“God answered, ‘I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.’” (Ex. 3:12 NLT)
I don’t know about you, but this verse has always puzzled me. In verse 11, Moses had been expressing intense doubt: “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” (NLT); and God’s response is to give him a sign.
Now I don’t know about you, but at times when I express extreme doubt for something God has told me, I also tend to ask for a sign. It gives me comfort to have that confirmation. But the sign that God gave was hardly comforting! It was a sign that Moses wouldn’t even see for months, even years to come! How was this supposed to be helpful?
I have never truly come to terms with this, and generally I have just pushed it off into the “box” of my mind labelled, “Things I’m going to ask God about when I get to Heaven.” I’ve found, however, that God doesn’t always make me wait that long. Sometimes He pulls these things out of that box and brings me to new levels of understanding, and this is exactly what He did for me with Exodus 3:12…
I have a grandpuppy named Charlie. He is the absolute apple of his mommy and daddy’s eyes, and you can only imagine how they must have felt when their puppy fell sick. Gravely ill, actually. From afar, we couldn’t do much except pray, and that we did. He was in the midst of perhaps his worst day, and as my husband and I were praying for him, I was suddenly overwhelmed to pray differently. The words didn’t come from me, but they went like this: “Father, I want to praise You in advance for the good news we will hear about Charlie’s health this evening!”
As I said those words, my thoughts went something like this: “Wait. You don’t know he’ll be better tonight. What if he isn’t?” I turned to the Lord here. I said, “What if this is my imagination talking? What if it wasn’t You?”
God’s answer? “Is your faith strong enough for you to believe that this is a sign I am sending you?”
I remembered Exodus 3:12 at that point. I remembered God’s sign to Moses was something that would happen in the future. I remembered that Moses had, indeed, gotten his sign. He did worship God on that very mountain. Moses took comfort in this sign, not because he saw the final outcome at the time, but because he had faith that God keeps all His promises! I realized something vital then. These kinds of signs take faith, but faith is also what is required for His hand to be moved. When we believe these signs, we are putting our faith in the fact that God keeps all His promises! And if God promised we would be praising Him that evening about Charlie’s health, then my faith in His promise would actually move His hand!
I decided then to push aside all doubt and put my faith in a God who keeps His promises. Is anyone surprised to hear that Charlie was eating and drinking and playing by that same evening? And yes, we did praise God!
How is your faith? Don’t forget, when God gives you a sign that won’t happen for awhile, it is a test of faith. He wants you to have faith enough to take comfort in the promise! What about it? The choice between worry and comfort are yours to make. All you have to do is throw aside your doubt and put your trust in the God who keeps all His promises!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two adult boys, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, The Illustrator, a four-times-a-week internet newsletter, and the Sermon Illustrator website, all with Answers2Prayer Ministries.