The unknown solution to your problem

Recently, my wife and I began to watch Doctor Who, the latest incarnation of the BBC sci-fi phenomenon. Trouble seems to gravitate toward the Doctor, as each episode finds him in a death-defying situation, along with whomever his traveling companion may be for that episode.

As we were watching one episode, the Doctor was trapped on a window washing elevator, as the bad guy was cutting the cables. Every possible avenue of escape was being cut off, so I said, “What are you going to do now Doctor?” Because I’m strange, I talk to the TV.

All the ways I could think of to get off the dangling cart had been tried and failed. I had no idea what has going to do … then he did something totally random that I hadn’t thought of. It’s a standard plot device of television shows. It creates and sustains suspense for the hero to be in a seemingly hopeless situation and then – a solution comes out of nowhere.

Have you seen that in your own life? Are you waiting for a solution right now? That seemed to be the case for the Israelites leading up to their exodus from Egypt. All of the “normal” ways had been cut off, but God still had His plan. His unknown solution was a fugitive hiding out in the mountains tending sheep. To paraphrase a line from countless TV shows: “It was so crazy, it just might work.”

Photo from by Svilen Milev

Exodus 2:23-25 provides an aside from the story of Moses’ flight from Egypt and subsequent meeting of his future wife and in-laws. We find Moses, the adopted grandson of the Pharaoh, has murdered an Egyptian and fled into the wilderness.

Now the Bible is telling us that the Israelites were suffering and they cried out because of their slavery. God heard their cry, remembered His covenant with their forefathers and “took notice” of them. So, God has taken notice. He’s heard their agony. He has brought to mind the covenant He made with the ancestors of the Jewish people. He’s about to do something to save them. That solution should be coming up any second.

How does the Bible follow up this declaration of God’s noticing the Israelites? Exodus 3:1

Meanwhile, Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

Does that seem totally disconnected to you? God saw the suffering of His people. Moses is tending sheep.

Sure, if we know the rest of the story, we know how God brings about the connection. But just like in the Doctor Who episode, the solution seems obvious after the fact, not so much in the middle of it.

Wouldn’t it have made much more sense for Moses, as an adopted part of the royal family, to hold some position similar to Joseph and convince the Pharaoh to let the Israelites go? Or maybe, Moses could inspire and lead the rebellion of which the Egyptians were always wary. Those sound somehow plausible, but how is anything going to happen with Moses hiding out as a shepherd in the wilderness?

How is anything going to happen? God is going to show up in an unusual way. God did see the suffering of His people. Moses is off in the woods tending sheep. God, however, will bring about the solution to the former by interceding in the later.

Moses meets a bush on fire, but not consumed and hears the voice of the great I AM instruct Moses on how He will use Moses to free His people. The solution came out of nowhere.

Have you been there? Are you there right, now?

We all face problems and troubles in our lives. Usually not quite as bad as our entire race and religion being enslaved, but maybe it feels like that when we are going through it. You’ve looked around and there seems to be no solution in sight. Did you check out in the woods for wandering shepherds? Did you check the cross for a humble, dying Savior?

For those who follow Christ, He will provide the perfect solution because He is the perfect solution. Moses foreshadows the later Prophet who would come like him. Jesus was that Prophet and Jesus is the ultimate unknown solution to our problem – no matter the problem.

I know sometimes your problems seems unbearable and unescapable, but that is only because of your limited perspective. You cannot see on the other side of a mountain in the wilderness to where God is coming down to speak through a burning bush. Your problems will not let you see through time to the top of a mountain outside the city to where God is coming down to speak through wooden cross.

Don’t give up. The cross means victory in this life and the next. The unknown solution to your problem is the Savior you’ve known all along. 

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About Author

Aaron Earls

Christian. Husband. Daddy. Writer. Online editor for Facts & Trends Magazine. Fan of quick wits, magical wardrobes, brave hobbits, time traveling police boxes & Blue Devils.