“That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people: “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw” Exodus 5:6-7 (NIV)
While the devil has a hand in frustrating us during this time of the year, God uses it for His purpose. He uses this time period to build God’s character in us. The Israelites really had to trust God and His servants Moses and Aaron during this time. The Word of the Lord came before the tough times.
Remember that the Barley harvest occurs during the Passover Season. You are going to reap a spiritual harvest during Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (April 21st at sunset through April 29th at sunset in 2016). Satan is trying to disrupt the harvest (Galatians 6:7-9). We must hang onto the Word of the Lord.
They people did not mock Moses when he first received the Word of the Lord. They worshipped God (Exodus 4:18-31). When the time of bricks without straw came, they were very upset with Moses and Aaron (Exodus 5:17-21). When they left Egypt, they were joyful (Exodus 15:1-19, Num. 33:3). Their frustration was forgotten. Prayerfully consider how you are being refined to be used more by God. Our refinement and pruning is so we can produce more fruit for His Kingdom.
Another aspect of this “pre-Passover” time period is the devil trying to cause disunity in the body. When the time of making bricks without straw came, the people rebelled against Moses and Aaron. “When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, ‘May the Lord look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.’” (Exodus 5:20-21). They argued. Be discerning of the attack of the enemy to get you to rebel against authority or betray the brethren as did Judas.
The devil will press you to sin during this time of the year. Stay in the Word, in the Work of God, and focused on God. In I Corinthians 5:1-8, just before Passover started, there was sin in the camp. This was an example of Satan pressing someone to give in to sin. This sin also brought disunity to the camp because unfortunately, some people actually cheered on the sin (I Cor. 5:2). In John 14:30, Jesus said, “I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me…” The devil is going to look at the things inside of you and try to bring them out. Keep your hands clean. Stay in a mindset of repentance. Don’t give in to the devil.
As we discussed last time, your time will seem as if it is disappearing. It is good to prioritize your life during this time. You are going to have to figure out what are the most important things to accomplish and what are the least important things to accomplish. You may have to push some things out into the future. Some commitments in life are firm commitments. This means we have an obligation to do them. This would include items like work, paying bills, being a parent, etc. Other commitments are not as firm. Have you discussed doing something between now and Passover, but you have not firmly made plans to do so? These are the things you want to consider delaying. God is teaching us about prioritizing during this time of the year.
Because of all these events, you may find yourself being a little impatient or edgy. Keep your cool and do not lash out. The Israelites did not know when the time of making bricks without straw would end. We do! Passover is not that far away!