• William T. Howe Ph.D.

January 19, 2021

Daily Reading: Exodus 4-6

Exodus 5:23

For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.

So it begins. The long arduous task of the Lord freeing His people from captivity. It has been almost 350 years since Joseph died. Sometime after his death a new king began to reign in Egypt who determined that the Israelites were a threat. Therefore he put them in bondage, making them slaves, and burdening them with grievous tasks under the hands of ruthless masters. In this bondage they cried out to God. In Exodus 6:5 we read something that gives us a wonderful remembrance that God loves His people and will always keep His promise to them. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.

So, the Lord God called and sent Moses to deliver the Israelites. At the first they wholly welcomed Moses and his promise of deliverance as recorded in Exodus 4:31: And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped. They were ready and they believed. Great their rejoicing must have been. "Oh, How wonderful is the God of our Fathers to send us a deliverer" they must have said. But, instead of being hastily delivered they met with greater hardships, and more ruthless masters. As the old saying goes "things went from bad to worse." When this happened they turned on Moses. At first they believed him, soon after they disdained him.

This is often the case. This very same scenario happens over and over and over again. Every pastor has experienced it. They present to the people of their congregation a message from God's Holy Word; the people receive it and begin to live according to that which was preached. Only, instead of finding it easy, they find it difficult. They begin by faith, difficulties arise because of their new-found life of faith, they then shrink under the heavy hand of obstacles and hardships, and soon begin to turn back into their old way of life. This happens all the time.

The Exodus of God's people from bondage did not happen overnight, it was a process that took a long time and exacted a heavy toll. Little did they know of the ten plagues to come, the Passover, and then once they were to leave, that they would be chased by a massive army. Dire days are ahead for the Israelites, which is true for all who will live godly in Christ Jesus as II Timothy 3:12 declares: Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

So, learn from them and determine to live by faith in your corner of the world. And remember the quote from the preacher, "Never stop in doubt that which you begin by faith".

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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