22 February 2008

Bricks without Straw

Today I read Exodus 5, about Moses and Aaron first confronting Pharaoh and the order to make bricks without straw. There's a remarkable lesson there, to which I know I will return in future years.

Moses was unalterably, unequivocally, irrefutably called to this job to bring God's people out from Egypt. But the first attempts to do so resulted in complete and utter failure. On first attempt, in fact, things got worse. Pharaoh ordered that the Hebrews make the same amount of bricks, but with no straw provided; they must gather it for themselves. Israelite leaders are beaten for not making quotas.

The lesson? Initial failure in a task is no measure of calling. In fact, things may get worse. Immediate results are to be gauged appropriately, not ignored. But they are quite secondary. They are not definitive. They are largely irrelevant. What must Moses have been thinking by the end of Exodus 5?

The answer? Faith and patience. Christ is enough. The promises aren't going anywhere.

And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Heb 6:11-12)

3 comments:

The Ortlund Family said...

Will you remind me of this lesson in the future? Actually, while you're at it...will you remind me daily that Christ is enough? It's sad how often I forget this life-giving truth!

Jani Ortlund said...

Let's remind each other -- I need this, too! What a helpful lesson as we encounter those "bricks without straw" intersections on our journey to heaven. Thank you, Dane.

Eric said...

Good post, Dane. It's always seemed to me that God deliberately waits until the situation in Egypt becomes impossible, so that only a miracle will get the Israelites out of there, so that God can display the kind of savior and judge he is. Note also Exod 6.2 - NOW you'll see what I will do.