Truthfulness versus Convenience

In Exodus 5, there is a dispute about the Hebrews staying under servitude in Egypt or leaving to go worship Jehovah in the wilderness. God sent Moses to Pharaoh with the message to release the people. That ought to settle the matter. There should be no debate as to what the right thing is to do.  However, Pharaoh calls the slave supervisors together for a meeting and among other things tells them to pay no attention to untruthful reports (vs. 9 “not regard vain words”). “Were the slaves exaggerating?”, one might ask. Actually, there is no indication that the Hebrews were being untruthful. They were complaining about the level of work that was being put upon them and expressing how impractical the Egyptian’s expectations were concerning their performance. That is not what Pharaoh wants to hear. That would be an inconvenient report because then he might need to cut work hours, give longer rest periods and invest in more supplies which raises the cost of the project. Nope, he doesn’t want to go there in his thinking. How does Pharaoh handle it? Just relegate these reports to error, and convince everyone else that these are just the gripes of discontented, lazy slaves. However, we know that the Hebrews were right and Pharaoh was simply suppressing the truth. Truth and convenience often go head-to-head. When the facts are not in our favor, our flesh gets frustrated. If the flesh can’t interpret the facts to its favor, it might have to ignore those facts altogether. This is what lost people often do when they are confronted with the truth about their own sinfulness. Rom 1:18 says they “hold the truth in unrighteousness” or unrighteously suppress the truth. It is not convenient to believe that living as you want has immediate and eternal consequences.  Guess what. Christians can be guilty of the same thing. This is why we are commanded to “quench not the Spirit” in 1 Thess. 5:19. The Holy Spirit is the One who guides us into truth (Jn. 16:13), but we may not always like where He directs us. So, what you must decide is whether you want a life based on convenience or truth. Frequently, you cannot have both.

By Pastor Wood

Carl is married to Becky and together they have three children. They live in Little River, SC where he pastors Anchor Baptist Church.

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