Friday, March 18: Exodus 5- Bricks, straw and oppression.

Over the last few weeks I have been speaking about persecution believers are facing around the world, so my mind is primed to connect with these themes in scripture.  Today’s reading gave a direct connection.

The Israelites are oppressed because of their faith. Pharaoh, in part to subdue them, reduces Israelites to servitude making bricks. As 21st century believers these Israelites are our faith ancestors, which should give us a heart for the persecuted and enslaved.

Yes, this is part of the story of Israel’s liberation, the darkness before freedom. But it is also a mirror for me to view my world and what people in my world do to other people. God is the liberator for Israel and maybe He wants me to do what I can to be a liberator for enslaved or persecuted people today. Not that I am GOD, but I should allow my heart to break with things that break the heart of God.  People who persecuted and enslaved, I believe, break God’s heart. His desire is LOVE, not hate and oppression.

When I have these thoughts, questions often flood in and they did today. What would you have me do, Lord? Is there more I can be doing to support persecuted brothers and sisters? Is there more I can be doing to help enslaved people? Is there more I can be doing to help people, any people who are oppressed?

Oh, God, I want my life to count for the things that matter to You. I long for my voice to sing Your praises, proclaim Your good news. Open doors You want me to walk through and close opportunities that are not Your desire for my life at this time. I pray for the sake of Jesus, my Savior and the spread of the glory of Your name. Amen.


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