Sometimes God’s methods leave me scratching my head. Take Moses’ story, for example.
The Hebrews had been held in slavery in Egypt for hundreds of years. One day, God decided enough was enough. He could have simply said the words, “Let my people go,” and softened Pharaoh’s heart to say, “Sure thing, God.” Instead, He hardened Pharaoh’s heart and then devised ten plagues to change his mind. What’s with that?
Exodus 10: 1-2 explain God’s methodology: “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Return to Pharaoh and make your demands again. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can display my miraculous signs among them. I’ve also done it so you can tell your children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them—and so you will know that I am the LORD.’”
Why did God choose a mind-boggling method to set His people free? Three reasons:
- Because He wanted to show His mighty, miraculous power among those who didn’t acknowledge Him as the true God. The Egyptians sorcerers were able to copycat some of the same miracles at first, but as the stakes grew higher, God’s one-of-a kind power became more apparent.
- Because He wanted the impact of what He did to last for generations to come. “I’ve done it so you can tell your children and your grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them,” He said. An approach that could be easily explained by human understanding would not have a significant lingering effect.
- Because He wanted Moses to know Him as the only true and living God. Experiencing Him do the impossible would certainly accomplish this feat.
Sometimes I scratch my head at God’s methods in my own life, too. For instance, several months ago I watched a childhood friend suffer with cancer and eventually succumb to the disease. With so many friends and family praying for her healing, why didn’t God simply speak the words, “Be well”? Why did He choose a different method to secure her ultimate healing and allow her to die instead?
Perhaps it’s because my friend’s testimony caused her doctors and nurses to take notice of her faith. Throughout her painful journey, they witnessed her inner strength and peace and joy. They saw her family unite in their sorrow, and they saw them experience hope in the midst of great pain. Through the family’s heart-breaking experience, they experienced God’s faithfulness, and they continue to do so today. They have come to know God in a new and more intimate way.
I confess that I don’t understand God’s methods sometimes. They leave me scratching my head. And yet, I need to trust that He is in control, and He’s a lot smarter than I am.
Can you relate? Can you recall a time when God’s methods left you wondering what in the world He was doing?
Photo courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net