As our lifegroup at church carries on our flying overview of the Old Testament, last night we stopped for quite an in depth discussion on the beginning of Moses' life and ministry. As one of the three big figures in the Old Testament (Abraham, Moses and David are probably the top three....) it always surprises me how reluctant he was to do what God wants him to.
But how often do we focus on Moses and feel sorry for him. We stand in his shoes (well, his bare feet at this point as he is talking to the burning bush) and think "well I would probably be the same if confronted with that situation".
Lets zoom out for a second and take a look at the previous chapter. Exodus 2:23-25 says this:
"During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew."
God knew. God knew about their hurting, he knew about their pain. He felt it too and he knew. He wasn't just a far away God looking down in pity. He was there with them and he heard everything they cried. But he didn't just zap them out of there in a flash to save them from it. In fact, it probably felt to the Israelites that God was ignoring their cries for a bit. But he wasn't, because he knew.
The very next line in chapter 3 says "Now Moses". This is what God is going to do to deal with their slavery. He had a plan and was putting it into place right away. Moses was the answer to their prayers, and we later see him leading them out of slavery in Egypt. But there is a lot of faffing around in the middle.
God doesn't announce to the Israelites that this is his plan as soon as he comes up with it. He just gets on with putting it into practice. Have you ever thought that maybe that is what he is doing in your situations? Maybe you have cried out earnestly to God and you feel he isn't answering straight away? But what if he has, it's just taking its time to come together?
Let's flip our perspectives here too. Moses then spends most of chapter 3 trying to convince God that he is the wrong man for the job. I have definitely been there and done that. See that new person in church? God tells you to speak to them, but you try to convince him someone else is more outgoing, more eloquent, more similar to them? Then you have done a Moses!
Have you ever thought instead that perhaps YOU are the answer to that person's prayer? Or that you are the solution to someone else's problem? Moses was all wrapped up in what he felt and thought, that he didn't see the thousands of Israelites just waiting for a solution. Are we wrapped up in our own little world that we just see the cost, the inconvenience, the awkwardness for us, and dont see the people whose prayers we could potentially be answering?
Today I challenge both you and myself to change our perspectives from "why aren't my prayers being answered?" To "how can I be the answer to someone else's prayer today?".