Dealing with Discouragement
Caught off guard by this sudden reversal of popular support, Moses plunged into discouragement (5:22–7:9). He went to the Lord (’adonay, master, boss) with a prayer of complaint. No deliverance had been effected by presenting God’s word to Pharaoh. On the contrary, the plight of the people was worse than before. Moses wondered why he had been sent to Pharaoh at all if only to bring trouble (5:22–23).
A. A Reminder (Ex 6:1–5).
The word of God is a powerful antidote for discouragement. God responded to Moses’ discouragement by reminding him of four things:
1. His promise.
a. When God Called Moses – he promised that He would deliver Israel.
1. CAN God do this? Of course – but do you believe Him?
2. WILL God do this? Of course – but do you believe Him?
b. He AGAIN promises. Because of God’s mighty hand (twice mentioned) Pharaoh would not merely allow Israel to leave Egypt, he would drive them out (6:1).
2. His name.
a. In patriarchal times God had revealed himself as El Shaddai, God Almighty, the God whose power worked in the lives of faithful men.
b. Now he was revealing himself as Yahweh, the eternal, self-existing, self-consistent God.
1. This is the name that Pharoah did not know but was about to experience.
2. This name he had not made known, i.e., explained, clarified, in the days of the patriarchs (6:2–3). They had not experienced anything like what was about to happen…
3. His covenant.
a. God’s covenant with the patriarchs was that he would give them the land of Canaan where they lived as aliens (6:4).
1. The promise – Gen. 12:
2. The covenant – Gen. 17: …
3. This promise repeated to each of the Patriarchs…
4. His compassion.
a. God had taken note of the groaning of his people, and he remembered his covenant (6:5).
b. God not only ‘hears’ and ‘knows’ – but CARES and responds.
Life presents us with many situations that leave us discouraged. What is interesting in this is that apparently Moses misunderstands what should have happened – what God was accomplishing at this point of the struggle with Pharoah. It would seem that Moses expected to have Pharoah let them go immedieately. Paul quotes from this section noting that God had raised up Pharoah to show his power! If Moses had ‘succeeded’ at this point – there would have been no demonstration of God’s power. God is using Pharoah’s stubbornness in order to setup the confrontation. God would demonstrate his power. This would have several results. 1) Israel would see the power of God and would thus learn to fear and trust Him. (this lesson however seems to have been quickly forgotten as the wandered thru the desert and rebelled time and again – and questioned God’s power / ability / love.) 2) It prepared the dwellers of the promised land to hear about God’s power and fear. This made the conquest of the land easier. 3) It should also impress God’s people today as we speak about and remember the great acts of God.
The antidote for discouragement is God. His character as God – His promises – His faithfulness and power – His eternal being.