Updated: May 25, 2020
In Exodus, chapter one, we enter the story of the captivity of the Hebrew children. We learn that Joseph, the former King of Egypt, has died and now there is a new Pharaoh leading Egypt. The Pharaoh who possesses the Hebrew tribe as his slaves becomes intimidated by the potential threat of power he perceives within their multiplication. In fact, as we open the story, we see the progression of this intimidation as he tries to stop the increase of their population.
He devises several plans – first, he increases the daily quota of making bricks, from mud and straw, to what seems like an impossible task. The Hebrews meet the quota. He then decides that he will lessen the straw, the binding agent, of the organic materials necessary is producing bricks. The Hebrews again, meet the quota.
The very multiplication of this tribe in the midst of such a habitat of oppression and even cruelty frustrates the Pharaoh and he then seeks to annihilate all the male babies in an effort to once again, keep them from thriving.
As the passage continues, we are introduced to Jochebed, the mother of Moses who gives birth to a son during this horrific edict. Again, we see what seems like an impossible situation turned miraculous when Moses’ mother crafts a basket and floats her son to safety.
When we think about the favorable times of life, we often refer back to times of success and plenty. We can even look at these times and easily place the stamp of approval from God because of the ease in which our life is happening. Please understand – seasons of ease and plenty are a huge blessing! These are clearly ear-marked as times of rejoicing and refreshing.
However, I want to bring to light another truth: times of “less” are also crafted by the Lord in order to bring about something very valuable gift within all of us – dependency on Him to multiply what we simply cannot.
You see, the Israelites were in a place of building – not celebrating a festival. We must remember that the reason for their captivity was intentioned to return their hearts back to God and create again, a dependence upon Him rather than themselves. There is a distinct difference we must pay attention to here. When we are also in a place of building, being establishing, being trained – we also aren’t given the wealth of production until it’s…built.
There is a sacred purpose in times of scarcity.
This is the hard part. When we figuratively look within our hands and realize we only have mud and straw, we can become easily discouraged with the impossibility of our situation. We can say to ourselves, “Really? Only mud and sticks?”
However, when we tweak our perspective to God’s ability versus our inability, we soon realize an important truth. Only having mud and straw must mean one thing: God is about to move with miraculous multiplication that only He can do. We are, in fact, being built through the process.
What’s in your hand? Are you in a place of building with only the bare essentials like the Israelites? Are you feeling discouraged? Does this season seem impossible? If so, I have a word of encouragement for you.
Just because you can’t see it – doesn’t mean He can’t do it!
The same loving Father who, in the past, has brought seasons of plenty will lovingly surprise you with His miraculous multiplication through the simplicity of your sticks and mud. He has a plan through the scarcity of now in order to increase within you something tremendously valuable. Take what’s in your hand, hold it up to the Father and ask him to multiply His work in your life. Then trust that the very same God who created the you with His very breath can also breathe life into the dry mud and sticks you hold before Him.
You are loved. You are seen. You are treasured.