Are you familiar with the saying “It’s going to get worse before it gets better?” It’s usually said as a way to make us feel better…“This seems to be worse than it was before, but then it has to get better.”

Although they didn’t know it at the time, this certainly seemed to be the case for the Israelites in Egypt.

The Lord told Moses to go talk to Pharaoh. Moses was obedient and went with Aaron to see Pharaoh. But later that day, life only got worse for the Israelites.

Pharaoh changed the rules. Instead of straw for the bricks being supplied, Pharaoh ordered the Israelite slaves to find the straw themselves and still make the same number of bricks as before. In other words, they had more work to do, with the same quota of bricks to be completed, in the same amount of time. And the slave drivers appointed by Pharaoh didn’t take kindly to the work not being completed on time.

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.” Exodus 5:22-23 NIV

Moses was discouraged. The Israelites were discouraged. But where this lower story did not make any sense on its own, the upper story tells of God’s plan for His people.

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.

“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.’” Exodus 6:1, 6-7 NIV

I wonder if the Israelites were thinking, too little, too late. Just as they didn’t understand God’s timing, I don’t either. But I’m not called to understand. I’m called to trust Him and be obedient.

God promised the Israelites deliverance, but it would be in a way that was humanly impossible. God wanted there to be no mistake that it was His work for His people.

What does that mean for us today?

Often life gets worse through no wrongdoing of our own. But what about the times when life gets worse because we think we can do it on our own?

How often do we forget to take an issue to God before trying to solve it on our own?

Or when we do take it to God, but then take it back? Thanks for your help, God. I’ll take it from here.

It seems God will let us exhaust our efforts until we’re out of ideas and energy. Then when we see no way and think it’s impossible, we go back to Him. Whether it’s how we want or in a way we never dreamed of, God will amaze us. And He wants us to know it was of Him, not our own efforts.

The Israelites were understandably frustrated and discouraged. But what if they had chosen not to follow Moses?

Not only would they have missed the amazing miracle of walking through the Red Sea, but also receiving the Ten Commandments, and ultimately entering the Promised Land.

What will we miss if we don’t wait for God?

In Christ,


Laura Rath ~ Journey in Faith

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