There are so many times that I tell myself, “It is going to get better. It is going to get better.” Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. But through it all, I am reminded of how God is with me and will never leave me.
I am reminded of when Moses went to Pharaoh, and he asked him to let God’s people go away to hold a feast in the wilderness worshiping God. Pharaoh was arrogant. Instead of being ignored and treated like a pest, the Pharaoh got angry for even being asked. So he took out his anger on the people that Moses had asked to be able to go. It doesn’t say that he took out his anger on the one who asked, but the ones that didn’t even have a conversation with Pharaoh. The people who had kept working in hard work environments, being beaten at times and talked to like irritating pests.
These people were treated even worse, and they were given a near impossible daily task to complete. These people were told to continue making bricks. However, instead of receiving the necessary items to create these bricks, they were told to go find these things themselves AND increase their quantity production. They didn’t have enough time to go out, gather the items, and return back to make the day’s amount of bricks unless they possible did not rest at all even to eat a meal during the day and they began before the sun came up and ended after the sun went down. It is unlikely that they made their quota each day, which in turn brought more beatings and mistreatment.
I can imagine the thought of “what do I do?” ran through their heads at least once. Or maybe some of the Hebrews thought, “what did I do to deserve this? Did I do something wrong?” And the answer to that is “no,” in this situation. Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh as God instructed. However, the outcome was not favorable. In fact, it was more oppressing than it was before. Sometimes hardship comes as a result of obeying God. If your life is miserable, don’t assume that you have fallen out of favor with God.
Moses began to question God, and was upset that the situation did not go the way he wanted. He expected faster results with fewer problems. However, when God is at work, suffering, setbacks and hardships may still happen. If we remember what is written in the first chapter of James, verses 2 through 4, we are encouraged to be happy when difficulties come our way. Problems exercise our patience and develop our character in a number of ways.
First, they teach us to trust God to do what is best for us. God is Our Good Good Father. He is also All-Knowing. So He knows what will benefit us and how to get it done the way that benefits us the most. Second, they teach us to look for ways to honor God in our present situation or circumstance. Another thing they teach us is to remember that God will not abandon us. He didn’t abandon the Hebrews. He was still working on the plan that was He set in motion by having Moses ask to begin with. He did not give up and leave them.
Finally, we learn to watch for God’s plan for us. If you are one of His children, He has a plan for you that He set out a long time ago. That doesn’t mean He caused bad things to happen. For insight into that, we look to Job. As we see calamity and suffering in the book of Job, we must remember that we live in a fallen world where good behavior is not always rewarded and bad behavior is not always punished. Sin has twisted justice and made our world unpredictable and ugly.
The outcome of this plan here in Exodus (and in Job) does not end in despair. We can see that faith in God is justified even when our prosperity is hollow. To be unshakable, faith must be built on the confidence that God’s ultimate purpose will come to pass. If we stop reading there, all we see is the hurt and pain that the Hebrews are going through. However, if we keep reading, we see that God was able to show His great power. He showed that He protects His people, and when He says something, it happens.
He is faithful. He will not leave nor forsake us. He is a stronghold. All of these are phrases that we have read throughout the Bible. These are commonly said because we are human. We still struggle and need reminded regularly that God is with us and He is so much more powerful that your circumstance. There is nothing He can’t do. His plan will be carried out. It just may be a more involved process than we want it to be, but our character is built on these challenges, trials, and tragedies. Our strength is increased when we go through problems. Our patience is exercised, lengthened, and strengthen when we face adversity.
When you go on with the rest of your day and week, remember that God is with you no matter what happens. You are not alone. He is there to walk you through it, talk you through it, or take you through it. The point is that you will get through it.
Gotta go fill up my cup…..