Today’s Scripture: And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour. Exodus 1:13-14

Recently, we read how God was keeping His promise to the nation of Israel. Their population was increasing exponentially. God was making a mighty nation out of them. However, this caused Pharaoh and his advisors to worry that if they were attacked, Israel would join the side of the attackers, and Egypt would be overrun.

Pharaoh devised a plan that attempted to reduce the Hebrew population. The first goal was to literally work them to death. Our passage today tells us that their lives were made bitter with hard bondage. They were building cities, making and hauling bricks, and doing all manner of work. When God continued to prosper the Hebrews, Pharaoh resorted to murdering every newborn male child.

Faith is most often showcased in affliction. Life does not require much faith when things are going well and easy. However, it really stands out when you live by faith during an extreme trial. Living the Christian life does not mean that you are going to be “healthy and wealthy”, but it does mean that when you live by faith, you will be blessed beyond measure.

Sometimes God allows affliction to cause us to move in the direction that He wants us to go. Pharaoh had a plan to try and keep Israel small, but God overruled His plan. No matter what Pharaoh tried to do, God was more powerful. If you’re going through a time of trial or testing right now, remember that God is always faithful. Let your faith in His perfect plan be seen.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.