Exodus 5 finds the people Israel enslaved when Moses goes to tell Pharaoh that He aught to let the people go so they can serve God in the wilderness. As a result, Pharaoh no longer requires the Egyptian task masters to supply the Israelites with straw to make bricks.
He decrees that not only must they keep making the same quota of bricks daily, but now they must go out and collect their own straw. The people are distraught. This will make their work so much harder. And on top of it all, they are told that it is because Moses asked for their freedom to worship God. Basically he asked for a day off for religious reasons.
When they see Moses, who by the way is not enslaved with them, their words are sharp. “May the Lord judge and punish you for making us stink before Pharaoh and his officials.” They were angry to say the least, but God gives Moses a message for His people.
It is found in Exodus chapter 6:6-8. In this message, God gives His people 7 promises concerning their present situation. He tells them all He will do to change their lives drastically.
It is verse 9 however that catches my attention. God’s promises are met with disbelief.
What?! The God they have been crying out to for hundreds of years, the God they believed would send a deliverer has made promises to finally deliver and the people don’t believe?
Why? How could this be? This is what they had been waiting for. Why were they missing the power in the promise?
Discouragement and harsh labor. Verse 9 tells us that they didn’t believe because of discouragement and harsh labor. All they could think about was meeting a quota while still having to look for straw.
All they could think about was all they had to do. Deliverance was here, but they were missing it.
It is no difference for us. God speaks a promise to us and we believe Him for it… until we get hit with circumstances that discourage us and labor that feels as if it will kill us. We are caught up in our jobs, making ends meet, paying the bills, taking care of sick children or aging parents so much so that when God speaks a promise we can’t even believe it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. These are important things of life, but when we allow them to eclipse the promise and power of God, we’ve elevated them to the throne in our lives.
I wrote to tell you today that discouragement and harsh labor are a tool’s tools. The enemy of our souls is coming against us with the same tools that he always has.
Well, I’ve got a few tools in my toolbox. I’ve got the word of God to encourage me when I am discouraged. I’ve got prayer, so I can re-up on all the promises God has made to me. I’ve got praise to thwart and confuse the enemy.
When Satan whips out his tools of discouragement and harsh labor, whip out your tools. Put on the whole armor of God and shake the devil off! (Eph. 6:10-18)
Don’t let that tool’s tools make you miss your promise!