Exodus 5:1-2 (NLT) “After this presentation to Israel’s leaders, Moses and Aaron went and spoke to Pharaoh. They told him, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Let my people go so they may hold a festival in My honor in the wilderness.” 2 “Is that so?” retorted Pharaoh. “And who is the Lord? Why should I listen to him and let Israel go? I don’t know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go.”

Sometimes it seems like our problems get worse before they get better. Think about it. Many great athletes got motivated and stimulated to work to be better than they were so that they could prove their distractors wrong. Even though the athletes did not like what was being said about them, God used that criticism to inspire them to get better. To be the persons they would ultimately become. God still uses criticism today. So many people want people who only speak well to them where they are, but if God knows that you can do better, He will put you with people who will challenge you. Sometimes they are detractors. Many times our enemies. The people of Israel did not know what Moses and Aaron knew. And they did not know that God was going to use their adversity to prepare them to be better people than they were right now, that He was with them and that they would not only be allowed to go off for three days to worship God but to ultimately be freed from slavery in Egypt altogether. After all, God knows the purposes and plans that He has for us.

The hardship on the people of Israel increased and God allowed it. He allowed it because as He told Moses before he reached this point, “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him. 20 So I will raise My hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go.” Exodus 3:19-20 (NLT). When Moses cried out to the Lord telling Him what the Israelite foremen said, see Exodus 5:22, 23, the Lord tells Moses in Exodus 6:1-8 what to say to the people. When Moses tells them, the people were so discouraged in verse 9 that they refused to listen to Moses. They had become discouraged by the brutality of their slavery. God was speaking faith, but the people were only speaking what they saw. This is why it is important to realize that we must never stop saying what God says even if it takes a while. Case in point, Joseph. He was not going to help his people by staying home. He had to leave home. He had to experience different hardships in order to be all that God wanted him to be. So he was sold as a slave to Potipher. Then God allowed him to be lied upon to get him to the Egyptian jail. It was in the Egyptian jail that he continued to trust God and develop his craft as an interpreter of dreams. Yet this was just preparation, for the day would come when he would stand before Pharoah, and interpret his dream before a crowd of people. This was designed to let the Egyptians know that only God is the real interpreter of dreams and knows men’s hearts and thoughts. (Genesis 41:15-16 (NLT) “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream last night, and no one here can tell me what it means. But I have heard that when you hear about a dream you can interpret it. 16 “It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.”). God not only gave Joseph the interpretation of the dream but also the solution to the problem in the dream. Then in Genesis 45:4-9 (NASB) “Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come closer to me.” And they came closer. And he said, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. 8 Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, “God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay.” Here Joseph tells his brothers about God’s purpose.

Yes, brothers and sisters, when a person turns their life over to God, only God knows how to direct your life to get the most from it. He knows why He created you for a specific time and place.

Notice too, that there is an order with God, i.e. a line of authority if you will. God does things in a particular order. He didn’t give the answer to the foremen directly. They had to take their complaints to Moses. The leadership had to be involved. After all, God told Moses that He was going to use him to deliver Israel. Then what did Moses do? He went directly to the Lord and the Lord spoke faith to Moses. (Read Exodus 6:2-9 NLT)

Then, God, had Moses and Aaron confront Pharoah. People can’t be delivered who are not willing to confront their problems. Many times the Lord sends us back to places to confront our problems in order for us to give the problems to Him to solve. God solving our problems also prepare us. There is personal preparation and good from the confrontation and also there is the glory of God or God showing Himself strong on behalf of those who love Him. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are blameless toward Him…” 2 Chronicles 16:9a (AMPC)
The men of Israel did not see their hardship as a blessing from God. They did not see what God was doing. Though Moses was relying upon God, these leaders were relying upon their natural circumstances. Why? Because they were not close to God and God has a hierarchy of how He does things. Remember His thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways and His weapons are not our weapons. (Isaiah 55:8). The people of Israel thought that the Egyptians were their problem. They were trying to solve a spiritual issue by natural means and using natural weapons. But the people of Israel were in a spiritual war. It takes God to show us when we are in a spiritual battle, that the other stuff we face is not the root of our issues. People must put God first. After all, 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT) says, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

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