This morning I was reading in Exodus. The chapters assigned were 1 – 2. Actually, that was the reading last week some time. But, because of chemo and getting the second Covid vaccine, I was not able to think or read after Tuesday morning, so I am doing some catch up.
I was struck, not for the first time, by Exodus 1:10 – 14 (here @ Bible Gateway). Some context, for a while now, I have been pondering how or why the Lord is using the past five years and specifically the cancer to equip my wife and me for that which He designed us. Reading Exodus 1:10 – 14 (here @ Bible Gateway), and thinking about God’s knowledge of our path, Psalm 139:3 (here @ Bible Gateway), it occurs to me that what comes into our lives is intentional, purposeful. To validate that for yourself, consider Ephesians 2:10 (here @ Bible Gateway), Hebrews 12:4 – 10 (here @ Bible Gateway), Romans 5:1 – 11 (here @ Bible Gateway), 2 Corinthians 1:3 – 11 (here @ Bible Gateway).
Back to Exodus… We know from the rest of the book that Moses is going to lead the nation out of their bondage to Egypt. That is not a trivial journey. The nation is going to have to flee the Egyptian army, cross miles of wilderness, essentially living off the land while carrying everything they can including shelters. Serious backpacking trip under duress.
Note what happened prior to Moses showing up. The Egyptians forgot Joseph. They began to afflict Israel. They gave them difficult, physically demanding work. They “compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously”.
Since we see in the Word that the Lord is sovereign, able to control the hearts of kings, Proverbs 21:1 (here @ Bible Gateway); isn’t it reasonable that the Lord used the Egyptian’s fear of Israel and their response to compel them into rigorous labor as preparation for the rigorous journey out of Egypt that was just around the corner for the nation?
So, if we are facing difficult times, perhaps we should be asking the Lord to help us understand it as prep. We certainly may not, and probably won’t, get an explanation as to the specifics of the reason for the prep. But, praying or asking in that way will remind us that is the case, it is prep.
It may be as simple as creating for us a platform from which to encourage and comfort others who are going through similar trials as 2 Corinthians 1:3ff (here @ Bible Gateway) suggests. It may be to develop our character as Romans 5:1ff (here @ Bible Gateway) and Hebrews 12:4ff (here @ Bible Gateway) declare. It may be for reasons that we never are able to determine. It is still prep.
Regardless, whether we understand or not, praying for understanding will remind us not only that He is intentional in what He brings into our lives, but also that we can trust Him through the process.
I do not pretend to suggest that this will make any of the difficulties less difficult. However, it could more accurately align our focus and faith.
What do you think?