by Tony Nester

Let My People Go
Tony Nester
Exodus 5:1-9

Christians don't like to admit this but there is a hard truth revealed in today's Scripture. The hard truth is that when God intervenes in our lives our situation often worsens.

That's exactly what happened when God sent Moses and Aaron to tell Pharaoh, "Let my people go!" Instead of getting better, the condition of the Israelites worsened. Rather than providing the straw necessary for their brick making, now Pharaoh ordered that the Israelites had to gather their own straw but still produce the same amount of bricks.

With every whip lash inflicted on their backs by their Egyptian taskmasters the Israelites' criticism grew against Moses and Aaron and so did their doubts about the promises of God.

One reason we read the story of Exodus is because we need to be reminded of this uncomfortable truth: when we live by faith in God our lives often become not easier, but more difficult. The exodus from whatever bondage afflicts your life isn't going to be a cakewalk.

We're living right now in a religious culture that craves miracles, craves solutions, craves success, craves cures, and craves black and white answers. It does not crave discipleship, obedience, and sacrifice.

Dan Wakefield, author and recent convert to Christianity, tells about the time he was invited to be a guest at a luncheon that included Henri Nouwen. Dan Wakefield had read a few of Nouwen's books on prayer and was excited about the occasion.

During the lunch he got his chance to ask Henri Nouwen a question. "Father Nouwen, I've read your Prayers from the Genesee. What bothers me is that if someone as advanced as you has doubts and difficulties with prayer, what hope is there for someone like me who's just starting out?"

Dan Wakefield reports that Henri Nouwen gave him a stern look and a sharp reply: "Mr. Wakefield, Christianity is not for `getting your life together.'"

Nouwen was correct. Believing i ...

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