Friday, February 15, 2013
By Andy Lang
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
“I am the Lord, from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them…. Moses told this to the Israelites, but they would not listen to Moses because of their broken spirit and their cruel slavery.” – Exodus 6:6, 9
When have you tried to be a Moses in the life of a friend who was living under the bondage of psychological or spiritual oppression? And have there been times in your life when that friend simply couldn’t hear words of comfort or freedom, because their spirit was broken?
We all know what it feels like to live under bondage. And we know what it’s like to turn away from our comforters, because we simply cannot bear to listen.
So the people of Israel refused to listen when Moses told them of God’s promise of liberation from slavery. For God, it was already an accomplished fact: “You shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians.” But for the Israelites, this was unbelievable: their oppression had sunk into their spirits and their bodies. They couldn’t imagine any “outside,” any place beyond their suffering where there might be light and air.
Yet we know this wasn’t the end of the story. Moses tried to give up, but God wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. So he returned again and again to the Israelites, and finally, they listened … not because Moses was particularly strong-willed or brave, but because God wouldn’t let him go.
In the same way, we have to be relentless when we seek to help a friend whose spirit is broken. We have to return to them again and again. And somehow, not because of us, but because of the God who wants to love them through us, they will be led out of the shadows into the promised land.
It might take a miracle. But the promise of Psalm 91 is true: “When they call on me, I will answer them. I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and bring them to honor.”