ODB: Bricks Without Straw

January 22, 2014

READ: Exodus 6:1-13 

I will rescue you . . . , and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm. —Exodus 6:6

Many of us face the challenge of working with limited resources. Equipped with less money, less time, dwindling energy, and fewer helpers, our workload may remain the same. Sometimes, it even increases. There’s a saying that sums up this predicament: “More bricks, less straw.”

This phrase refers to the Israelites’ hardship as slaves in Egypt. Pharaoh decided to stop supplying them with straw, yet he required them to make the same number of bricks each day. They scoured the land to find supplies, while Pharaoh’s overseers beat them and pressured them to work harder (Ex. 5:13). The Israelites became so discouraged that they didn’t listen when God said through Moses, “I will rescue you . . . , and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm” (6:6).

Although the Israelites refused to hear God’s message, God was still guiding and directing Moses, preparing him to speak to Pharaoh. God remained firmly on Israel’s side—at work behind the scenes. Like the Israelites, we can become so downhearted that we ignore encouragement. In dark times, it’s comforting to remember that God is our deliverer (Ps. 40:17). He is always at work on our behalf, even if we can’t see what He is doing.

— Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Lord, please help me to trust You despite my
discouragement. I invite You to fill me with
hope through the power of Your Holy Spirit.
Let my life testify of Your faithfulness.

Times of trouble are times for trust.

Source: Our Daily Bread