Our passage today is Exodus Chapter 5 verses 1 to 21.
I wonder if you’ve ever been looking forward to a particular meeting, perhaps with a bit of nervousness, but yet really hoping that it would sort things out for good? Perhaps it was a meeting at work (with the boss), a meeting at your kids’ school (with their teacher or head), a meeting with your GP or the hospital, a meeting with your local councillor about a local issue, a meeting with social services or the housing department? BUT, the meeting then goes horribly wrong, and you feel you’ve ended up in a worse place than when you began.
Well, this is what seems to have happened in our reading today with Moses and Aaron, as they meet with Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. You’ll remember that Moses was very reluctant to go, but the Lord had persuaded him and promised to be with him.
Let us briefly trace what went wrong.
Pharaoh says, ‘I do not know the Lord, the God of Israel, so no!’ (v.2)He ignores the warning of v.3 and tells them to get back to work (vs.4-5).He then makes the task of making bricks even harder by cutting off the supply of straw and yet not cutting the quota of bricks to be made each day (vs.6-13).The Israelite foremen are beaten for not meeting their quotas (v.14).Their own meeting with Pharaoh doesn’t produce a change of policy (vs.15-18).The foremen turn against Moses and Aaron, blaming them for what has happened (vs.20-21).
Humanly speaking, it is a disaster. Very quickly, we are a long way from the worship of the last verse of the previous chapter (Ch.4 v.22) where they believed that the Lord was concerned for them and was going to act.
However, from the Lord’s position, nothing has changed. He didn’t promise an easy ride, He said there would be resistance from Pharaoh, but He also promised that He would rescue them. Would the Israelites continue to trust Him, to hang on in there?
And the same is true for us today. The Lord doesn’t promise us an easy ride, but urges us to hang on in the storms, the ups and downs of life, when others (in authority) seem to be against us. Would you and I hang on in there today, and continue to trust Him?
From our extended Church address list let us remember in prayer today, those who have joined us very recently,- Andrew, our Minister in training- George & Pat