2018-01-07 - Pharaoh's Response to Moses
And to reinforce his point, Pharaoh wanted to make sure the people didn’t have the time to slack off. At the same time, I suspect he felt his action would undermine Moses' and Aaron’s abilities to get the people to listen to them, which sadly was an accurate assessment.
Pharaoh sent instructions to his slave drivers and foremen to make the job of the slaves even more difficult. They were no longer to receive any straw for making bricks. If they had to gather straw as well as produce at the same level as previously, they certainly would not have the time to listen to the ramblings of two crazies. Pharaoh’s idea wasn’t a bad one either, except it didn’t take into consideration God’s involvement.
So the new schedule was carried out. The slave drivers passed on the instructions to the Hebrew foreman. The people were forced to chase all over the land to find enough stubble to make bricks. Then when the people couldn’t comply with production standards, they were beaten. The Hebrew officers, those made overseers, went to the King to complain of the new situation, and his response was “I don’t care. You have to keep up production.”
Consequently, the people went to Moses and Aaron, complaining that their words had caused the Pharaoh to make their situation even more ugly. They blamed Moses and Aaron for all their problems. How soon they forgot God’s promises. How often it seems problems drive out promises.
So let’s not be too critical of these men for their forgetfulness. We also fall into the same trap. If things don’t go as we think they should, we often forget that the Lord loves us, that he wants what is best for us, and most importantly, He knows what is best for us - something we often don’t. As a result, we’ve been known to react in anger, saying: “What have you done for me lately?” This is a problem we will constantly see with these people. We should learn from them that we must trust the Lord in all things.
I’m going to assume Aaron warned the people that Pharaoh wasn’t going to immediately allow them to go, that is was going to take time. This being the case, they shouldn’t have expected anything different.
We also shouldn’t be surprised when we find ourselves up against a wall because of our faith. Jesus warned us of this danger.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me” (John 15:18–21).
Contrary to the teaching of some, we also shouldn’t be surprised if our life isn’t “a bed of roses.” We are called to service, not comfort, as the Lord said of Himself:
“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head”
Yet we seemed surprised when life doesn’t go the way we think it should. Why do you think this is? What can we do, to be better prepared for the reality of the trials of life?
Nevertheless, we can understand the people’s disappointment. They were looking for the promised freedom. Instead, it appears things have simply gotten worse. One thing we tend to frequently overlook is, the Lord works in His own time and His own way.
“But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness” (Psalms 69:13).Exodus Study to be continued.
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