Faith is not some static phenomena that one possesses or not. It is more like a muscle that must be exercised and developed in order to be strengthened. Moses needed to learn and grow in faith just as much or more than the rest of us. The fact that he was eighty years old before he became the human agent of God’s deliverance, after a forty year stint in the backside of the desert, tells us that it took him awhile to mature. Even though Moses may have had a sense that the Israelites needed freedom from slavery, and acted on that sense by killing a ruthless Egyptian, his sense of timing was not good.
There is a time for everything, said the writer of Ecclesiastes. Wisdom, the ability to apply faith in concrete situations, is often in the timing of things. To know when to speak and when to listen, when to act and when to wait, is an important facet of faith. The ancient Israelites were slaves in Egypt for a long time. Moses knew they were suffering and he acted. But it was not yet time. Eventually, the Jewish cry came up to God, and God heard them. He remembered his covenant with them. Why God did not act sooner, or use Moses earlier, is information that is only privy within God himself.
What this means for us is that if we are to develop in faith and gain a wise sense of timing, we will need to rely on God. Trusting in ourselves, our own efforts, and our own perceived timing of how things ought to proceed will usually not end well. We may find ourselves taking a “time out” from God in obscurity until we learn to wait on him.
In the fullness of time, Paul said to the Galatians, Jesus came, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under the law. God knows what he is doing, even though it might seem like he is sometimes slow to act. God sees. God delivers. But he does it in his timing – not ours.
Redeeming God, you control all things, including the clock. Give me wisdom so that my sense of timing might reflect your will and your way. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.