THE BEAUTY OF GOD'S PATIENCE [Part III] ~ PRECIOUS VICTOR AKAH
This is the final part of this series and it reveals another dimension of God's Patience. Moses in the Bible exhibited some measure of stubbornness when God commanded him to go to Pharaoh, but our wise God employed His attribute of patience to humble Moses and get him to carry out His mission in Egypt. You can use this virtue of patience to your advantage too and bring out the change you want to see in 'stubborn' individuals.
God was patient with Moses as he kept declining and delaying to obey God and go to Pharaoh to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. God could have given up on him and chosen another person to carry out His assignment in Egypt. But God did not. Moses declined to go to Egypt up to five times with one excuse, question or reason. But God was patient with Him throughout. Let's read the interesting story:
The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.
So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.
So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied.
The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.
Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.
“This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous —it had become as white as snow.
“Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second.
But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”
Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?
Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you.
You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.
He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.
But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”
The patience God showed to Moses yet again teaches us patience with people; especially stubborn individuals (patience with stubborn children as a parent, guardian/teacher; patience with a stubborn spouse, stubborn colleague, stubborn relative or friend). It teaches us to be patient with them until they change for better. Moses kept saying no to God's instruction. He kept refusing and giving excuses as to why He can't and is not fit to carry out the mission God was sending him to in Egypt. But eventually, God being patient with him, he succumbed.
God being very patient with Moses also teaches us to be patient with our unbelieving spouse, friends, family members, colleagues - to repent and fully come to the knowledge of Jesus. We should not give up on them or write them off as people who're destined to go to hell. With constant prayers for them and continuous deposit of God's Word and demonstration of patience and a godly character, we'll eventually win them over to Christ.
God's patience extended to Moses further teaches us to exercise patience with believers who are struggling with one sin or the other - until they gain total freedom - and not condemn them. We also learn from this story to exercise patience with people around us who have one genuine weakness or the other they're dealing with and are making efforts to overcome. Weakness like stage fright, talkativeness, inability to speak a crucial language fluently (e.g English), inability to write, low self-esteem, uncleanliness/dirtiness, embarrassing behaviors etc. We should not shame or ridicule them, but be patient with them to gain mastery over that weakness.
Lastly and more importantly, please don't take for granted the patience God is showing to you as a sinner, or a backslidden saint, or a saint toying with sin. He is patient with you to have a change of mind and come back to Him, forsaking immoral living and embracing righteous living in toto, which brings pleasure to Him and brings fulfilment to you.
Do you know that God's patience does run out? Exodus 4:14 says, "Then the Lord's anger burned against Moses..." The Lord had been patient with Moses to agree to do His bidding, but Moses kept declining and delaying to the point that God's patience almost ran out and He got angry with Moses.
Surrender fully to Jesus now before God's patience runs out on you. He is still patient with you. Make Him glad by making good use of the patience He is showing to you right now to repent and turn to Him wholeheartedly. He yearns to have you on His side because that is where you'll be secured and empowered to fulfill your life's purpose.
Drop your comments and questions below if you have any and we (I and the Holy Spirit) will gladly respond.
Read PART TWO of this series
Read PART ONE