So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage—in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor. (Exodus 1:13-14)
It is important for us to consider that what we read in Scripture is not merely a record of what happened in the past but is a prophecy of what will happen in the future. What occurred to Israel while they dwelt in Egypt established a pattern of what God’s people would have to endure at some future time. In regard to the generation that left Egypt, Paul said:
“Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11)
If we believe that we are living in the last days, Paul clearly states these things were were written for us and, so, what are we to glean from this pattern? One, the Adversary in the person of Pharaoh is the Destroyer and the Restrainer. Pharaoh put policies in place intended to keep Israel isolated and weak so that he could eventually kill them. And yet, it was these very policies that provoked the children of Israel to cry out to God.
Their assimilation into Egyptian culture and placed them in a precarious situation. Had Israel remained in Egypt unmolested, they would have eventually disappeared into history and that is something God could not allow. Therefore, God allowed the Adversary to pursue his agenda against Israel but He did not allow him to destroy them. He permitted the attacks knowing it would provoke them to turn back to Him.
Perhaps we should begin to acknowledge that the pattern established so long ago is beginning to materialize in our day and time. Dark forces are at work and will continue to come against righteousness and justice and those who stand for these things. God’s people are likely to suffer hardship and persecution in the future but we must remember that our Father will not allow anything to touch our lives unless it serves His purpose for us. So I suggest to you that everything that is happening is intended to provoke us to cry out to Him — for forgiveness, for mercy and for deliverance. When He hears our cries, then He will act.
Blessings and Shalom,