Finding hope in bricks with no straw
Moses and Aaron had gone to Pharaoh the first time and had asked for a 3 day journey away for the Hebrews to worship and sacrifice to God. Pharaoh not only refused, he called the Hebrews lazy for asking for time away from their labors so he gave a new order. The Hebrew slaves were to gather their own straw for bricks rather than have it given to them as before and the brick quota was to stay the same. Obviously this created a major problem for the Hebrews and the Israelite foremen were beaten because they couldn’t keep up with the quota demands. The foremen went to plea with Pharaoh for help but he held firm to his order. Then the men turned on Moses and blamed him for causing all their problems.
Just days before, Moses and Aaron met with the Hebrew leaders to bring the great news that God had not forgotten them, had heard their cries, and was getting ready to deliver them from the hand of Pharaoh. In response, the people worshiped God. Then instead of immediate release, their labor demands increased and they were upset. They lost sight of the promised deliverance because they couldn’t see past the struggles of the day.
As I read of their attitude, I want to shake my head at them but 2 things stop me.
One: I have the benefit of reading about how their story in Egypt ends. I know they will soon receive their freedom in a most dramatic way… they don’t see it yet.
Two: I do the same thing at times. I look to God and question because I know he had led me in a certain direction or promised something to me through his Word yet because of the circumstances around me I feel like things are moving in the wrong direction. Did I misunderstand? Did I do something wrong and was facing discipline? Often I desperately want the answer to the question- ‘WHY?’ This story of straw and bricks reminds me that I’m not seeing the big picture and I certainly don’t see the great deliverance and blessings yet to come… not because I follow the rules or deserve it but because God is faithful, his plans are perfect, and he loves me (and you) so overwhelmingly!
God, you bring a smile to my heart today! You fill me with hope and remind me to keep my eyes focused on you today and not on the circumstances surrounding me. You give me the strength to walk on in faith trusting you to work things out according to your perfect will. Amen!