A crisis of faith has come upon the people of Israel and upon their leadership in our reading today. The people trusted God and He did not deliver them (v.23). When a person dares to trust God the natural assumption is that the Lord will come through for them. It doesn’t always happen, at least not in the way we think it should. And when God seems to have failed you this is when the crisis of faith appears in our hearts and we enter into what the ancients called the “dark night of the soul”.
Now, of course, we know the rest of the story. We know that God has only begun his work of deliverance. We know that this process is going to stretch out over time and many great and amazing things will happen, and Israel will have to endure some challenges themselves. After all, it is no fun being beaten for not making enough bricks. But Israel, nor even Moses himself, understands all of this fully. And, not fully understanding the totality of God’s deliverance, Israel is left in a crisis of faith. Will they trust God, even when it seems He is failing them?
The question is the same for you and I today. For we too enter into the crisis of faith at times. We can feel like God has failed us. To remember that God’s salvation is much bigger and more complex than we imagined, and to trust him to see it through is key to making our way beyond the crisis and forward into the Promised Land.