Exodus 6: 2-9
In this passage, the Lord just got through giving Moses some absolutely joyful words to share with the Israelites! He said He’s heard their groans as they’re in Egyptian bondage, He’s going to rescue them, He will be their God, they will be His people, 8 “And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the Lord.”
Moses gathers everybody together to relay this wonderful, hope-filled message! But, instead of celebration and thanksgiving, what happens? NOTHING. Why? Verse 9 tells us – “So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage.” This is a verse of great defeat, and it often happens to us…they were so focused on the despair of their circumstances that they ignored a message that was almost *directly* from God! When we focus on the situation and not the Savior, we can’t even find assurance in His own words!
This is just one of the many Bible illustrations of God’s encouragement to us when we’re “beat down and bound”. We should always remember that, despite the despondency of our situation, God’s still in control and is still able to change things. There is no denying that we’ll find ourselves in “anguish of spirit” at times. With the evil in this world, and the simple fact that the devil is out to get Believers, our spirits have plenty to be in misery about. And “cruel bondage”? Well, that shows up in a multitude of ways. Sometimes, it’s the bondage of an abusive relationship that the person can’t seem to escape; sometimes, it’s the chains of a substance addiction; sometimes, it’s being bound up by the desire to keep people happy. So, yes, there are so many reasons why we can become focused on what we’re going through! But, the key here is to learn from the Israelites’ predicament: Even though they didn’t listen to the hope Moses was giving them, God still worked everything out!