Moses returned to Egypt with a vision that God had given him at the burning bush. It was a vision of a new future for the Hebrew people. God would deliver his people from slavery. That was a done deal, and God would do all the heavy lifting. Moses’ primary job was convincing the people that they needed to follow the new vision. Getting the people out of Egypt was easy. Getting Egypt out of the people would be a lot harder.
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” — Exodus 14:13-14
The Inevitable Nature of Change
Change is going to happen. That’s inevitable, inescapable, as dependable as the sun and the moon. The world around you is going to change. Today that change is happening at a faster rate. It’s not the speed that upsets the stomach. It’s the rapid change of speed (engineers call that acceleration). So, the only question that remains is: how well will you navigate the inevitable acceleration of change?
God was going to move the Hebrew people out of Egypt. That much was inevitable. If the story of Moses, Pharaoh, and the ten plagues reveals anything it is simply that God is in control and God performed the miracle of getting the Hebrew people out of Egypt. It wasn’t the people themselves (in fact, they were more often than not, an obstacle to getting out), it wasn’t Aaron, it wasn’t Moses – It was God.
Three Critical Actions in the Midst of Change
So what, then, did Moses do? He did three things that are critical in the midst of major change.
1. He reminded the people of who they were.
They were the children of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. After 400 years of living in Egypt, they had largely forgotten. Culturally, they were more Egyptian than Hebrew. But, Moses did several things to remind them of who they were.
- Moses met with the Hebrew Elders and shared the vision God had given him (Exodus 4:28-31).
- Moses called them back to worship (Exodus 4:1-3).
- Moses reminded them of who their God was (Exodus 6:6-9).
We are forgetful creatures. We all get discouraged and need to be reminded of who we are in Jesus Christ!
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” — 1 Peter 2:9
2. He pointed to the places where God was working.
God made a clear distinction between the Egyptians and Hebrews with the plagues of the gnats, diseased livestock, hail storms, locusts, darkness, and the death of the firstborn – these plagues impacted the Egyptians while the Hebrews remained untouched.
Moses made it clear to Pharaoh as well as the Hebrew people that God was at work on their behalf — it was something they could clearly see. In fact, God told Moses that he was to tell his children, and grandchildren of all that God had done to Egypt as a testimony to HIS power (Exodus 10:2)
When everything is changing so quickly it can leave the head spinning. Add to that the fact that not all change is good — at least, not at first. The plagues were not an easy thing to witness. They were destructive. But the bad had to come first to make way for the good.
During this time, it’s important that you are able to see God’s hand at work. You must be able to see small places where God is working. Highlight those small victories. Point to them. Make sure people don’t miss it!
If you are praying about it God is working on it.” — anonymous
3. He created a lasting ritual to commemorate the change.
The final plague was the most devastating. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Pharoah would have no choice but to release the people. It was an awful and world-changing moment. Moses created a ritual to commemorate the event. The Passover Meal is still celebrated more than three thousand years later.
This is what the ritual says — What is happening in your world is life-changing and legacy-building. You are a part of something that will outlive you. Your children and the generations that follow will remember your courage and will draw strength from your action long after you are dead and gone. (Exodus 12:24)
We live at an amazing time in history. The acceleration of change is bringing angst, turmoil, and pockets of chaos throughout our world. However, it also brings opportunities and potential for good unlike any time in history.
What will our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren say about the way we handled the change? What kind of global impact will our generation have for Jesus?