Just as God had told Moses would be the case, Pharaoh does not let the people go, or even grant the request to let them go worship (verses 3-4). Instead, he states that because of Moses and Aaron, they are idle now; and he orders that they make their same quota of daily bricks without being given any straw.
This means they have to labor and spend time to gather their own straw before they can even begin the work they were already doing previously (verse 11). When they are not as productive, they are then beaten. The foremen of the people then grow angry at Moses and Aaron for getting them in this situation.
Moses is discouraged and seems to think that he was right in the first place – surely God had made a terrible mistake in sending him to speak in His behalf – and now look what has happened to the people! Moses has some growing to do before he will learn to trust the Lord any better than they have so far (verses 22-23). Like Moses, we do not know all of God’s intentions, or understand all of His reasons or His timing. But He is going to accomplish what He wills, and He will use whoever He chooses in order to do it – and in His own time.
(Side note: Interesting – to me at least – article in this link about brick making at BibleStudyTools.com)
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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