19. Things might get worse

Moses and Aaron had made their first visit to the Pharaoh and things didn't turn out as they had planned. In fact things got worse, much worse. Pharaoh gave orders to the slave drivers and foremen:

Exodus 5:7-9 "Do not supply the people with any more straw for making bricks. Let them get it themselves! But don't reduce their production quotas by a single brick. They obviously don't have enough to do. If they did, they wouldn't be talking about going into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to their God. Load them down with more work. Make them sweat! That will teach them to listen to these liars!" 

The poor Israelites scurried all over the area and tried to find straw to still complete their quota, but to no avail. It was impossible. They were treated harshly and their situation deteriorated at a rapid pace! They were worse off than before. They tried to complain to Pharaoh, but this made him even angrier. They were desperate and in their frustration, they turned on Moses and proclaimed God's judgment on him.

Poor Moses. He was only trying to do what God had instructed him to do, and now Pharaoh and his own people were against him. And the only One he could turn to was God.

Exodus 5:22, 23 "Why have You mistreated Your own people like this, Lord? Why did You send me? Since I gave Pharaoh your message, he has been even more brutal to Your people. You have not even begun to rescue them!"

Obviously Moses didn't know God's plan. Moses definitely expected faster results and fewer problems. He didn't know that there will be 10 plagues; he didn't know that God will open the Red Sea for them; he didn't know that God will bring Egypt to their knees, he didn't know all that. All he could see at this moment was failure. He did what God asked of him and it resulted in failure. Full stop. And God knew this too. He didn't reprimand Moses for talking to Him like this, no, He understood Moses' heart. What wonderful grace! All He did was tell Moses again, that He certainly will deliver them.

I think we can learn from this. When embarking on a journey with God we expect it to be easy, and that all things will go our way, we expect favor wherever we go and we expect blessings to start flowing immediately, but it doesn't always work that way. Sometimes God allows things to develop our character, to test our faith, to grow patience in our hearts, or to portray His power in our lives, we don't know, but one thing is certain, we mustn't give up. Don't ever give up on the road that God has laid on your heart. It might be hard now, but the glory lies ahead, just push on a little more. I will end off with a comment in my bible that sums it up beautifully:

Problems develop our character and patience by teaching us to:

  1. Trust God to do what is best for us.
  2. Look for ways to honor God in our present situation.
  3. Remember that God will not abandon us and
  4. Watch for God's plan for us.

Father God, please help us through the times when things look bleak and unpromising. Help us to still go on with Your plan for us. Give us strength to go forward, step by step. In Jesus Name. Amen

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