Obeying the Command
Micah thought for a second, then offered, “When God got angry?”
“You bet,” nodded Grandpa. “God gave a direct command, but Moses acted like he thought God was asking and he had the option to refuse. But finally, Moses figured out that God wasn’t asking – He was telling him to go. Since Moses believed it was God giving the command, he knew it was in his best interest to obey.”
Micah nodded. After a moment, he hopped off the bench to the floor and tossed the shop rag back to Grandpa.
“See how this story gives us a slightly different view of how God accomplishes His will?” Grandpa caught the shop rag and continued without pausing, “In the story of Joseph and the Hebrews in Egypt, God didn’t force people to do things the way He wanted them done. Instead, He allowed them to make a choice and then used whatever they chose to accomplish His plan. In this story of Moses and the bush, like in the other stories, God had a specific purpose in mind. But, in contract with the other stories, God didn’t allow Moses to option to stay with the sheep. When Moses resisted God’s command, God eventually told him that it didn’t matter what he wanted to do – he had to go to Egypt.”
“But Moses made a choice to obey, didn’t he?” said Micah, bending down to pick up the fallen wiper from the floor.
“That’s right, he did,” said Grandpa, hanging the rag on a protruding nail. “The reason Moses chose to obey is that he believed it was God speaking to him, and he knew better than to disobey God. It doesn’t make any sense for a man to disobey God.”
Micah tossed the wiper into the trash can, “I guess, then, God kinda forced Moses to do His will. But it wasn’t really forcing him.”
“Maybe the best way to say it is that God compelled Moses to do His will,” replied Grandpa as the two of them exited through the garage door. Micah picked up his bike and swung his leg over the seat, “This sovereignty of God is confusing.”
Grandpa chuckled, “Perhaps. You didn’t think we could define the living God with one short paragraph, did you? But it really isn’t that bad. Just look at the stories and consider how God worked in different situations. In the other stories, God worked with wisdom, using whatever choices people made. In this story, God was able to accomplish His will by giving a direct command to a person who believed in Him, see.”
Micah nodded and set his foot on a pedal, “Well…”
“Now, in the next story, when Moses gets to Egypt…” said Grandpa paused dramatically. Micah stopped and looked back over his shoulder. “…God will be dealing with Pharaoh. There, we can see how God accomplished His will when He gave a direct command to a person who refused to believe in Him.”
Micah took his foot off the pedal, “Can you tell me the story right now?”
“Sorry, I’m afraid I don’t have the time right now,” said Grandpa cheerfully.
“Aww,” said Micah disappointedly. But he knew it was probably time for him to head home anyhow. Pushing down on the pedal, he said, “So long – until next time!” and headed down the driveway.
“See you later, alligator,” waved Grandpa, and turned to close the garage door. “And bring a pencil and notebook – you’ll need it!”
The next section deals with what is arguably the most well-known story regarding God’s sovereignty: Pharoah’s hardened heart. It will require some word studies to properly grasp what was meant by hardening. Did you know three or four different Hebrew words were used when speaking of Pharaoh’s hardened heart?