“The Israelite foremen could see that they were in serious trouble when they were told, ‘You must not reduce the number of bricks you make each day.’ As they left Pharaoh’s court, they confronted Moses and Aaron, who were waiting outside for them. The foremen said to them, ‘May the Lord judge and punish you for making us stink before Pharaoh and his officials. You have put a sword into their hands, an excuse to kill us!’

Then Moses went back to the Lord and protested, ‘Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people, Lord? Why did you send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh as your spokesman, he has been even more brutal to your people. And you have done nothing to rescue them!’

Then the Lord told Moses, ‘Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. When he feels the force of my strong hand, he will let the people go. In fact, he will force them to leave his land!’

And God said to Moses, ‘I am Yahweh—‘the Lord.’ I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them.  And I reaffirmed my covenant with them. Under its terms, I promised to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreigners.  You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians. And I am well aware of my covenant with them. Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the Lord. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment.  I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt. I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your very own possession. I am the Lord!’” Exodus 5:19-23; 6:1-8 (NLT)




Moses was obeying God’s instructions by traveling back to Egypt, bringing his case before Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave. However, the Israelites were forced labor in the country, and their absence would have significantly impacted the Egyptians productivity. After the Israelite foremen went to see Pharaoh, their situation went from bad to worse. Not only were they being forced to stay in Egypt, they would have less materials to complete their work and meet their daily quota. Moses, who was trying to help change their plight, seemed to be the responsible party for their new situation. When the people came to Moses, Moses went to God who had originally led him there. In Moses’ conversation with God, he was almost challenging God’s care for His people. Didn’t God see their plight? Why didn’t God intervene as things got worse? Yet, the Lord’s response was steadfast and in alignment with His original instructions to Moses. Pharaoh would let the people go, and God would fulfill his covenant to His people. But Moses would have to go back to Pharaoh and have the conversation again. Even though the Israelites’ circumstances would worsen before they were freed, God was setting the stage for a divine deliverance as only He could do.


In our lives, difficult circumstances can cause us to question God’s care. We may be diligently praying for an answer or deliverance, and our circumstances just go from bad to worse. How do we reconcile God’s care with difficult circumstances? We have to remember that God is not a circumstantial God in that His Word does not change even when our worlds are changing. When we get the report from the doctor or come home to an empty house that used to be filled, His care and concern for us has not changed. As with the Israelites, sometimes the timeline is a little longer than what we would prefer. We want God to show up now, while God is meticulously orchestrating and intervening on our behalf. If you are facing a situation that seems to have gone from bad to worse, don’t lose hope in the God who parts the Red Sea. Psalms 46:1 (ESV) says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Deliverance may come by a different means than we would expect, but He will be faithful to His Word and help us in our time of greatest need.


Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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About Hona Amer

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