Yet I Will Praise You {The Life of Moses}

Moses’ life was in danger from the moment he was born. The people of Israel had been living as slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years, and Pharaoh had ordered that every newborn Hebrew boy be put to death. However, instead of obeying Pharaoh’s edict, Moses’ mother placed him in a basket and hid him among the reeds in the river, trying to give him his best chance at life. She risked her life to save his. Moses was discovered and adopted by Pharaoh’s own daughter, and raised as a prince in the land of Egypt.

Many years later, Moses was out observing the hardship of the people of Israel. When an Egyptian began beating one of the Hebrew slaves, Moses intervened and killed the taskmaster. He could have lived out the rest of his days with pleasure, wealth and ease, but chose to give it all up in order to come to the defense of one of his own people (see Acts 7:23-25).

He supposed that the Israelites would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not. Instead they rejected him. When Pharaoh heard about what had happened with the taskmaster, he sought to have Moses killed. With his life in danger once again, Moses fled the country and took up residence in the land of Midian.

Can you imagine the loneliness and rejection that Moses must have felt? For forty years he watched as the Hebrews were mistreated and abused by the very people who had raised him. And when he finally came to their aid, they mocked and dismissed him. Moses lived as an exile in Midian for forty years because he no longer belonged with the Egyptian people and had never found his place among his own people, the Israelites. But even when it seemed as though he was all alone, God saw him and had an incredible plan for his life.

God sees you too, precious momma. As women who have said goodbye to our beloved babies on this side of eternity, oftentimes our grief is magnified by feelings of loneliness and isolation. It is easy to feel as if you don’t belong because of the sorrow you now bear. But you are not alone, and God is not finished writing your story.

One day, as Moses was leading his flock in the wilderness of Mt. Sinai, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him from inside a burning bush. He said to Moses,

“Behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
Exodus 3:9-10

God had chosen Moses to be the deliverer of His people, but he was less than enthusiastic about this announcement. He doubted his qualification to complete the task God had laid before him. He threw out excuses and raised objections. The task seemed impossible. After all, Moses was a wanted man in Egypt, and surely Pharaoh wouldn’t agree to free the slaves his people had owned for centuries!

God reminded Moses that He would go before him and strengthen him for the work He had called him to do. So Moses went before Pharaoh declaring that God had ordered that the people of Israel be allowed to journey out of Egypt to worship the Lord. Pharaoh did not heed God’s command. Instead, he mocked God and increased the Israelites workload. And rather than being grateful that Moses was fighting for their deliverance, the people grumbled and blamed their increasing hardship on him. Their spirits were broken, and they would not listen to Moses.

Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people, and You have not delivered Your people at all” (Exodus 5:22-23).

God responded to Moses, affirming that He would deliver the people from the hands of Pharaoh. “Remember that I AM WHO I AM. Pharaoh may have rejected the command you have given him, but I am still YAHWEH. I do not change. My people will be delivered.

And so it went. Moses went before Pharaoh again and again, demanding with the authority of God that his people be set free to worship. Each time, Pharaoh refused, God sent a plague on the people of Egypt, and Pharaoh hardened his heart…until the tenth and final plague.

It was then that finally Pharaoh recognized the incredible power of God, saw the devastation his calloused heart had brought upon his nation, and summoned Moses to gather the Israelites and leave. And they did. That very day, God delivered his people from bondage.

God led His people out of Egypt by the way of the wilderness towards the Red Sea. He guided them as a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire during the night. When they reached the edge of the sea, God told Moses to have the people make camp.

Once more, Pharaoh hardened his heart and sent his entire army to overtake them. When the Israelites saw the Egyptians pursuing them, they feared greatly, yelling to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us?” (Exodus 14:11) Rather than remembering the miraculous power of God, that had just been profoundly demonstrated to them in Egypt, they blamed Moses for their trouble and gave in to fear and doubt.

Moses could have responded the same way. After all, it was God who led them into this seemingly impossible place. They had gone exactly where God told them to be, and now they were trapped between a sea that they could not cross and an army that was bent on destroying them. And the people whom he had risked everything to rescue were ungrateful and angry at him.

But Moses chose instead to wait for the Lord’s deliverance. He had faith that there, in the presence of the Lord, they would be sustained. No matter how insurmountable this circumstance seemed, Moses was confident that God was greater still. God had promised deliverance, and Moses knew that his God was faithful. And God did indeed deliver them. The waters of the sea were parted, the people of Israel crossed on dry ground, and none of Pharaoh’s army remained.

And on the other side of it all, Moses brought forth a song of praise to the Lord. He didn’t rave against God for leading them to that impossible place, but instead recognized God’s deliverance of His people as a profound example of his unending love.

“The Lord is my strength and my song,
and He has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise Him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like You, majestic in holiness,
awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
You have led in Your steadfast love the people whom You have redeemed;
You have guided them by Your strength to Your holy abode.”
Exodus 15:2, 11, and 13

God often works in the same way in our lives today. He allows us, sometimes by His leading, to come to a place where we are weak and helpless. His purposes for us in those hard places are not always revealed to us. But what we can know, is that the Lord longs to be our strength and salvation in our bleakest circumstances. The truth is, we cannot grasp what it means for God to be our strength until when we come to the end of ourselves, we realize He alone is our hope. When we begin to see that our God is faithful to deliver us, then He can become our song.

So when you are tempted to view your sorrow from the lens of despair and hopelessness as the Israelites did, turn aside from that path and instead remember God’s gracious redemption. He has promised to never leave you. He even went as far as sending His only Son to die in your place as a covenant of His steadfast love for you. When you feel trapped by what lies behind and before you, remember that God will make a way when there seems to be no way. And as you stand aside and watch His deliverance come, even though it may not come in the way you have expected or desired it to, don’t forget to praise the God who is the Great I AM.

- Ashlee

Hope Mom to Simeon and Odelle

Ashlee is an Editorial Coordinator for Hope Mommies. She and her husband, Jesse, have four children on earth and two little ones in Heaven. You can get to know her more by reading her blog, Beyond Undone.

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