“But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” – Exodus 3:11.

If you ever come across a burning bush that isn’t being consumed or hear an unseen voice from above that tells you that you are on holy ground, then you might be freaked out a little bit. But then in Exodus 9:11 God tells Moses “…Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me.”  Not only did Moses devalue himself as unworthy and unable to accomplish the seemingly monumental task that God gave him, I have to believe he was also thinking about how painful/awkward/hazardous/ this assignment could be. 

We too will make difficult life decisions. We may well know the right decision to make, the one that God calls us to make. However, making that decision is difficult when we start thinking about how painful/awkward/hazardous/ this decision could end up being. It would be easy to chicken out and just not make the decision. But often, these difficult decisions are the ones needed for you to grow spiritually. If God wants you to step out, I would encourage you to do exactly that. It may result in short-term pain, but the long-term benefits of obeying God are worth it.   

Moses made the decision to do what God asked him to do. This decision was more radical than the decisions we will typically make, because everything was on the line. There was no going back. Once Moses rejected his position as prince of Egypt and identified with the Israelite slaves, his choice was final. Moses knew he would be mistreated by his former colleagues who would consider his actions to be a disgrace. Moses made such a choice because what he saw made him sure that it was better to endure hardship and disgrace with God’s people, than to enjoy luxury with God’s enemies. He saw that suffering lay ahead, but he also saw that beyond the suffering lay a relationship with God. He knew that the king of Egypt would oppose him, but he also knew that the king of Egypt was nothing compared to the King of kings. You know the rest of the story.

Moses’ life is a living testimony to 1 Peter 4:13-14 which declares: “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”

So was the short-term pain worth it?  Did Moses make a good decision to obey God?  History answers that question. After leaving Pharaoh’s house, Moses went on to become Israel’s national hero, law-giver, and mediator with God. He became a man of unprecedented accomplishment and worldwide influence.

Today, some 3,500 years after his great decision, Moses is remembered as one of mankind’s most respected leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Tim Keller says that “suffering is actually at the heart of the Christian story.” Agree or disagree? Why?
  2. Read 1 Peter 2:20-24: In what way does short-term pain deepen our trust and strengthen our walk with God?
  3. Do you believe God can use your short-term pain for His glory?
  4. Pray and ask God to help you make the right decisions in the new year?