Have you ever grown tired or frustrated in your efforts to help a family member or friend struggling with challenging issues? We bring good news of grace, forgiveness, restoration, emotional healing, the Spirit’s power to progressively change us and still, our struggling friend or family member will not listen
While many factors may come into play, it will help to consider the circumstances of the person you long to see changed. In my daily Bible reading, I recently found Exodus 6:6-10 very insightful. God gave great promises to Israel while they suffered under the oppression of bondage in Egypt. Eight times in three verses, God gave promises beginning with the affirming words, I will; the first of which promised deliverance from their tyrannical task masters. How did Israel respond to this great news Moses gave them?
Exodus 6:9 provides the answer, they did not listen to Moses. And why? The Bible explains— because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery. Oversimplifications are dangerous and sometimes misleading. Yet, I am remined that many do not listen because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery. The Egyptians had made life hard on the Israelites, leaving their spirits crushed. They were enslaved and saw no way of escape. They had physical ears but no heart to hear the good news Moses announced.
Here are some thoughts you may want to call to mind when words of hope seem to fall on deaf ears.
- Reflect on your own responses to God’s kindness. Moses did not exactly graduate with honors in the class of ‘immediate response to the will of God.’ He offered one excuse after another for why God should get someone else to go before Pharaoh. Even after he finally obeyed, one can almost detect his frustration with God’s timing when he asked God, Why did you ever send me? Have you always been quick to respond to His mercies? God calls us to be gracious and patient with others. Will we live out the gospel and genuinely love others?
- It may help to remember that a person who has been repeatedly beaten down in their life simply finds the good news too good to be true. We do not doubt the reality of the good news of the gospel but let us also not doubt the reality of life scars from deep wounds in one’s soul.
- Satan does not release his captives easily. Israel suffered under the burden of “harsh slavery.” Your loved one or friend often suffers under the harsh slavery dictated by the prince of darkness that does not want his captives to see the light. Will we pray for God to deliver them?
- Finally, remember Christ will set captives free. He will win! Just as God brought Israel out of their bondage and ultimately to the Promised Land, so He will deliver His own. Take heart Christian. Let us sing. . .
With a shout You rose victorious,
Wresting vict’ry from the grave,
And ascended into heaven,
Leading captives in Your way.
Now You stand before the Father,
Interceding for Your own;
From each tribe and tongue and nation,
You are leading sinners home!”
(“Across the Lands” Words and Music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend)