Devotional Thought from The Book of Exodus

Devotional Thought from The Book of Exodus

Making Bricks without Straw:“Wait on God until things get better.”

Exodus 5:1-22

By Angulus Wilson


This text is very much about the opposition to the people of God when it comes to worshipping Him. Pharaoh does not want to let God’s people go that they may live lives of worship unto God!

We can also discover a great deal about the people of God and their allegiance to the world. The people in these verses turn their complaints to Pharaoh as if he is their God. They have no desire to see YAHWEH about their troubles. They presume that the answer to their trouble is in the Government.

God was at work in their trouble and waiting for them to turn to Him and to trust what He was doing in their lives. God had not forgotten them and was actively working in their situation. Today we get to learn what looks like to wait on God until things get better

Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’ ” But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.”

Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens.”


  • Here we see that that God has a decree and Satan has objected and opposed to it being fulfilled
  • There is always opposition when it comes to the children of God being free to worship Him


Satan has a mentality that must not be overlooked. He despises worship for the believer, and will stop at nothing to keep you living a life of sacrifice and worship unto God.

His task is to keep us laden down with burdens of sin, so that we will never be free to experience God like we were designed too.

And Pharaoh said, “Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens!” The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.”

10 So the taskmasters and the foremen of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw. 11 Go and get your straw yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced in the least.’ ” 12 So the people were scattered throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw.


  1. Here we discover that when the idea is near that the people must be freed to serve God, the opposition comes to make their burden heavier, and to lesson their opportunities to worship
  2. Pharaoh increases their struggle and frustrates their chance’s to be free to serve God
  3. Pharaoh refuses to let Gods people Go
  4. The servants of pharaoh are under a command to make life horrible for the Hebrews, and to make them work 3 x’s as hard for their fleshly-ruler
  5. Pharaoh has a plan and it is to make the people angry with God for suggesting that they be free to worship Him.


The enemy of the believer is the world and the flesh. These task masters work for Satan to increase our burdens.

The flesh always wants more stuff, more pleasure, more bondage and the world wants to keep us prisoner unto its thoughts, its ways, its culture and its traditions. These servants work hard to make sure we don’t get free to serve God.

13 The taskmasters were urgent, saying, “Complete your work, your daily task each day, as when there was straw.” 14 And the foremen of the people of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, “Why have you not done all your task of making bricks today and yesterday, as in the past?”


  • Here we see the cruelty of the task masters. They were brutal at the command of Pharaoh.
  • They took liberty to abuse the children of God.


  • Is there anybody here that has ever been beat up by the flesh?
  • Won’t the world beat you down and mistreat you?
  • Have you ever experienced discrimination, heartbreak, substance abuse, incarceration, rejection etc?

15 Then the foremen of the people of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, “Why do you treat your servants like this? 16 No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ And behold, your servants are beaten; but the fault is in your own people.”

17 But he said, “You are idle, you are idle; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 Go now and work. No straw will be given you, but you must still deliver the same number of bricks.” 19 The foremen of the people of Israel saw that they were in trouble when they said, “You shall by no means reduce your number of bricks, your daily task each day.”


  • He we discover that Pharaoh has servants among Gods people, they are called foremen. They work for Pharaoh but they are from Gods flock.
  • These are those children who love the preeminence among others.
  • They enjoyed the power of oppressing their own people.
  • However, when the decree came down from Pharaoh they too were forced now to have to submit and work to please the pseudo god.
  • Here we discover that if one chooses to identify with the evil one, the evil one will eventually turn on you too.

20 They met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them, as they came out from Pharaoh; 21 and they said to them, “The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

22 Then Moses turned to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.” [1]


Here we discover two things;

  • Believers who are out of fellowship with God bring grief to their leaders instead of help.
  • Moses certainly was discouraged, but he did what is always best—he took his problem to the Lord.


  • Whatever you do don’t be a believer who lives under the decree of Satan for the pleasures of this world
  • Don’t be a believer who gives grief to the one called to lead you out of bondage.

God encouraged Moses in chapter 6 by reminding him of His name (6:1–3), His covenant (6:4), His personal concern (6:5), and His faithful promises (6:6–8). God’s “I AM” and “I WILL” are enough to overcome the enemy! God has purpose in allowing Pharaoh to misbehave.

Truth for today.—Moses learns by the things he suffers. This chapter ends on the difficult but important point of gaining God’s victory through defeat. To all intents it seems Moses’ first efforts have not only ended in miserable failure, but made the lot of his people wretchedly worse. But wait. Taking the longer look, God says in effect, “I will deliver the people in due course. This petty king shall not have the final say. Be patient. Our day will come.”[2]

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Ex 5:1–23). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] The teacher’s Bible commentary. 1972 (F. H. Paschall & H. H. Hobbs, Ed.) (56–57). Nashville: Broadman and Holman Publishers.

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