In the Wilderness: Exodus 5

The fight for freedom begins: Exodus 5
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The foremen of the people of Israel saw that they were in trouble when they said, “You shall by no means reduce your number of bricks, your daily task each day.”
Exodus 5:19
Escape from slavery is a battle. Taskmasters hate to lose their slaves. Not only was it true for the Egyptians and the Hebrews, it’s true spiritually, too. Sin hates to lose a soul to God.
At Moses’s arrival and Aaron’s sharing of the good news that God had heard them and sent Moses to free them, the Israelites believed and worshiped God (Exodus 4:29-31). But when the battle began, and it was clear trouble came with the pursuit of freedom, no one was sure they wanted to be free anymore.
They met Moses and Aaron… and they said to them, “The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.” Then Moses turned to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.”
Exodus 5:20-23
Jesus described salvation as being born again spiritually (John 3:3-7), and every delivery requires labor. Sometimes hard labor.
God is not evil and He does no evil. But He does use evil for His good and great purposes as we saw in the life of Joseph. This is one of the lessons we learn as we grow spiritually. God is not interested in making things easy for us. He’s interested in transforming us into the character of His Son, Jesus.
Part of the battle of deliverance has to do with understanding who we’ve been serving and becoming God’s servant rather than the slave of sin. Early in my walk with God, after the joy of making Him Lord of my life, a great battle of fear and anxiety entered my life. It lasted for years…
The enemy was not going to let me go easily. But through a decade long battle of fighting off fear, God revealed unbelief in my life. I did not believe who He said He was. I did not believe His great love for me. I did not believe He was good. Through my battle with fear and anxiety He strengthened my faith and trust in His Word. He brought me to a place of true freedom.
The Israelites were still calling on Pharaoh to take care of their problems: Give us straw. They worried about being “stink” to Pharaoh when really they already were. What they didn’t do. What they hadn’t learned to do yet, was to call on God for straw. Was to be concerned about how they looked to God. They still had their faith in their captors and not in their Savior.
God will not let us go through life serving two masters. He will use the enemy to open our eyes to the truth and turn our hearts toward Him. If you are perplexed by trouble in your life after coming to know Him, remember, He is working to set you completely free from sin and the stronghold of enemy lies in your life.
When trouble comes, don’t seek the salvation of the world. Don’t blame Him for bringing evil in your life. Ask Him: What is it you are setting me free from? Where is my unbelief?

Father God, forgive me when I blame You unjustly for the trouble in my life
Open my heart, mind, and eyes to the reality of the battle I am in.
Prepare my heart for the conviction of my unbelief and unfaithfulness to You
and Your Kingdom.

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