This is What the Lord Designed

And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage…all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour. – Exodus 1:14

The glory of God shines forth conspicuously in the use to which He turned the persecutions Israel endured. The severe treatment they had to bear from the enemy became to them a salutary discipline…They had settled down very quietly in Goshen and thought that it was their rest. They had imbibed much of the manners and customs of the Egyptians…But now their masters treat them cruelly, and they loathe the Egyptians. They are scattered up and down throughout the land, and Goshen is no longer dear to them. They are treated like strangers, and they feel they are strangers. Now that they hear from morning till night the taskmaster’s oath, and the crack of the cruel whip, and are subjected to incessant toil and bondage, they think far less of Egypt than they used to do. This is what the Lord designed. He never intended that His people Israel should be absorbed into any other family. He never meant them to be other than sojourners on that soil. He had some better thing for them than that they should dwell in that land and be as the heathen were. God was thus answering one purpose. And He did more than this. Now they began to remember, as their bondage waxed more and more severe, the God of their fathers whom they had forgotten…and they bethink themselves of the covenant which Jehovah had made with Abraham, and with Isaac and Jacob, and they betook themselves to their knees. In secret, they utter their groanings before the Most High, and when their taskmasters make them smart, they lift their eyes, suffused with bitter tears, and silently appeal to heaven, to the God of their fathers, that He would have mercy upon them. They had forgotten to pray until then. The mass of them had been unused to call upon the name of the Lord; but now the scourge drives them to seek help from above. Their terrors, their pains, their griefs, and their vexations compel them to lift up that cry to heaven which came into the ears of Jehovah, and moved His hand to help them.

Dear brother, dear sister, are you passing through great trials? Very well then, to meet them I pray that God’s grace may give you greater faith; and if your trials increase more and more, so may your strength increase…Do pray the Lord that when the trials multiply you may get faith wherewith to meet them; that out of the eater you may get meat; and out of the strong find strength. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

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