March 15, 2023
IT MAY BE HARDER BEFORE IT BECOMES EASIER
The Israelite foremen could see that they were in serious trouble when they were told, “You must not reduce the number of bricks you make each day.” As they left Pharaoh’s court, they confronted Moses and Aaron, who were waiting outside for them. The foremen said to them, “May the Lord judge and punish you for making us stink before Pharaoh and his officials. You have put a sword into their hands, an excuse to kill us!” Then Moses went back to the Lord and protested, “Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people, Lord? Why did you send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh as your spokesman, he has been even more brutal to your people. And you have done nothing to rescue them!”
Exodus 5:19-23 NLT
When God called Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand he let the children of Israel go, God told him it would not be easy. Pharaoh’s heart would become hard. I don’t think Moses realized how tough this journey was going to be. The first trip Moses and Aaron make to meet with Pharaoh doesn’t go well—in fact it has the opposite impact. Instead of letting them go for a three-day trip to worship God, Pharaoh makes their workload more difficult. He commands that the task masters stop supplying them with straw to make bricks. That means they had to gather their own straw. But the task masters told them they had to make the same number of bricks. The actions of Moses had created a greater division between the children of Israel and the Egyptians. Life for the children of Israel gets harder, not better. They must work harder and longer with no benefit. Pharaoh says they are lazy and is angry with them. The workers turn on Moses and Aaron and blame them for making their lives more difficult. Often when God begins to work, things get worse before they get better. There comes a time of conflict and chaos before the time of victory. Today we understand and realize God is setting the stage for a great victory over Egypt and Pharaoh. God is allowing Pharaoh to harden his heart and get angry so that he will act foolishly and bring about the destruction of the entire nation. Pharaoh’s actions will result in the beginning of the toppling of Egyptian empire. But the children of Israel did not know the rest of the story. Moses has told them God has promised deliverance, but it seems life has gotten worse instead of better. They are going to need faith to put their trust in Moses. It will come, but the process will be painful. God’s process of deliverance is painful. It often has twists and turns He didn’t reveal at the beginning. We must cling to the promise in the mist of our pain.
Holy Spirit help me to see with clarity the promise of God even in my pain. Help me to remind myself of Your desire to work in and through me.
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