From Deliverance to Rebellion
There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” Exodus 3:2-3
When God appeared to Moses through the burning bush, the Nation of Israel suffered extreme and harsh oppression. Knowing that God was the only one who could deliver them from slavery, they fervently prayed for freedom. Because they believed in and worshipped an invisible God, the Egyptians punished them severely for not honoring their gods and bowing down to their idols. Thinking that God had abandoned them, the waves of discouragement hovered like a dark storm clouds.
As Moses stood by the burning bush, The Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering.” Exodus 3:7. God’s Promise: So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey… Exodus 3:8
Although Moses received the command, “Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:10, Moses was afraid of the people of Israel and their oppressors. But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” Exodus 3:13. Moses believed in the God of his ancestors but did not have a relationship with God based on faith and trust.
Because of his overwhelming fear of Pharaoh, Moses took his brother, Aaron. Together, they delivered God’s message to Pharaoh to let the Israelites go into the wilderness for three days to offer sacrifices to their God. But, Pharaoh replied, “Is that so?” retorted Pharaoh. “And who is the Lord? Why should I listen to him and let Israel go? I don’t know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go.” Exodus 5:2. Pharaoh represents Satan and his attempts to inflict hardships on those who love and serve God. Even so, we know how the story ends, continue to pray, wait, and watch for God’s supernatural power.
Recap: In the Devotional, Facing Opposition, published on 10/7/20, I shared my testimony of the harsh oppression that I suffered in 2011 on my job. Like the Israelites, I also became discouraged. Although I prayed every day for deliverance, God did not alleviate my situation immediately. He knew the trials that I had to endure to eliminate the sin of self-reliance and to bring me to the state of total dependence on Him.
After meeting with the Director with the intent to resign from the job, she became friendly and established a working relationship, But, the change in her attitude from antagonistic to pleasant was short-lived. She began to abuse her authority by delegating an excessive amount of administrative duties, which extended my already long workday. I prayed for alternate employment, but another job was not in God’s plans. No matter how many jobs I applied for, God did not allow me to find another job.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11.
Many of our trials are severe. Please, Do not give up! I am a living witness that when God resolves our problems, He brings complete victory. God used an unexpected method to settle my work-related challenges. My oppressor was terminated from the organization when the Regional Director found a hidden file containing patient related fraudulent documents. Whatever you are facing, pray, endure, and wait on the Lord!
God’s Promise: I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! Isaiah 65:24
The story of Israel’s exodus from bondage to freedom reveals God’s unconditional love and compassion for humanity. Like Israel, we are overjoyed when God resolves our hardships and gives us a victorious outcome. Even so, many of us suffer from weak and wavering faith. We easily forget that God has delivered us from the bondage of past trials and tribulations. When faced with the present challenges, we react with uncertainty and fear. Do not be deceived by doubt! It is faith that is the key to opening the door to victory. God has not and will not abandon us.
Following the death of his firstborn son, Pharaoh freed Israel but changed his mind. Pharaoh, along with his best soldiers, pursued the Israelites to recapture and enslave them again. But God tells us, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” Isaiah 55:8. In Exodus chapter 14, God provided for their escape by parting the Red Sea as they safely walked through on dry land. When all the Israelites had reached the other side, the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.” Exodus 14:26. The power of the Invisible God drowned Pharaoh and his army.
Unfortunately, many people were enticed by the worship of idols and secretly participated in paganism while in Egypt. It did not take long for the faithless to desire the pagan rituals of their former oppressors. While Moses was on Mount Sinai communing with God, the people demanded that Aaron make them a visible idol. Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” Exodus 32:1.
Aaron, who witnessed God’s miraculous power, was cowardly, fearing for his life, he gave in to the people’s demands for a pagan idol. And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool and made a molded calf. Exodus 32:2-4
Do not be deceived! From a spiritual perspective, we can identify with the Israelites. We forget about the situations, the worldly habits, and the former relationships God has delivered us from. We begin to look back and desire the people, places, and things that separate us from God. Reflecting on deliverance and maintaining a spirit of gratitude through prayer allows us to instantly recall God’s love, grace, and mercies, and thank Him for our victorious outcomes. In return, all God requires of us is to serve and worship Him with faith, trust, and obedience. Wait patiently for the LORD; be strong and courageous. Wait patiently for the LORD! Psalm 27:14
God’s Promise: I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. Isaiah 46:4
God’s Promise: Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. John 14:27
God’s Promise: And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:12-14
Saints of the Most High God, “Do not be deceived by Satan!” We can learn from the history of Israel that faithfully serving God is our best option. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7.
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33
We have an Omnipotent, Heavenly Father who has plans for us: The reward of Eternal life, immortality, being reunited with our resurrected family members who also served God, and life in a perfect New Heaven and New Earth forever and ever. Amen.
God, we pray for the courage to live a faith-based life, always trusting in you, despite our circumstances. Thank you for loving and taking care of us. We look forward to the day when we can live with you forever in the New Heaven and New Earth. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.