"The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?" Proverbs 18:14
Text: Exodus 6: 9-12
OVERCOME BY ANGUISH
God had given Moses a great message of hope to be shared with the children of Israel. After receiving a most encouraging message from the Lord, Moses returned to his brethren with the hope of lifting up their flagging spirits.
“So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel;
but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish
of spirit and cruel bondage.”
1. Traumatised by the cruelty of the Egyptians
Daily the children of Israel were derided and berated by their Egyptian taskmasters. They were also cruelly beaten when they failed to fulfill their daily quota of bricks. The trauma of it all left them scarred and unable to respond appropriately to the promises of God.
2. Fear of worse consequences from the Egyptians
If a single word from Moses brought about such repercussions, would things not become worse if they were to defy Pharaoh further? When the only antidote of fear – the word of the Lord – is not applied, the spirit will be overwhelmed indeed.
THE TASK OF FACING PHARAOH
Whether or not there was understanding and support from the people, Moses was charged with the task of confronting Pharaoh.
“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
‘Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let
the children of Israel go out of his land.'”
DISCOURAGEMENT IS CONTAGIOUS
The confidence that Moses had after he spent time with the Lord soon evaporated as he saw and felt the discouragement of the children of Israel. The command of the Lord bore heavily upon his heart.
“And Moses spoke before the LORD, saying,
‘The children of Israel have not heeded me.
How then shall Pharaoh heed me,
for I am of uncircumcised lips?'”
Moses had not as yet learned how to dwell upon and feed on the Word of the Lord given to him. His lack of spiritual maturity at this stage saw him vulnerable to the contagious spirit of anguish sustained by his fellow-brethren. Moses was to learn many deep and powerful lessons of faith and trust in the Lord till he found the necessary strength to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 6:14-30 gives a short genealogical and historical information of Moses).