In my many years of youth ministry I think the most common question people asked was “why God?”. It’s sometimes hard for us to understand the things that happen and align them with what we remember or know of God. In today’s passage Moses begins with this exact question, “Why, Lord, why have you bought trouble on this people?” Moses goes as far as to question God and his promise to rescue his people, “you have not rescued your people at all” (5:23).
Amid the opposition from Pharaoh and his own people, Moses loses sight of what God had spoken to him. In Exodus 3:19 God told Moses that the Pharaoh would not let the people go, unless “compelled by a mighty hand”. God never told Moses that this would be easy, he didn’t say that Pharaoh would give in at the first request, but he did say that he would rescue his people by his hand.
God answers Moses with a series of “I am” and “I will” statements. He will drive Pharaoh out, he is the Lord, the covenant keeping God, who has heard his peoples’ cries and will respond in action. God doesn’t answer Moses ‘Why’ question, he brings him back to focus on Him, who he is and what he has promised he will do.
Sometimes we seek an answer to ‘why’ when what we need to do is refocus our eyes on the God who calls us and promises to act. As we seek to know God more, to fix our eyes on him, our gaze is lifted from what is going wrong around us to focus on the God who calls us. Spend some time reflecting on the character of God and his promises to us.