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The DEEP

Interesting Times

We're not going to understand.

Exodus 4:18–23

So Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, “Please let me go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.”

And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”

Now the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go, return to Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead.” Then Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.” ’ ”

Why is God going to harden Pharaoh’s heart? This is nuts! If the goal here is to get His people to the Promised Land, why make it so difficult?

Well, it’s not nuts, and the reason is that getting His people to the Promised Land is not the goal. The goal is God’s glory. It’s always God’s glory. Yes, He will get His people to the Promised Land.

But, make no mistake, God’s glory is the purpose of everything. So, the plot’s going to be a lot more complex than some quick escape or great military victory. It will have many twists and turns, even great disappointments. Man’s sinful nature will spoil everything, over and over. We will learn more, and God will be glorified more.

People often wish that the LORD was the kind of god who would make our lives easy—the kind of god who would just liberate the Hebrews quickly and march them straight to Israel.

But a cheap, Hollywood-style victory wouldn’t really be all that glorifying.

It wouldn’t even be all that interesting.


People who know God are amused by the curse, “May you live in interesting times.” Knowing God makes times more interesting, not less.

We’re called to significance, not comfort. If you seek a quiet life, avoid Christianity like the plague. Any Christian can be assigned an important, even suffering, role to play in God’s kingdom. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7a) isn’t about tranquility.

But there is a wonderful peace in the midst of all the action, a peace that is greater and more satisfying than simple tranquility—God’s peace. And we’re not going to understand it.


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These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here: https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here: https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NASB stands for the New American Standard Bible. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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