A Hebrew slave labors under the hot sun of Egypt. He wipes his face with a dirty rag. Sweat pours from his brow and his heart. He fears what will happen to him if he does not produce the bricks the slave masters want.
Bricks, back then, were made of straw and river mud. The straw allowed the mud to “open up” making it easy to dry and fire them. But this day the man is spending more time gathering little bits of straw here and there than making the bricks.
Pharaoh, angered by the God of the Hebrews, had refused to provide the straw the slaves needed to make the bricks. Yet they were expected to make bricks as though they had what they needed to make them. God’s word says, “That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people: “Then the slave drivers and the overseers went out and said to the people, “This is what Pharaoh says: ‘I will not give you any more straw. Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all.’” So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw. The slave drivers kept pressing them, saying, “Complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw.” And Pharaoh’s slave drivers beat the Israelite overseers they had appointed, demanding, “Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?” Ex 5:10-14
The burdened slaves, and their Hebrew overseers, must have wondered where their God was now. They had prayed and cried out for deliverance and this is what they got! They probably thought deliverance wasn’t worth it. Perhaps, some thought, freedom was too difficult. What could they do, make something from nothing? Impossible! That my friend is the point!
Some people are like that Israelite slave, working and working trying to produce their own righteousness. They think if they are just nice enough, go to church enough or do enough good deeds they can count on being in heaven in the end. They labor under the heavy hand of the enemy, who dangles a carrot of works-based salvation. Try as they may to be perfect, they cannot be. They know this in their hearts, so they reassure themselves saying, “At least I haven’t done this or that, surely I am better than the person who has done those things. God will accept me in heaven.” Dangerous territory! That kind of thinking will only gain the punishment God never meant for humans to experience.
We all know the One good work was done by none other than Jesus Christ, Himself! God’s word says “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 The thing is we must learn to trust in His finished work. Know, my friend, it is God who delivers not us!
He hears your cries. He wants to know you and deliver you from the sin that burdens you, and the works that you think you have to do to please Him. God is not like that Egyptian Pharaoh, demanding you to make something out of nothing. God gives salvation freely, through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28 Trust in Him, not yourselves! He alone, is strong enough to deliver you.
“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’” Ex 6:6-8
Are you spiritually tired today? The Lord says to you, “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;” Isaiah 42:3
Be refreshed knowing that deliverance has arrived by the Mighty hand of our God! Even if you don’t see it yet and things seem harder than ever, believe you have received it. “For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2Cor.5:7 Believe what God says in His word about our sweet and strong Jesus and you. “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness." Gen 15:6
Lay aside your “bricks” made of nothing and look to the Deliverer that is at hand. Behold our God! "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 (Emphasis mine) In Christ, you are no longer a slave to sin, you are free!