Exodus 5 & 6

 

Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.

Bible Reading

Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.'”

Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.”

Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword.”

But the king of Egypt said, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor? Get back to your work!” Then Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you are stopping them from working.”
That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people: “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.”

(Exodus 5:1-9)

The Israelite overseers realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.” When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, “May the Lord look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.”

God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself fully known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.'”

(Exodus 5:19-6:8)

Devotion

Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to just be going horribly wrong?

We have all been there.

It starts right when you get out of bed, and the problems just don’t seem to stop until your head hits the pillow at the end of the day.

This experience must have felt like an extended bad day for Moses.

After arguing with God and reluctantly obeying His command, Moses at last goes to Pharaoh with God’s message. That is when things went from bad to worse.

Instead of lifting the oppression on the Israelites, which would have built their trust in Moses’ leadership, Pharaoh increased their work, eroding any small amount favor that Moses had with the people.

Sometimes God’s plan does not seem to be going so smoothly.

We often expect God’s plan to be the path of least resistance. We expect God to smooth out any struggles, difficulties, or trials along the way. We often fall into the trap that doing things God’s way means doing things the easy way.

When we see difficulty on the horizon we have the tendency to jump ship and conclude that it was not God’s plan after all. Moses would help us to see otherwise.

God’s plan often includes resistance and trials.

From Moses’ perspective, the whole experience justified an “I told you so” message directed at God.

From God’s perspective, the plan was just beginning.

God’s plan allowed, Moses, the Israelites, and us to see His faithfulness in on even bigger scale than if Pharaoh had released them on that first day. In this chapter, God repeatedly says, “I am the Lord.”

We see that even in the face of struggle, He is still in charge.

Look for God’s provision and power in your life today.

The Big Question

It is hard to avoid temptation when you are caught in the midst of it, but you can do it. Joseph ran and left his shirt behind!

What can you do to arm yourself with the tools to avoid temptation next time you come up against it?

Conclude in prayer and silence reflecting on what you’ve learned.