Lessons From the Life of Moses Part 4: Crisis of Faith
(Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash)
Imagine you are an Israelite and all you have known is slavery. One day this guy named Moses shows up and tells you he has come to lead you out of Egypt and into freedom. He says your God has heard your cries and is going to perform mighty signs and wonders and Pharaoh will let you go. Aaron talked to the elders, and they believe Moses' message. So you think to yourself, "Why not give Moses a chance. What could it hurt?" But now your workload has increased. It's unbearable!
Moses and Aaron are back, and they are telling you the same thing; that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has come to free you. Really? You think, "Then why did Pharaoh taunt you, Moses? Why is he making us do more work than before? Why didn't he let us go? That is what you said, right, Moses?" It doesn't seem like the God you've heard about. Maybe Moses is delusional. You don't know if you can trust him, and hoping is too painful.
When I put myself in the place of the slave, I can certainly understand why they refused to listen anymore (Ex. 6:9). Think about it. They lived in Egypt and most likely knew more about the Egyptian gods than they did their own God. They had been slaves for four-hundred years. Why now? They had been hurt once by Moses, and they weren't going to make that mistake again. Better to just accept that this was their life.
Have you ever been in that position? You trusted God for something you believed He said He would do and it didn't happen when you thought it should. Now God is saying, "Trust Me. I will do what I have said I would do." You are in a crisis of faith, and you have a choice, believe God or refuse to listen. I remember when God said He would not let me be put to shame. I didn't know that it talked about this in the Bible at the time; it was as if it were just for me. God would never let me be put to shame. I was in awe. Countless times when I made a mistake or heard God wrong, I reminded Him of what He told me. And He was faithful to His promise. But one time I was sure He wouldn't be able to keep this promise not to let me be put to shame. A friend's husband lay dying in the hospital. I believed God said he would not die, and I told her this. But he did die. I was not only heartbroken; I was devastated. I was having a crisis of faith. It took me months before I was able to say with confidence that God didn't let me be put to shame. I kept waiting for her to say something, to be angry for what I had said, or ignore me. None of those things happened. Finally, when we talked about it, she recalled that I had told her his latter life would be better than his first. She told me what I said was true. I couldn't believe it. Yes, I had said the part about his latter life being better, but I had also said that I thought God was saying that like Job, he wouldn't physically die. Whether she remembered I said that part or not, she never told me. It's possible God had wiped it from her memory, but what I do know is that God kept His promise. I had to repent for not believing God. When He gives a promise, you can be sure He will keep it.
God gives us many promises in the Bible. It is up to us to believe them. Thankfully, God doesn't depend on our belief to fulfill His promises, but sometimes we will miss out on seeing the fulfillment because we did not believe. This was not the case for the Israelites; they did not miss out. Moses had his own crisis of faith, but in the end, he obeyed. And in the end, both Moses and the Israelites knew that God was a God that kept His promises.
Most of us know the end of the story. God did rescue His people, and Moses did lead them out of slavery, but not before there were ten plagues and countless times of Pharaoh refusing to let them go. They may have faced more crisis' of faith before they believed God would rescue them.
Having a crisis of faith is common. And God is right there saying, "Trust Me. It is impossible for Me to lie. I will come through for you. I will work all things together for good to those who love me (Rom. 8:28). I will give you wisdom when you ask without doubting (Jms. 1:5-7). I will give you strength when you put your hope in Me (Is. 40:28-31). I will not let you be put to shame if you believe Me (Rom. 10:11). I will give you rest when you give Me your burdens (Mt. 11:28-30). I will give you peace that passes all understanding when you choose to pray about whatever is causing your anxious thoughts instead of holding on to them. And don't forget to be thankful (Phil. 4:6-7). I will be with you wherever you go. I will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb. 13:5).