When God rescues, it is often not immediate and it often involves some pain before God provides his relief in his timing. And he provides for us in a way which reflects his glory. So when we think it’s all about us, we come to see it is all about all of us… over eternity…
1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’”
2 Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.”
3 Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword.”
4 But the king of Egypt said, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor? Get back to your work!” 5 Then Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you are stopping them from working.”
6 That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people: 7 “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. 8 But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’
10 Then the slave drivers and the overseers went out and said to the people, “This is what Pharaoh says: ‘I will not give you any more straw. 14 And Pharaoh’s slave drivers beat the Israelite overseers they had appointed, demanding, “Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?”
21 and [the Israelite overseers] said [to Moses and Aaron], “May the Lord look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”
Exodus 5:1-8, 10, 14, 21
Why does God allow his rescue to be slow and painful and not swift and glorious? When he sent Moses to Pharaoh, he told Moses that Pharaoh would not let them go. Yet God was sending him to bring the people out. Why not make it fast and glorious? Why put the people through more pain and suffering at the hands of the Egyptians?
Somehow, God is not slow in keeping his promises (2Peter 3:9) – that verse is about the Lord being patient with us… what about us being patient with him? Well, it’s pretty difficult to argue with eternity, isn’t it? That’s the thing. God’s plan and hand reflect eternity and the glory of God.
He wasn’t just rescuing Israel from Pharaoh; he was setting up the picture of the sacrificial lamb of God. He was setting Israel to have stories of the greatness of God in their oral tradition. He was ensuring that no one could claim the exodus occurred under human power…
Now apply that to your circumstance.
If God makes your situation go away without the testimony of his power and greatness, will you always remember to give him the glory? I wouldn’t. And God knows that.
The stories of God working in the lives of his people are not only for his people. They are for the next people. The people 3,000 years down the road. Or the people who live just down the road from us.
It’s all about eternity, and filling it with as many people as will listen…