be fair, they were certainly under a lot more pressure than most of us have to deal with, today. Nevertheless, principally, they were letting the cares of life choke out the Word of God that had been delivered to them. In the parable of the Sower, Messiah likens letting our cares override the Word of God to seed that is trying to grow among the thorns (Mark 4:18-19). Though not impossible, it is very hard for the Word to flourish when we give into other things that seem so much more prevalent and threatening.
So, for a moment, let us put ourselves in their shoes: they had been promised deliverance only to have a tyrant, for the moment any how, make that seem impossible. When the Word was delivered again, they weren’t ready for more promises of redemption; they didn’t listen this time. We have heard of God’s promises all of our lives and we believe. Yet, have we not also experienced disappointment that a loved one was not healed; a relationship was not restored; an opportunity was not realized? It is in those times of overwhelming disappointment that embracing the promises of God becomes difficult. If our despair is intense, it has the ability to dull our spiritual ears.
It is critical that we remember two important things that Messiah said. First, He reminded us that, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Because He has overcome, we have the ability to overcome all of the disappointments this world has to offer. Secondly, it is imperative that we are determined to do just that because, “the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).
Life will certainly have its pitfalls; we will have to contend with thorns and thistles, wicked men and situations that just didn’t go the way we had hoped. But if the Word of God is within our hearts — sown into good ground if you will — then we will, in time, see the fruit manifested in our lives. So hold on to the promises regardless of the circumstances. In time, we will see the deliverance and salvation of our God.
Blessings and Shalom,