Israel is finally feeling the heat in the pot and they are not happy about it. Pharaoh’s treatment sparks Israel’s cries to God. HELP!!!
Pharaoh began oppressing the people of Israel long before Moses was born but it has taken them this long to figure out that they don’t like what is going on. It was like the crab pot that started out nice and refreshing until the heat got turned on low. The crab didn’t realize he was being cooked alive because the temp was slowly rising. Once the boiling point is reached it’s too late for the crab, but not for God’s people.
I FULLY believe God was turning the heat up. He was steering Pharaoh’s heart. I will guarantee you right now that it is not only Satan who can plant thoughts in your mind. God can too. And what He speaks to the heart and mind lead directly to His planned outcome.
His people had flourished in Egypt. That was a good thing. But they had also become comfortable there and weren’t concerned about His promises of inheriting the Promised Land. “It’s so nice here, why would you want to move? Don’t we have everything we need?”
They had all their physical needs met, before Pharaoh started oppressing them, but their spiritual relationship with God had GREATLY suffered. They weren’t even continuing the commandment of circumcision and longer. Their relationship had grown cold and stale. God would NOT let this stand. But to get to their hearts He had to go through their bodies.
God knew that the fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. God knew that the fastest way to a woman’s heart is through her children. God knew that His people wouldn’t earnestly seek Him until their situation was desperate. God knew it was time to get their attention. One generation earlier or one generation later wouldn’t have produced the same results. I don’t know how He knew this but He did.
So into the wine press, or the crab pot, Israel went until they reached to point where their hearts turned to Him. Pharaoh who had originally enslaved Israel died and the next in line made their lives even more miserable. This reminds me of a future story in 1 Kings 12. It is the story of how Solomon’s son Rehoboam and how he refused to “lighten the yoke” of his father. He promised to oppress the people even more than his father had. Those people had enough sense to rebel immediately. The ones in our story didn’t have any options out of oppression, except God. God KNEW that too!
I wonder if Moses grew up in the same household as the new Pharaoh. Were they “brothers” in Pharaoh’s court? If so, it didn’t matter anymore because Moses was gone and he had already fallen out of favor with Pharaoh for killing an Egyptian slave master. Moses had proved where his loyalties lie.
God knows our hearts condition too. Sometimes He lets have a turn in the wine press to get our attention. NO. He doesn’t MAKE bad things happen to us. He just removes His covering for a while and lets the world do what it naturally does; make a mess of things. And the whole time this is going on in our lives, He is standing right there ready for us to turn to Him.
Even in Israel’s heyday they faced problems and obstacles. God isn’t a big aspirin tablet or a miracle cure for life. We STILL have struggles to overcome when we are in right relationship with Him. But the impact of those struggles is SO different. Instead of being in despair we have hope. Instead of thinking the “sky is falling” we find that we are rising. Rising to new heights of His love. Rising to find joy even in the midst of sorrow. Rising to KNOW Him deeper than ever before. Yes, God allows the wine press but there is always beauty in what flows out of it. And personally, I would much rather have the wine press than the crab pot. With the press, the pressure is immediately felt. There is no time to get comfortable as the pressure slowly rises. In the crab pot you don’t notice the heat until it is almost too late.
Thank You Father for the “wine press” times in my life. NO! I DID NOT enjoy them but I am thankful for what came out of them. Our relationship changed drastically with them. Our story time emerged from them. Our journal time came from them too. I thought I knew You when I was younger but the “wine press” showed me that I hadn’t even scratched the surface of what our relationship could be. Thank You that we aren’t done yet either. There is SO MUCH MORE room for me to grow with You. I know that means more trips to the “wine press” but hopefully I will learn the lessons MUCH quicker and flow out of the press even quicker and sweeter.
Someday I will see ALL the places You led me to for my learning experiences. For now, the ones that I can easily identify keep me grateful and willing to walk through the next one WITH YOU BY MY SIDE. NEVER could I walk through ANY of them without You. It’s a good thing that You promised me already that I would never be alone EVER AGAIN.
Something I want to share with those of you who read my journey every day is about a book that I just finished. It is “He God. Hey John. What to do when God writes back” By John Roedel. This book touched me in SO MANY WAYS! I relate to how it was created. It is one man’s heart reaching out to God through words to find God answering with what flows onto the page. I relate to several of his issues and took VERY personally some of the answers God gave him. I highly recommend it to anyone who is struggling with depression, anxiety, doubt, fear, grief, or not recognizing just how much God REALLY loves you. I also love the humor in it as God invented laughter too! If you choose to read it I would love to hear your opinions and revelations from it. God KNEW I needed it. Does He know you need it too?