“Exposing the Exodus”
The Power of Unbelief – (Chapter 5 Verses 1-9)
The king of Egypt highlights that the number of Israelites is on the increase (v5). This in itself is an admission of failure on Pharaoh’s part, according at least to his former plan, to decrease the number (see chapter one). Unbelief can be very stubborn, to the point of stupidity, nothing is quite working out the way Pharaoh planned, all his aspirations are being dashed. But Israel’s also take a backward step (v4). Doubtless there would have been quite a commotion in the camp with all the miracles happening, expectations would be running high, we’ll be on our way soon. Because of these events they would all have downed tools, spades and shovels laid aside, the normal daily tasks laid aside. But of course that wasn’t God’s way of working then or now. People pray, they expect immediately to receive the fulfilment of their request. People expect everything to ironed out, no confrontations, no moral divisions, not hard decisions to make, when they come on the Lord’s side, or seek to make a stand for God. But there is a cost, ominously omitted from sermons today. Seldom are people told that men will hate them, despise them, stand against them and treat them as enemies.
Israel had cried to God for deliverance, and it was coming. God heard and he was answering. But there is trouble connected, there always is. But there is this tendency as soon as the trouble rears its head to give up, lose heart immediately. Can you identify with this? God had promised (Exodus 3:12). He had declared he would bring them into the land of Canaan (Exodus 3:8). These promises come from the God who does not and cannot lie. Yet so soon, after the very first hurdle they get down, depressed, discouraged. Their aspirations evaporate immediately. God’s people can be affected by unbelief too, we need to reminded constantly that the victory that overcomes the world is our faith (1John 5:4). It’s believing, which notice is a participle, believING, not just a once for all matter, but a lifelong habit of faith. Yes, even in the midst of all the troubles, set-backs, disappointments, enemies, and even our last our very last enemy, death (1Corinthians 15:26).
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)