Pharaoh's method was the same tactic Satan has repeated through the years--one he employs today. Satan attempts to stifle us with overbooked schedules, financial demands, and sundry other pressures of life because he fears our growth. If he can keep us frantic with busyness, then we won't stop. And if we don't stop, we can't listen for the still, small voice that reminds us of who we are, the whisper that declares there is more to life than what we are experiencing, or the quiet call that beckons us to come up higher. Instead, we focus on the issues, the burdens, and the stress we are under. We remain feeble and fearful.
That's Satan's aim. He doesn't want us to see that we can overpower him. He's afraid of the potential we have, and he will do anything to keep us from realizing that potential. So he increases the pressure and makes unreasonable demands of our time and attention. Under his dictates, we hurry and scurry and never catch up. We strive to do the impossible in our own strength. We become afraid...of him. And we back up from the idea of worship. Who has time to set apart for God when there are so many other things to do? So he traps us, right where he wants us: crippled, tired, defeated, and quick to give up on the hope we once had in the promises of God.
If God had stepped in to deliver Israel as they vigorously labored, they likely would have been so mindful of Pharaoh's control and so caught up in their anxious frenzy that they would not have followed Moses into freedom. But God let them experience a few plagues, some setbacks that neutralized the power of their oppressors. Suddenly, master and servant were on the same playing field--neither in control--and God was God. Like tragedy, the unexpected interrupted the mundane and broke the cycle of busyness that held Israel hostage. Once the cycle was broken, they could heed the voice of God, leave slavery behind, and embrace the future God had promised, just as stopping the frenzy in our lives can help us leave behind the frazzle and embrace the promises of faith.
Tip/Tidbit: Are you living a frantic life that's robbing you of spiritual fulfillment? Take time for stillness. In those moments of full surrender to God, He will remind you of His promises, settle your heart, and lead you into personal growth and sweeter fellowship with Him.
(Exodus 5: 1-9: "And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go. And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword. And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens. And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens. And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.")