That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and foremen in charge of the people: “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.” (Exodus 5:7-9 NIV84)

 

Those who listen to me teach Bible studies often hear me refer to 2 Cor. 5:7, “For we walk by faith, and not by sight.” I believe this verse hits the key component of living a life of faith. Often, what our eyes see would cause us to conclude differently than our faith would have us do. Look at our verses for today. Moses has told the Israelites that God has heard their cries and that He is going to redeem and save them from their oppression. They believe Moses’ message and grow in anticipation for their release from the misery the Egyptians have placed on them. Moses goes to Pharaoh with the message that God sent him to give. He tells Pharaoh that God wants him to let the Israelites go. What is Pharaoh’s response? More oppression. The Israelites are told to keep up with their brick making quotas, but now they must gather their own straw for making the bricks. Their eyes of sight would conclude that they did not move one step closer to freedom but actually moved deeper into their oppressive slavery.

 

Have you ever had a similar experience? Sure you have! You were certain that there was light at the end of the tunnel only to find that something happened that kept you in the dark. Things got worse instead of getting better. We all have experienced times in which we were certain we heard God say one thing, and our life situation would seem to say the complete opposite. It is during times like this that walking by faith is so critical. I often tell my Bible classes that there are times in life that it would be better if we closed our eyes so that we could see better. What I mean by that is, the circumstances surrounding our lives can sometimes overwhelm our senses and we lose sight of the promises of God. We become so overwhelmed with what our eyes can see that we fail to see what God has promised and what He is doing.

 

God’s people, since the beginning of time, have been called to walk by faith and not by sight. What you are going through today does not negate God’s presence or His promises. Just as the Israelites had to endure stronger oppression before their deliverance, we may have to endure more trials and tribulations before we are set free. But be certain of two things: First, if the Son has set you free, you are free indeed, no matter what you are going through. Secondly, “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you into His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1 Pet. 5:10 NASB)

 

So, let’s walk by faith and not by sight!

 

Peace!

 

Pastor Tom

 

 

  1. August 20, 2012

    Amen! What many folks don’t realize (because they mistakenly belive that the Old Testament salvation was based on the works of the law) is that the salvation offered by God in the Old Testament is the same salvation that is available to us today! It has always been on the basis of faith… and not just faith in anything (certainly not faith in religion) but only on the basis of faith in the substitionary sacrifice of the lamb of God. Even in Moses day (especially in Moses day) the faith that saved was faith in the present day message of the cross: the death, burial and resurrection of a suffering Messiah that was proclaimed openly through type, shadow, and the word of prophecy. A good book on this subject is featured on my website: A Three-Fold Cord, God bears witness to His salvation plan for mankind: the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  2. August 20, 2012

    I am certainly not alone in the unemployed over 50 group. I’m still amazed at just how well our great and loving God takes care of me, though I should know better. Three years into unemployment, with only minimal funds coming in through a variety of independent “jobs”: I have not been sick (other than sinus issues/colds); I have a roof over my head that is paid for; the car is paid for; I am able to be available as Mom deals with aging, mild dementia, and moving to assisted living; I can spend time with my 15 year old niece and 5 year old nephew; and I am being sought out by some to do things I LOVE, for pay (photography and baking)!

    God is good ALL OF THE TIME. I never thought unemployment would be such a godsend. It’s wonderful not reporting to someone, but not so wonderful financially. Yet, time after time, God has provided opportunity for me to earn what I NEED when I need it, in a way I enjoy earning it.

    Perspective is an amazing thing, and we need to be reminded to check it often. God not only gets us through our trials and tribulations, He BRINGS us through them.

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