For anguish of spirit

And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the Lord. And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage. Exodus 6:9

It is possible to hear the most wonderful news in the world and yet not appreciate it because your present circumstances preach against it. This was the case with the Israelites, who, because of Moses' recent intervention had had more slavery and more bondage heaped upon them (see chapter 5 of Exodus). Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that the children of Israel were on the cusp of one of the greatest deliverances of human history, in which after ten plagues God would miraculously bring the entire nation out of Egyptian bondage and eventually into the Promised Land. Their anguish of spirit and their cruel bondage which kept them from gladly and hopefully receiving this news was a bad prognosticator of things to come.

The same is true with us, isn't it? We have been given "exceeding great and precious promises" (2 Pet. 1:4) and yet sometimes we allow our present circumstances to preach against the joy and the hope that can be gained from such news. And it is news, because what God has promised, he will bring about. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us" (2 Cor. 1:18-20).

Dear saint, you may be in a very bad place right now and your heart may be breaking. Your hope may be faint and your faith weak. But remember this: if you are united to Jesus Christ who is risen, then your Head is in heaven and you will not fail to reach the Promised Land too. And even now, God is with you and he is for you (Rom. 8:28-39). Brother or sister, do not despair. Don't let your circumstances preach louder than the promises of God.

By: Jeremiah Bass