Day 6 – Friday 1/27/23

Friday: The Reality of Life

Read the Scripture and devotional either on your own or with your people (family, small group, roommates), and then come together for the discussion each day.

Exodus 5:4-22

Pharaoh replied, “Moses and Aaron, why are you distracting the people from their tasks? Get back to work! Look, there are many of your people in the land, and you are stopping them from their work.”

That same day Pharaoh sent this order to the Egyptian slave drivers and the Israelite foremen: “Do not supply any more straw for making bricks. Make the people get it themselves! But still require them to make the same number of bricks as before. Don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy. That’s why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifices to our God.’ Load them down with more work. Make them sweat! That will teach them to listen to lies!”

10 So the slave drivers and foremen went out and told the people: “This is what Pharaoh says: I will not provide any more straw for you. 11 Go and get it yourselves. Find it wherever you can. But you must produce just as many bricks as before!” 12 So the people scattered throughout the land of Egypt in search of stubble to use as straw.

13 Meanwhile, the Egyptian slave drivers continued to push hard. “Meet your daily quota of bricks, just as you did when we provided you with straw!” they demanded. 14 Then they whipped the Israelite foremen they had put in charge of the work crews. “Why haven’t you met your quotas either yesterday or today?” they demanded.

15 So the Israelite foremen went to Pharaoh and pleaded with him. “Please don’t treat your servants like this,” they begged. 16 “We are given no straw, but the slave drivers still demand, ‘Make bricks!’ We are being beaten, but it isn’t our fault! Your own people are to blame!”

17 But Pharaoh shouted, “You’re just lazy! Lazy! That’s why you’re saying, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifices to the Lord.’ 18 Now get back to work! No straw will be given to you, but you must still produce the full quota of bricks.”

19 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.” 20 As they left Pharaoh’s court, they confronted Moses and Aaron, who were waiting outside for them. 21 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!”

22 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? 23 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!”

Exodus 33:7-11

It was Moses’ practice to take the Tent of Meeting and set it up some distance from the camp. Everyone who wanted to make a request of the Lord would go to the Tent of Meeting outside the camp.

Whenever Moses went out to the Tent of Meeting, all the people would get up and stand in the entrances of their own tents. They would all watch Moses until he disappeared inside. As he went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and hover at its entrance while the Lord spoke with Moses. 10 When the people saw the cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, they would stand and bow down in front of their own tents. 11 Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.

 

God met Moses in the desert and commissioned him to work on God’s behalf. But then, when Moses went and did what God told him to do, things got worse. Pharaoh did not let the people go. Instead, he made the Israelites work harder. Before they had been given straw with which they could make their bricks. But Pharaoh wanted to punish them for requesting their freedom so he refused to give them straw and told them that they still had to make the same amount of bricks. The Israelite foremen were then mad at Moses for making their lives more difficult.

Moses accepted God’s invitation and it seemed that God did not do what He said He would. The lives of the people Moses came to rescue actually got worse because of him and they were angry at him for doing what God told him to do. The whole attempt seemed like a failure almost as soon as it started.

Sometimes obedience doesn’t seem like it’s working. We do what God told us and our efforts make the situation worse. People get upset with us for doing what God said. We question whether we heard God correctly or if He’s really going to keep His Word.

But Moses took God at His word. He kept following directions. He believed that God would do what He said and was undaunted when God’s process was unexpected. The people were released from Egypt and Moses was able to use his learned habit of obedience during difficulty for the rest of his life.

Later in Moses’ life, we see that his persistence in following God led to him developing a life-long friendship with God. As he led the people of Israel, he encountered many problems and difficulties, but he stayed close to God. Exodus 33 says that God spoke to him face-to-face, as a friend.

Stepping into consecration and obedience does not mean that life will be smooth. It does not mean that God will work in ways that we expect. But the problems and difficulties that we experience will not prevent us from developing a close relationship with God. We too can experience God’s presence and power in our everyday lives no matter what God calls us to in life.

Discussion Questions

Where in your daily lives will you make space to cultivate a friendship with God?

How will you maintain that relationship in difficulty?

For your kids: Since God is your friend, what would you like to tell him about your day?

Prayer Prompt

2 Corinthians 3 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Thank God for making a way for us to be in relationship with Him. Commit to making space in your rhythm and schedule to become friends with God.