02/05/18 Delay and Hardship

READING: Exodus 5-9

“They did not listen to him.”

Exodus 6:9

It’s easy to rejoice over the promises of God when we first hear them . . . but it’s not always as easy to keep rejoicing when God seems to be taking His time or ignoring our needs.

The Hebrews in the first part of the book of Exodus show us that tendency. When they first heard Moses’ and Aaron’s words that God was going to free them from Egypt, they believed them: “The people believed, and when they heard that the Lord had paid attention to them and that he had seen their misery, they knelt low and worshiped” (Exo. 4:31). When Pharaoh grew hardened and increased the burden of the Hebrews, however, they found it more difficult to believe. Yes, Moses reminded them again that God promised to “bring you out from the forced labor of the Egyptians and rescue you from slavery to them” (Exo. 6:6), but the Hebrews now struggled hearing him: “they did not listen to him because of their broken spirit and hard labor” (Exo. 6:9).

Their burdens were heavy. Their spirits were broken. Their pressures were great. They were likely growing impatient with God’s delayed response as their labor grew more demanding. Trusting God’s word became increasingly difficult for them; head knowledge of His promise was apparently not enough when their circumstances were so rough. 

Lest we judge them too severely, however, we’re remarkably like them. We don’t like delays in God’s responses, and we’re not always sure what to do when God’s promise is followed by difficulty. Daily, we need God’s grace to keep believing and trusting.   


  • Thank God for the rest of the Bible – the story that shows that God will always keep His Word.
  • If you’re discouraged and defeated, don’t run from God; turn to Him today.

PRAYER: “Almighty God, help me to trust You as my Father today.”