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Exodus 7:1–6 ‘But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites.’ (vv3–4)

Plunged into the cut and thrust of daily living we quickly lose perspective on life. We can withdraw from what offends and confuses us into a community that reinforces our own beliefs. Or we can use Scripture to accommodate the prevailing cultural context and social mores. Neither responses can reveal ‘the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living’ (Ps. 27:13). Life is our greatest challenge to confidence in God. We experience personal setbacks and see troubles in the life experience of others. God is unchanging (Ps. 55:19) and consequently we are invited to explore how His will is to be expressed in serving the contemporary world.

Moses discovered that responding to God isn’t the result of a convincing argument or supernatural intervention. Faith is always a choice which individuals can make, but equally reject. There is nothing with which we can sweeten the pill of truth, for turning to God requires me to submit myself to God entirely. I don’t retain a shareholding in my own welfare, I entrust it entirely to God and have confidence that God is indeed working His purposes out (Phil. 2:13). Tough love indeed yet, as in Israel’s experience in Egypt, God’s promises are resisted in ways that lie beyond our understanding. When the complexities of life burden us and the ways of God confuse, we are humbly to look to Jesus, ‘gentle and humble in heart’, and find rest for our troubled heart (Matt. 11:29).

ScRIPTURE TO cOnSIDER: Ps. 77:1–15; Dan. 10:2–19; John 5:16–30; Rom. 8:18–30.

An AcTIOn TO TAKE: There are times when all we can do is to trust God in the darkness that surrounds us. Waiting is challenging and we can only wait by God’s grace (Ps. 27:14).

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, in the loneliness of the silence I wait for You. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.’

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.