Jeff wrote in a comment, “Feels like the Egyptians have taken away the water along with the straw these days! The battle is intense . . .”
First of all, kudos to Jeff for exquisite wordsmithing. A brutally compelling picture in just 15 words. Way to rock the lexicon brother! If your web management technique is as pithy as your prose, you should go far in your trade.
Having said that, I firmly agree. Many areas are flowing, but resources are beyond dried up.
I went back to the story to see what we could do differently, and I suddenly saw a facet I had missed before. Relationships!
Pharaoh got mad at the Hebrews. The Hebrews got mad at Moses. That much is clear in Scripture. Now my hunch.
Stubble became the scarce resource in Egypt and all of the brick makers were scrambling to find stubble. And I am sure in short order, the available supply up close was used up and each week it became more and more labor intensive to get enough stubble to produce the quota of bricks.
My guess is that the men had to keep on hammering away in the brickyard and the women and children were assigned to scavenge the whole region to supply their menfolk.
So what happened when Mrs. Nashon spotted that patch on the east side of town about three miles out? She and the two oldest girls show up there at 5:30 a.m. to gather it up and find that Mrs. Elisheba is already there with her tribe. Mrs. Nashon has no backup plan, but her husband gets beaten if she does not bring something. Think there might be some stress in the relationship between the two ladies?
Just might possibly be a tad bit on occasion.
My hunch is that there were fractured relationships from one side of the camp to the other as pressure increased and resources became more scarce and the exodus was nowhere in sight.
BUT the flip side of the story is, through it all, Moses and Aaron remained tightly connected. No matter what the stress and how harsh Pharaoh and the people were, they didn’t get crosswise. I think that is huge.
Perhaps the biggest component was Moses’ relationship with God. It was pretty gimpy at the beginning. At the bush, the fear of pain caused him to challenge the HR department’s wisdom. When God unceremoniously informed him that the “volunteering” part was more show than substance, he grudgingly volunteered.
When the people got on his case, he promptly got in God’s face over the matter. Not much love and unity there.
Interestingly, not much power either. Moses the Mouse wasn’t very excited about facing the Man on the Throne, nor was he intimidated by Moses.
Over the course of the ten plagues, Moses grew much more in tune with the heart of God and the fury of God. In the end, Moses had a king sized temper tantrum as he told Pharaoh in no uncertain terms that he, Moses, was done with Pharaoh and would never see him again under any circumstances.
And that is when things broke open.
As long as people were willing to be offended by the pain, there was no victory. As long as Moses was more aware of his personal risk and pain than he was the offense to God, he had limited authority. When he became furious on behalf of God over the audacity and impudence of Pharaoh toward his God and his people, then the denouement came.
I think this is an area we need to focus on.
First of all is a commitment to absolutely not be offended by our peers. The emails the last three weeks have been much more abrasive than usual. Pettiness and entitlement are everywhere. There has been such a craving on my part to put people in their place. But I think this is a time to step back, simply try to tamp down the pain and not let it blow up in a damaging way.
More to the point though is our getting to feel the heart of God. How many of His plans have been compromised because we tolerated the enemy slow walking the resources He intended for us? How offended is He over the abuse of His people in the sundry brickyards where we find ourselves?
I don’t think we can with our will move from outrage for our own pain to fury over His being diminished by mere demons. However, I know I can focus intently on not allow human relationships to blow up under the stress of the moment. And I know I can ask God to replace the fire of my self-pity with the fury of reverence for His majesty.
Copyright October 2015 by Arthur Burk
From the Hub