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June 22, 2013

Have you ever been in a state of depression, feeling hopeless and helpless? Have you ever been in a period of your life when everything was falling apart, and you could not see the light at the end of the tunnel? Then after much crying and prayer you receive a word from the Lord saying, “This is your season,” “Things are going to turn in your favor,” or “Change is coming.” You became excited and began to expect an immediate change only to experience things getting worse. If you are the average person, you go back to God with many questions about why things are not going the way you thought they would. Well, this is not a new situation. It happens in the lives of people all the time. Let’s examine what happened to the Israelites in the book of Exodus and God’s response to why things got worse.

To do this, we must first start with Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob. In his teenage years, Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. He was taken from Canaan to Egypt where he became a steward in the house of Potiphar, and after several years he ended up in jail because of a lie told to Potiphar by his wife. In jail, he interpreted the dream of two of Pharaoh’s servants which eventually aided in his release from prison, and elevation to the second-in-command in Egypt, after interpreting the dream of Pharaoh concerning seven years of famine in Egypt. Ten of his brothers came to Egypt to buy grain when the famine hit Canaan . Joseph tested them, eventually revealed his identity to them, and invited them and their father Jacob to move to Egypt, where he would provide for them and their family.

Jacob and his family went to Egypt during year two of the famine in Egypt and the surrounding nations. The Israelites ended up staying 430 years. While Joseph was alive, he provided for them everything they needed to live comfortably. Pharaoh gave them the country of Goshen in which they resided, and he employed them in the care of his livestock. Their numbers grew from 70 to over 600,000 men plus women and children. They became satisfied and complacent. They forgot that they were supposed to be in Canaan the “LAND OF PROMISE.” Therefore, God had to intervene to get them back to their rightful place, and he did this by allowing the reigning Pharaoh who did not know Joseph to feel threatened by their magnitude. Thus, it caused him to place them in slavery, which made the Israelites cry for the reason of their severe bondage, and which opened the door for God to send them a deliverer.

The deliverer was their kinsmen named Moses, who had been away from Egypt for 40 years. God told him that he was sending him to Pharaoh to tell Pharaoh to let Israel go so they might worship Him in the wilderness. He told him he would send ten plagues to Egypt and harden Pharaoh’s heart, causing him to refuse to let the children go. After the final plague that results in the death of the firstborn son of all Egyptians and their cattle, Pharaoh would willingly let the Israelites leave.

God also told Moses to meet with the elders of Israel with his brother Aaron and inform them,
“I AM hath sent me unto you. The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.”(Exodus 3:14, 16-17)

Moses followed God’s instructions and met with the elders and Pharaoh; however, the meeting with Pharaoh did not go as the Israelites expected. They thought Pharaoh would respond positively to the words of Moses; instead, he became angry, and increased the daily workload of Israelites, and beat the Israelite foremen when the work quota was not met. The unhappy foremen met with Moses and expressed their displeasure, blaming him for their present predicament. What they thought would get better had gotten worse.

Moses took this problem to God in prayer and said, “Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? Why is it that thou hast sent me? 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.” (Exodus 5:22-23)

God answered Moses with the following words, “Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.” (Exodus 6:1-8)

These words of encouragement and promise from God should have comforted the Israelites, but the Bible says they would not listen to Moses due to their anguish of spirit, and the cruel bondage for which they were suffering. Their actions did not deter God’s faithfulness to them; He did what He said, which allowed the Israelites to witness God’s remarkable feats.

Here are a few things believers can learn from the above events:
1. Eventually problems will arise when you are not in your place.
2. Things happen in your life to get you back to where God has ordained
3. Opposition comes to keep you immobile and bond when it is time for you to leave.
4. Pain will make you cry unto God for relief.
5. When things appear to be getting worse, pray, and ask God why.
6. Misery can cloud and dampen your perspective.
7. Hold on to what God said about you and not what man is doing to you.
8. The “I will” of God changes not.
9. God has a reason for hardening people’s heart toward you.
10. MOST IMPORTANTLY, things getting worse can be designed by God to render judgment to those who offended Him and you.

Finally, the good news is God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, and destroyed their enemy in the process. So, fellow believers take courage. Like the Israelites, God thoughts toward you are good and not evil to give you an expected end. We must endure some pain for God to receive glory.

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  1. I am not sure where you’re getting your info, but great topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for magnificent information I was looking for this info for my

  2. Anonymous permalink

    thank you!

  3. Excellent analysis!

  4. Eric Obi permalink

    I gone through your blog, it very inspiring. I personally has been blessed by it. The Lord strengthen you always, you are a blessing to the body.

  5. permalink

    thank u for this word.  i  feel like it fits. asking for the right place.   

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