This morning I read the story of Moses… how he led the fledgling nation of Israel out from under the oppressive hand of the Egyptians.
But before that actually happened something else took place…
Moses had gone to Pharaoh to tell him it was time to release the Jewish people from slavery. The conversation had some unintended, negative consequences. Instead of releasing them, Pharaoh doubled down on them; he essentially doubled their work load!
Of course this took the people to a new low. They were disappointed… discouraged… and ready to quit hoping.
Moses went to God and said, “Why did THAT just happen?”
God said to Moses:
say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the Lord. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment. 7 I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt. 8 I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your very own possession. I am the Lord!’” (Exodus 6:6-8 NLT)
So Moses did.
The people looked blankly at Moses and essentially said, “We want nothing more to do with you.”
Here’s how the history writer recorded that moment:
Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery. (Exodus 6:9 NLT)
As I read this something hit me…
People still do this!
Discouraged people write off optimistic people as “naive dreamers.” They say things like, “You just don’t understand…”, and make any number of other excuses for giving up and living in slavery.
I’ve done it. You may have too… so discouraged that it seems like more work to escape than it does to just settle in and build a hut in the land of misery.
So I wondered, what made the difference for these people?
It was a leader… a leader who persisted… who wouldn’t let the idea of freedom slide off their mind. A leader who worked with God and eventually moved the needle in the lives of those slaves… helping them to embrace a new mindset!
If you’re a slave today, a slave to discouragement, maybe what you need is another voice… a voice that calls you to a better place. Don’t write that voice off! Don’t make excuses… excuses will only empower your inner slave master. Listen to that optimist who calls you to a better place… follow him/her… and someday you, like the nation of Israel will live in a new place, enjoying freedom and fulfillment!