I am working my way through Exodus right now, and it is quite timely that I have hit the chapters where Moses is beginning to speak up, and urging Pharaoh to let his people go. Pharaoh is decidedly NOT INTO THAT, and in fact, tells Moses that whereas the Israelites had to only make bricks in the past, now they must continue to make bricks, but have to gather the straw to make the bricks as well! And they still have to produce the full quota of bricks.
Two things come to mind. First, who knew one needed straw to make bricks? And secondly, sometimes things get a whole lot worse before they get better. If Easter doesn't drive that point home, nothing will.
When I hit setbacks, I don't know about you, but my first thought is, "I am being punished for what a wretched mess of humanity I am." My second thought is, "I am under Satanic attack." My third thought, if I have the maturity to get there is, "Sometimes things get a whole lot worse before they get better. Remember Jesus on the cross. If that didn't smack of desperate times, I don't know what does."
But here it is- Resurrection Sunday! He is risen! Who would have imagined such a happy ending to such a terrible ordeal? If you are struggling against impossible circumstances, remember sometimes we are required to gather the straw AND make the bricks. But in the end, the Israelites were freed, and we will be too. Three of the happiest words on Earth remind us of that victory:
He Is Risen!!!
Happy Resurrection Sunday.
Exodus 5:10-11 (NIV)
 Then the slave drivers and the foremen went out and said to the people, “This is what Pharaoh says: ‘I will not give you any more straw.  Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all.’ ”
Mark 16:6-7 (NIV)
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”
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