In the story of Moses, the plagues and Pharaoh. Moses kept pleading with Pharaoh to "let God's people go" so they may serve the LORD and give sacrifices to Him.
When Moses asked this, Pharaoh not only didn't let them go but he made them work harder. Which made all the Israelites despise Moses, saying "let the LORD look on you and judge, because you have made us abhorrent in the sight of Pharaoh..."
Eventually God kept showing the Egyptians that He was the LORD, with plagues, signs and wonders. After a lot of heartache, disease and even loose of the first born of every creature. Pharaoh let God's people go.
When the Israelites were free but in the desert, they said to Moses, "let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians, for it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness."
Forty years later, they were in the promised land.
God taught me so much through this:
First, the Israelites said to Moses "Let the LORD look on you and judge" in ignorance, not knowing that God Himself is who called Moses to do what He was doing. First off, I think it's right of them to give judgement to God. The Bible says judging is for God and God alone. But it was wrong of them to assume, imply or suggest what Judgement the LORD should apply.
Basically, let God and God alone be the judge of you, and me also. But I should never assume that His judgement would be what mine would be.
Because the whole time, they thought Moses was out of line, but actually was walking right on it, by grace.
How many times do we think, "I can't wait for God to judge them" but really it's us that needs to be judged and they are actually doing the will of the Father?
On the other side of that coin, Moses prayed after hearing that saying "LORD, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all."
and God said “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name LORD I was not known to them."
Moses felt hated and un-accepted by his own people. Moses was, in a sense saying "God why are you making them hate me?". He basically was saying "you didn't do what you said you would, you didn't deliver your people like you said, and now they think I am nuts and also I made their life worse".
There is many times God will tell us to talk to someone, love someone or share the gospel with them* and we pray "God they didn't change, they didn't accept the message, they didn't want to hear it, now they don't like me and they stopped following me on Twitter". But that doesn't matter. What matters is that we do what God wanted us to do, whether or not the outcome is what we expected.
What God said to Moses basically said "I'm the LORD, they need to go through this so they know me as the LORD, because they do not". If Pharaoh said "ok, I'll let them go" the first time and also didn't chase after them later, God wouldn't have gotten the glory as He did. God wanted to show them He is in control of the weather, the sea, nature and even the life of first born children.
And in the desert the Israelites, just like us, found a way to complain, even in their freedom. They said "It would be better for us to serve the Egyptians..." how many times, do we say "it would have been better for us to just give into sin, serve ourselves than to serve God our LORD?". We don't say it verbally, well maybe not all of us, but we say it with our lives. We forget about the promised land and think about the current time, the desert, the hard part and we want to give up and go back to our slavery to sin.
In the new House of Heroes album, Suburba, it's not out yet, there is a song called "So Far Away". In the chorus it says "what if I told you it was so far away, if I told you would you go with me anyway?" I am not sure the writer's intention or meaning of the song, but I love thinking of Jesus saying this to us. What if I told you righteousness is far away? Would you still follow me? What if I told you that the path is hard and narrow? Are you still in? What if I told you that the promised land is forty years later? I am very aware that you are far from righteous, but I am in, are you?
Basically, I hear Jesus saying, I know what I am getting myself into when I offer you righteousness, I know it's going to take work and teaching, do you know what you are getting into?
I love this picture because it flips around what we are taught the gospel is. We think, if we keep trying we will be saved, if we stay committed to Jesus we will be saved. But as one guy I met asked me, "would you want to get to heaven and base your salvation on your commitment to God or God's commitment to you?".
When I think of Jesus saying "If I told you it's going to be hard, are you still in?" I think of Him saying "I know you, I know you are a screw up and a sinner, I know you are going to keep going back to that sin, I am already committed to seeing this through to the end".
I sometimes believe the lie that I committed a sin that Jesus wasn't prepared for, or that He looked at me and said, "I didn't think you would do that...I'm not sure if I can save you".
The great thing about Jesus' resurrection is that His heart is still beating, so the blood that makes us righteous isn't going to run out. It continually will make us righteous. If He didn't rise again, his blood would have ran out thousands of years ago.
Don't think that Jesus is ever saying "whoa, I died for all that, but this, this is a new sin that I wasn't aware of and I can't forgive that".
Cause He can, don't flatter yourself to think that you invented a new sin that nobody else has ever thought of. Satan has thought of them all by now and Jesus knows about them and still died for them all.
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. God's kingdom of Love, grace and peace cannot be obtained by following rules, but only by repentance and depending on Christ for your salvation.
*I think the gospel should be preached by people that know the gospel, the true gospel. So the spirit guides them and shows them God's timing.