BIBLE READING: Exodus 5-7
I imagine as Moses enters the throne room of the Pharaoh, he is just oozing with confidence. After all, just days before he had been specifically called by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He had been reunited with his brother Aaron, he had the weight of the Israelite elders behind him and he had the signs from God to support him. Deep down, he probably knew that Pharaoh wasn’t just going to lay down and say “ by all means Moses, go and do whatever you want to do.” Yet, it didn’t go quite as he had planned either. After making his plea to Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt not only forbids them to go, he doubles their work! Now imagine what it must have been like back in Goshen as they all waited to hear the news from Moses and Aaron’s visit to Pharaoh. Maybe they were discussing the possible outcomes; would he or won’t he? As they wait for Moses and Aaron to reveal his response, they are met by one of the taskmasters who says “thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw. Go and get your straw yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced in the least.'” (Exodus 5:10-11). I assume this was not the response they had expected…more work! Naturally, this was not the response that Moses was hoping for either; not only had he failed, he had made things worse for his people. The Bible records his frustration “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 5:22-23).
Don’t you just hate it when things don’t go as you had planned? You work hard and have expectations only to have everything just fall apart right before your eyes. It is very disheartening when things don’t work out as we expect them to. In looking back at Exodus 3 and 4, it is important to note that God said Moses would be successful, but He never said it would be easy. One of the most important lessons that Moses and the Israelites had to learn, was persistence. Moses had to be persistent with Pharaoh. He had to be persistent with his efforts. He had to be persistent with his faith. We are taught that when life gives us lemons, we need to make lemonade, when maybe we need to go back and ask for something other than lemons. Although their task was difficult, in the end the Israelites were successful in their efforts to leave Egypt; they just had to be persistent. Our lives are no different; things will not always work out the way you expect them to, so don’t give up! We must be persistent with our faith and not give up, because in the end God promises us … Victory!