Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
The story of Moses is well known, even if you don’t know much about the Bible. For Christians it is a cherished story. Hidden within it, however, is a gem for those of us who experience suffering that teaches us about the higher purpose of seeing God’s glory.
In Exodus God’s people were suffering and God heard their cries and called Moses to tell Pharaoh to ‘let my people go!’ When Moses met the leaders this was heralded as good news (ch. 4). However, when Moses actually announced this to Pharaoh he made life worse for the Israelites by adding burdens to their work. The result was that the people complained (ch. 5).
So God’s will (to rescue His people from suffering) actually resulted in more suffering for His people! Now to be sure God is never the agent of sin (Jas 1:13) but that is not to say that everything is ultimately part of His will (Eph 1:11). God may be the first cause but His will is worked out through secondary causes (Acts 2:23, 4:27–8). This lesson is key to the storyline of Exodus.
Moses, recognizing something of this, puts the situation back into his God’s face who had begun this saga in the first place. Listen to what he said to the LORD (Ex 5:22–23):
22 Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”
Why is a question we often ask when we suffer as Christians. Why Lord, why!? Yet God was still keeping His promises and teaching both Egypt and Israel of His glory, the glory of His justice and the glory of His grace. Listen to the LORD’s reply to Moses:
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.”
It was through suffering that the Lord would teach His people of His glory. If the hardships were not great the display of His glory would be trivialized. Think of what would have happened if God had simply allowed Pharaoh to ‘let His people go’ immediately. Israel would not have learned to depend upon Him, nor seen His might or His love. They would not have been as grateful or experience as great a salvation. It was through trusting the Lord in the suffering that they would see His glorious power.
It is like that in our lives too. Why God will’s suffering remains a mystery; but that He works all things for good for His people is a promise we can depend upon (Ro 8:28). When we suffer we must in faith humbly trust the Lord’s will and know His will display His glory and accomplish what is for our greater good as we wait upon Him.
Cheque made payable to:
Markdale Baptist Church
E-transfer sent to: