READING EXODUS 5
15 Then the Israelite supervisors came to Pharaoh and cried, “Why do you treat your servants like this? 16 No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ Look how your servants are beaten! You are unjust to your own people.” 17 He said, “You are lazy, lazy; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 Go now, and work; for no straw shall be given you, but you shall still deliver the same number of bricks.” 19 The Israelite supervisors saw that they were in trouble when they were told, “You shall not lessen your daily number of bricks.” 20 As they left Pharaoh, they came upon Moses and Aaron who were waiting to meet them. 21 They said to them, “The Lord look upon you and judge! You have brought us into bad odor with Pharaoh and his officials, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.” (Exodus 5:15-21, IEB)
The king of Egypt cared only for his slaves for their utility. Worse, he didn’t even provide the necessary means for them to build what he was wanting. The only thing he “produced” was hardship out of cruelty and retribution for Moses and Aaron wanting to take Israelites away from their work in order to worship God in the wilderness.
The Israelite foremen complained to the pharaoh, then they complained to Moses and Aaron for bringing this hardship on them.
Then Moses returned to the Lord and complained as well. “Since I first came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has mistreated this people, and you have done nothing at all to deliver your people.” (5:23)
Lord of Egypt and Israel, and all nations: We, like the Egyptian Pharaoh, may blame you for cruelty of people. We pass blame from one person to the next. Would you show us how to be the leaders or workers you love to bless and not people who blame you?
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey. Greg’s wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.