Has Your Straw Been Taken Away?
The following devotional entitled, "Has Your Straw Been Taken Away," is
by Dr. Mark T. O’Farrell, President of Trinity College of Florida.
Before Moses arrived back in Egypt to lead God’s people to the promised land, the people of Israel were making bricks. This was hard, hot, and tiring work! A new Pharaoh, who did not know Joseph, had risen to power. He realized the number and strength of God’s people, so he imposed “taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens.” Exodus 1:11 ESV The Bible also states that “they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field.” Exodus 1:13-14 ESV
Think on these words: taskmaster, afflict, heavy burdens, ruthlessly, bitter, and hard service. To make matters worse, Moses comes into the presence of Pharaoh, requesting their deliverance from this hardship. The King of Egypt is upset, to say the least, and says the following to the taskmasters:
“You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks…let them go and gather straw for themselves…Go and get your straw yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced in the least.” Exodus 5:7,11 ESV
Not only was the work difficult and extremely discouraging, but now an extra burden was also added. The straw was taken away, but the responsibility in work remained the same! That which was necessary to make the “bricks” was taken away, but the work and the demands are the same!
Has this happened to you? The money is not there, but the bills remain! The physical strength is not there, but the responsibilities remain! Your friends have abandoned you, but the longing for help remains! The job is gone, but the needs of the family abound! What is your “straw?” What has been taken away from you that was extremely necessary to complete the task or fulfill the responsibility? It has been hard enough to work and live with the “straw” provided, but now it is no longer available. You might be saying, “What do I do now?” Your “taskmaster” says, “The work will continue! Get going!” But your going has GONE!
But there is HOPE! Read carefully:
“…and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, And God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel---and God knew. Exodus 2:23-25 ESV
God knows that your “straw” has been taken away! He knows of your hurt! He knows of your fear! He knows of your groaning! And not only does He know, He is doing something about it right now! As He said to Moses, He says to you, “…I know their sufferings and I have come down to deliver them out … and to bring them up … to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey…” Exodus 3:7-8 ESV The Deliverer is on the way - the deliverance is on the way! Get ready to see the Hand of the Lord! He knows what you have been facing and He is doing something about it! In the meanwhile, pray like it all depends upon God, and work like it all depends upon you. God will guide a moving vessel. Move forward in the confidence that God knows! It is only a matter of time before you will see the “salvation of the Lord!” Divine Straw is coming your way for the needs and responsibilities you face! You can count on it!
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