"Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the LORD, but the blameless in their ways are His delight." Proverbs 11:20
Text: Exodus 5 : 10-16
CARRYING OUT A PERVERSE ORDER
Pharaoh’s word was law in Egypt – even if that order was perverse! The Egyptian taskmasters hastened to carry out their master’s command.
“And the taskmasters of the people and their officers
went out and spoke to the people, saying,
‘Thus says Pharaoh: ‘I will not give you straw.
Go, get yourselves straw where you can find it;
Yet none of your work will be reduced.””
The task that was set before the Hebrew slaves was an impossible one to fulfill! The battle that Pharaoh waged against the Hebrew slaves was calculated to hurt the credibility of Moses and Aaron. The “perfect way” seemed to be to make the slaves suffer so badly they would think twice before sending Moses and Aaron to see Pharaoh again!
A PITIFUL SIGHT
There was no time to protest against Pharaoh’s unreasonable demand! The taskmasters drove the slaves to fulfill their quota for the day.
“So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land
of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. And the taskmasters
forced them to hurry, saying, ‘Fulfill your work, your daily quota,
as when there was straw.’
Also the officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s
taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked,
‘Why have you not fulfilled your task in making brick both
yesterday and today, as before?'”
Unreasonable demands, tremendous pressure, and beatings- these were the new orders of the day! How long could the children of Israel last out before they finally broke under the strain?
A PLAINTIVE APPEAL
It did not take very long before the children of Israel pleaded for an audience with the Pharaoh. There before him, they presented their case. Would Pharaoh heed their words?
“Then the officers of the children of Israel came
and cried out to Pharaoh, saying, ‘Why are you
dealing thus with your servants? There is no straw given
to your servants, and they say to us, ‘Make brick!’
And indeed your servants are beaten, but the fault is
in your own people.'”