Exodus – God’s Way Out
There are some people that might be blaming God and accuse Him of sending a virus among us to stop our whining. But that isn’t how God works. We live in a fallen world, with fallen people who make unwise decisions that affect all of us. We have a God who listens, hears and comes to help us when we cry out to Him. Many do not know God so they do not listen.
Will our testimony of who God is be enough to help people understand who He is and that He deserves our attention? Will what we say, led by His Holy Spirit, help people in this time of distress, fear and anxiety turn to God? We have hope and we need to share the Hope of God who delivered us through Jesus, our redeemer.
Like Pharaoh, many today are asking, “Who is God that I should listen to Him..?
When bad times get worse, before they get better, will we still be tenacious in our faith in our Father who knows what we are going through?
Exodus 5, The Message
Moses and Aaron and Pharaoh
After that Moses and Aaron approached Pharaoh. They said, “God, the God of Israel, says, ‘Free my people so that they can hold a festival for me in the wilderness.’”
2 Pharaoh said, “And who is God that I should listen to him and send Israel off? I know nothing of this so-called ‘God’ and I’m certainly not going to send Israel off.”
3 They said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness so we can worship our God lest he strike us with either disease or death.”
4-5 But the king of Egypt said, “Why on earth, Moses and Aaron, would you suggest the people be given a holiday? Back to work!” Pharaoh went on, “Look, I’ve got all these people bumming around, and now you want to reward them with time off?”
6-9 Pharaoh took immediate action. He sent down orders to the slave-drivers and their underlings: “Don’t provide straw for the people for making bricks as you have been doing. Make them get their own straw. And make them produce the same number of bricks—no reduction in their daily quotas! They’re getting lazy. They’re going around saying, ‘Give us time off so we can worship our God.’ Crack down on them. That’ll cure them of their whining, their god-fantasies.”
10-12 The slave-drivers and their underlings went out to the people with their new instructions. “Pharaoh’s orders: No more straw provided. Get your own straw wherever you can find it. And not one brick less in your daily work quota!” The people scattered all over Egypt scrabbling for straw.
13 The slave-drivers were merciless, saying, “Complete your daily quota of bricks—the same number as when you were given straw.”
14 The Israelite foremen whom the slave-drivers had appointed were beaten and badgered. “Why didn’t you finish your quota of bricks yesterday or the day before—and now again today?”
15-16 The Israelite foremen came to Pharaoh and cried out for relief: “Why are you treating your servants like this? Nobody gives us any straw and they tell us, ‘Make bricks!’ Look at us—we’re being beaten. And it’s not our fault.”
17-18 But Pharaoh said, “Lazy! That’s what you are! Lazy! That’s why you whine, ‘Let us go so we can worship God.’ Well then, go—go back to work. Nobody’s going to give you straw, and at the end of the day you better bring in your full quota of bricks.”
19 The Israelite foremen saw that they were in a bad way, having to go back and tell their workers, “Not one brick short in your daily quota.”
20-21 As they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them. The foremen said to them, “May God see what you’ve done and judge you—you’ve made us stink before Pharaoh and his servants! You’ve put a weapon in his hand that’s going to kill us!”
22-23 Moses went back to God and said, “My Master, why are you treating this people so badly? And why did you ever send me? From the moment I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, things have only gotten worse for this people. And rescue? Does this look like rescue to you?”
Moses and Aaron’s initial announcement (4:29-31) met with a good deal of acceptance from the Hebrews. The prospect of a magical release without cost or difficulty always meets with such approval. What if someone announced “I have a way out of this virus situation”? Wouldn’t we readily accept it?
However, God’s activity is never without cost and difficulty, as it was not here. It is in the context of this difficulty that the underlying issue of the book of Exodus emerges:
Who is Yahweh? (5:2)
What is his power?
Can he be trusted?
The real problem of the people was their ignorance of God. Until they came to know him, mere physical deliverance could only lead to a different kind of bondage.
Since Pharaoh was considered God incarnate by the Egyptians, there was no reason why he should obey some unknown god of the Semites. Since he could not accept the reality of Yahweh’s (God’s) revelation, he had to imagine some other reason for the Hebrews’ request. Surely they had too much time on their hands (5:8). Let them spend that time gathering the straw used to bind the mud bricks together while drying.
God’s offer of deliverance made the situation worse, not better. This is often true in life: to begin to follow God is to attract the attention and the wrath of God’s enemies. Verse 23 brings to a sharp focus the questions that emerged about God’s nature and character.
In the midst of our own world crisis are we asking why, why, why?
Why God am I losing my job?
Why can’t life go on as normal?
Why are people hoarding the supplies?
Why do I have to stay inside my house for weeks?
Why is this happening?
Better questions might be:
What are you teaching me?
How can I help others through this?
How will this strengthen our faith in you?
How will you turn this bad situation to good? (He will.)
Will your glory and power be seen in this? (Certainly, He will!)
God answers these prayers immediately with holy revelation of WHO He is and how He works!
Latest example: During a new online Bible study we began last night with some young ladies, one was distressed over finishing her coursework from a local college. The virus has cause her to quarantined in her home with six children while trying to finish her schoolwork. Another woman in the group immediately spoke up to offer help. This woman who popped in was an instructor, in the student’s field of study, at her college and offered to help her through it!!! People, this is GOD!!
AND WHO IS GOD THAT I SHOULD LISTEN?
Allow God to reveal Himself to you today by looking up, listening and watching where He is already at work!
We will be looking for you, watching for you, listening and obeying you when you invite us to come along and join you in your work. You are amazing! Thank you for all you have done, are doing and will do in our lives.
In Jesus Name, Amen