Ears to Hear

Exodus 6:6-9:

Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the LORD and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD.’” Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.

The Great I AM proclaims who He is and how He scoops up His people out of slavery and makes them his own. He does this with us all the time. He rescues us out of our trespasses and breathes life into our dead souls with the love of a Father who is willing to give ANYTHING for the life of His own.  He continuously wants to bring us out from under the burdens of all that shackles us to enjoy Him and run wild and free in the best of ways, knowing we are his.

Moses takes these words and speaks them with confidence because He heard them first hand from the LORD Himself.

But the people couldn’t hear it.

They may have heard, but it didn’t sink in. Nothing changed for them in that moment. Discouraged from all those years of laying brick after brick. The day in and day out of dealing with the same problems and the same harshness of the world they were in, left them broken shells of the people they were intended to be.

But God… He never loses hope for the people we are intended to become because while you and I are wallowing in whatever it is we are wallowing in, He doesn’t stop working. He doesn’t stop taking ALL these things and working them together for our good. He doesn’t want to stop redeeming and reclaiming what was meant for evil and using it for good. The best thing about Exodus 6 is that even after the people don’t listen and Moses whines a bit about it, God keeps going. He tells Moses, ‘It doesn’t matter how the people respond or how Pharaoh responds. You just keep on doing what I tell you to do and I will make it happen. I have a plan and nothing can stop me!’ {Okay, I paraphrased that a bit, but you get the point}

This is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and He is also the God of Joseph who can take a life thrown into the pit of slavery and make it second only to the king with the authority to save an entire nation and reconcile with the family who betrayed him in the first place. This is the God of you and I, who doesn’t let anything thwart His good plans, so how much of Him do we miss out on because we focus too much on what we think is getting in the way of progress? How much have I missed because I couldn’t hear? How much have I missed out on the daily grace of God because I have been leaning on my own understanding, enslaved to fear, enslaved to anxiety, enslaved to my own need for control and order and the brokenness from disappointment that causes me not to listen?

I want to be a better listener which means that when we read what it says in passages like the one above, we listen to what God says and we leave it at that.  We don’t look for what we want to hear that will make us feel good immediately but we look for what God speaks about Himself and rest. I want to listen to these God breathed proclamations that tell me WHO He is and what He has already done and take Him at His word. Then when I’m worried about this, that and the other thing and all the uncertainties of the next few months, I want to go back to what I have resolved… He has gone before me and is taking me forward to what has already been established for me.

He speaks. We listen. We walk forward. And we wait.

Repeat.

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