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Ralph's Daily Devotional - Monday, May 21

Building pyramids with bricks required immense labor forces.  One pyramid alone required 25 million bricks!  Each of the many slave camps were given a daily quota of bricks to produce.  Life was extremely harsh, with regular beatings by rods and a 7 day work week.  The normal slave was required to make 2,000 bricks a day, which was rarely reached, thus giving grounds for constant discipline.  Their life was indeed wretched and filthy.  Many slaves died in the fields and mud from a poor diet and even worse sanitary conditions.

Yet we see that in verse 12,  the Israelites continued to multiply!  Instead of facing slow extermination, they experienced steady growth.  Certainly the writer wants us to see something of the miraculous here. 

But where was God?  Why did He allow this brutality and injustice?  Like the story of Joseph's trials, Israel too was terribly and unjustly mistreated.  However, God was not absent.  Later we will read of God's full awareness of their suffering (3:7) and His plan of rescue.  But until then, the people will have continued to endure suffering as they also grew.

Romans 8:18-23 speaks of a suffering that God's people continue to experience to this day  that involves all creation.  1 Corinthians 15:58 reminds us that we also labor.  But unlike the harsh taskmasters of Egypt, God is our reward, and a time is coming when all pain will turn into glory.  Is this your hope?

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