Then Moses turned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.”Exodus 5:22-23
When I selected this verse in a state of sleepiness last night, my intention was to revisit an idea I wrote – and somehow lost – a few years ago. Perhaps I will try again on another day.
This morning, the Lord reminded me of the verse when I said something very similar to Him as we walked and talked together.
During my study of Revelation, I’ve found my heart torn in half. Every day I read it, I am filled with excitement and wonder as well as fear – but not fear for myself.
On one hand, I long to see the coming of the great and terrible Day of the Lord. I’m eager to see Him take possession of what is properly His and destroy evil once and for all time. I cannot wait for the end of pain and suffering and horror.
I am burdened by fear for loved ones who do not know Him; who reject Him or who know of Him but choose not to walk in His ways. I am not yet ready for the Lord to come again because I want time for these to be able to choose Him. I don’t want their time to run out, and I don’t want to see them destroyed as unbelievers, on that Day or any other.
In short, I want to see them saved, delivered from sin – from the spiritual Egypt, if you will. Most of them I know and love. Some are the loved ones of dear friends. And I have been praying for them: Nathan. Jessie. Steve. Eric. Katie. Robert. Chris. Sherry. Gail. To name just a few.
This morning, I received the tragic news that one of the names from my list is no more. A precious friend’s brother took his own life. I found myself unintentionally echoing Moses’s words: “You have not delivered these people at all.”
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.Habakkuk 2:3
And He reminded me that while He is patient, waiting for all to come to repentance, I am not. I am desperately impatient, and I want to see this thing done. Now. Maybe yesterday.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.2 Peter 3:9
Still, in my heart of hearts, I know He will bring it to pass – in His way and in His time. I trust Him. So I continue to pray that He will make the stony hearts into hearts of flesh and pierce them with the Godly grief for sin which brings repentance and leads to salvation without regret.
And I will continue to pray that each of these, and many more, will come to a saving faith in Yeshua Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I also know that no matter how earnestly and desperately I may plead before the Throne of Grace on behalf of these, they each have a choice. God does not force Himself upon any of us. They have to choose for themselves whether or not they will surrender to the Lordship of Yeshua, because what He desires is for us to love Him back. And love is a choice.
So my prayers continue to rise to the Lord.
Oh Lord, let each one of these people choose You. Please turn their hearts to You. Open their eyes. Heal their hurts. Bring them into wisdom and knowledge of You, and let them taste and see that You are good. Protect them from the enemy’s schemes and from harm, and please do not allow another one to leave this earth until they have made their peace with You and been saved by Your glorious grace, amen.
And I continue to trust Him, knowing that He will work all things out for the good of those who love Him. All of them.
And I continue to love Him. No matter what.
Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.2 Corinthians 6:1-2