Digital TV recorders make life so easy! Remember the old days of videoing when you had to program in the start and end times? I remember one James Bond film we watched. We just got to the exciting bit but the end had been cut off. Awwww! It came on again a few weeks later, and lo and behold didn’t the same thing happen again! It was quite some time later, on our third attempt, before we found out just how that film ended. It was pretty predictable, but satisfying to see how the story finished.
Reading through Exodus 4:29-5:23, I was struck by how different the endings of chapters 4 and 5 are. When Moses and Aaron told the Israelites that God was on their case, how they rejoiced and worshipped. But when things were going very wrong, how quick they were to rail at the two men, bemoaning how they had made their lives more difficult. Of course, it was a severely hard time for the Israelites. Pharaoh would not let the people go; and instead, he made their lives much more arduous by making them seek out their own straw to make the bricks. No wonder they were angry!
But the story was not over. In fact, it had only just begun. They had been happy to believe that Moses had heard from God. They had been overjoyed that God was about to take action. But they wanted instant results. God had warned that Pharaoh would not let them go ‘unless a mighty hand compels him’ (3:19). They needed to trust him right through until the story was fully played out.
It’s wonderful when we hear from God; how we love to hear of his great plans for our lives. How easy it is to worship and rejoice. But maybe the route God takes us to achieve all that is not to our liking. Has God changed his mind? Will the results turn out different from what he promised? Has he given up on us so easily? Or is it simply, that like the old video, we just haven’t seen the end of the story yet? God never gives up on us; don’t let’s give up on him, or we’ll miss the best bit!