"Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness?" That's what the Hebrews following Moses ask him when they see the army of Pharaoh nipping at their heels. That's an understandable question. How are laborers and artisans, pinned between a sea and an army, supposed to fight the Pharaoh's elite? The simple answer, the one the Hebrews quickly come to, is that they can't, and so they rile against their impending doom...
Except that ignores how they got pinned between an army and a sea to begin with. What does it take to develop trust? Changing water to blood? A plague of frogs or gnats or boils? How about the worst hail storm in knowable history? What about every first born thing in a nation dropping dead overnight, except the Hebrew first born. The Hebrews would have stood by and watched all of those things happening to their Egyptian neighbors, untouched by any of it themselves. Would knowing that God was doing all of this for you, to free you, to provide for you, develop within you a sense of trust, that God would not have gone to that much trouble only to let you die? I would imagine so, and yet that's not what we see from the Hebrews. They're terrified. They don't even seem to see the pillar of fire by night and cloud of smoke by day, the very presence of God, that had been traveling with them. The miracles they had witnessed, well those happened yesterday, last week, last month...not today, and today is when the Pharaoh's army caught up. Frankly, yesterday is long gone, and so is the trust that it fostered.
Now don't misunderstand me. I'm not meaning to bash on the Hebrews. The fact of the matter is, most people (if not all people) are afraid to trust. It doesn't matter how many bills I'm able to pay, I'm always worried I wont be able to cover the next one. I just got off the phone with my insurance company yesterday, and now that Kalyn and Shepherd are going to be on my insurance, my insurance is going to increase $370 per month. That's after talking them down from a $410 increase. I don't know how I'm going to ever pay that.
This past Sunday I announced that I'll be stepping down from my position as minister for the congregation. How we all got to that point is a long, messy story, and a blog is not the place to vent my frustration, but needless to say, I'm scared. I have a three month old son, a house to sell, a new ministry position to find, a major move on the horizon, and in the mean time, to repeat myself, I don't know how I'm going to pay my bills. I know that God has always provided for me and my family in the past, but truth be told, that was yesterday. Trust today is harder to come by. So I sympathize with the Hebrews; I find myself afraid to trust.
But I find hope in this: God provided for the Hebrews in spite of their lack of trust. God is faithful. I know in our American Christianized culture that statement is beyond cliche, but that is who God revealed himself to be in the Hebrews' time of need. He is the God of Faithfulness in a tight spot, and so, it's time for me to grow a backbone, step out, and trust.
Stopping point: Exodus 15