I always think it sounds crazy to say stuff like this, but here goes —
I was on the treadmill yesterday and just distinctly and overwhelmingly had the need, not just urge, to read Exodus 5. That is the most random thing ever, I realize. Of all the bits and pieces in the Bible, I am doing 7 mph on a treadmill and suddenly overcome with the unshakable conviction I must slow down the treadmill, get out my phone, and read Exodus 5.
So I do.
To set the scene, Moses has returned to Egypt with Aaron. He has gone to Pharaoh and asked to let the Israelites go into the desert to worship the Lord. Pharaoh says no. Then Pharaoh tells his foreman to stop giving the Israelites straw. They’re to get it themselves and keep up their brick quota or else.
Then I get to the verse. There was no audible thunder, but it struck me like lightning.
Exodus 5:15, 16:
Then the foremen of the people of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, “Why do you treat your servants like this? No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ And behold, your servants are beaten; but the fault is in your own people.”
I have been struggling career-wise of late, plotting and working to develop next steps and hopefully grow my platform some more. It has been keeping me up at night and keeping me on my knees more than even God probably wants. I think he is about to start blocking my calls for a while.
Except these two verses hit me.
At the end of chapter 4, Moses and Aaron return and Aaron
“spoke all the words that the LORD had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.” (Exodus 4:30-31).
But when Pharaoh takes away their straw, who do the Israelite leaders turn to? Pharaoh. Instead of praying for help or turning to Aaron and Moses, they go immediately to Pharaoh. They call themselves Pharaoh’s servants and they assign fault to the Egyptians. They don’t blame Pharaoh. They don’t call on God. They go begging the guy causing all the problems and don’t even recognize that he’s the source of the problem.
I way too often go to others first, before going to God. I way too often try to resolve my issues with others without first asking God for guidance. I way to often try to get the straw for my occupational bricks on my own or via others without ever asking God to supply them or rescue me from the burden of having to make them.
I bet you do the same.
God has seen our afflictions and distress. Instead of going to your man made gods and other idols and calling on them to relieve your distress, turn to the God who knows your distress and call on Him for help.