When Moses was called upon by the Lord to stand before Pharaoh to lead His people out of the land of bondage, Moses had to convince the people to hear the Lord. It is interesting in early portions of Exodus to note the struggle the people had in this regard.
First, they bowed their head in respect and worship of the Lord when they learned what the Lord was going to do for them (Exodus 4:31). When you have become accustomed to do a certain thing you become comfortable in doing that certain thing. What is now routine is not easily disrupted without resistance; one hopes that if disruption come, that disruption is toward something better. This is the occasion with regard to the Israelites and their respect and worship toward Moses and the Lord.
Second, they refused to hear Moses because of the anguish of spirit (Exodus 6:9). The routine was upset and the upset routine did not turn out as a result of something better, but more anguish. This can easily oppress one’s soul. Thus, when Moses told the people what the Lord would do—they did not want to hear! In fact, they were not hearing much of anything if it was going to be worse!
Third, to add to this struggle, you will recall that Moses was a reluctant leader. It is evident that Moses had to contend with his own insecurities and anguished spirit as a result of his first experience with Egypt’s king (Exodus 5:1-11); now he must go to the people and speak to them about what the Lord was going to do that was positive for the nation. This seemed a bit much to him (Exodus 5:23).
A couple of lessons we can learn, I think. First, let us take inventory with regard to our own routines. Routines are, by nature, habits and habits become comfortable for each of us. Routines, however, that are in the Lord’s way need to be upset—even when it causes us anguish. Second, it is very easy from the underneath (incomplete) side of knowledge to judge something harshly. The Israelites did, and we are no different in that regard. The lesson they learned, however, was that when the Lord called upon a change of circumstance (and heart), it was Him who had full knowledge and the judgment made by any and all people that was underneath that full-knowledge was out of place. Important lesson to learn, don’t you think? RT