One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Monday, January 28, 2013: Exodus 5:22-7:25
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 (NKJV)
Moses had come to Israel with the word of the Lord. Not only that, he had the rod of God with miracle working power. If you read the entire message Moses brought to Israel, you also see that God was making Himself known to them in a new way. This was a major UPGRADE.
God was setting them free from bondage. God was showing them His strong arm. God was giving them a land of promise. It's fantastic news. Not only that, God says that He is revealing Himself to them in a new way, by a new name.
It is amazing how Israel responded to the word of the Lord. THEY COULDN'T HEAR IT! Have you ever been like Israel? God offers you so many good things, but it just seems too far-fetched. God wants to bring an upgrade to your life, but first He wants us to agree to it.
The Bible gives two reasons that Israel did not listen to Moses.
1. ANGUISH OF SPIRIT. Their emotions were all over the place. They had been in bondage so long that they were depressed and hopeless. They had given up. After all, it had been generations upon generations that they had lived in this slavery. In fact, when Moses first showed up and began talking to them about freedom, the result had been that things GOT WORSE! (see Ex. 5 and particularly vs. 21)
I find it often that a person in deepest need of deliverance, can also be in such an emotional state that they are unable to hear anyone. They zone out. The inner turmoil becomes so loud that they can't hear the voice of a friend coming to help.
2. CRUEL BONDAGE. Bondage becomes addictive. The very chains that they hated had become an excuse to not believe the word of God. It's like the man stranded in a storm crying out for help, but refusing to budge when that help comes, and in fact fighting it off. The nature of bondage is not only to hold you, but to also convince you that you CANNOT be free. In a strange way, the chains can be more comfortable than freedom. It then affects the way we see ourselves.
Jesus often addressed this when He would minister to someone. He would ask, "What do you want?" or "Do you want to be healed?" He wanted them to agree with and welcome that which He brought to them.
It is wonderful to know how much God wants to set His people free. Unfortunately, many people remain in severe bondage for years. There are always many factors at play in personal ministry, but it is important to recognize that there are at times things WE actually do that perpetuate our chains.
So, today calm down and bring your inner turmoil under the control of the Holy Spirit. Listen to God speak to you of freedom. Refuse to listen to those run-away emotions that only lead you to defeat. Romans 6:13 says that we are to yield ourselves to God as instruments of His righteousness so that we will no longer be controlled by sin. There is an agreement with God that we must make. Israel wanted freedom, but couldn't hear about it. We should do differently. Agree today with God about the great upgrade He is doing in your life. He stands ready to wonders in your behalf.