OUR STRENGTH IN AFFLICTION
There arose another Egyptian Pharaoh,
Who said the Israelites would bring them sorrow,
He caused them to be used and abused,
But none could have the taskmasters sued.
The children of Israel laboured day and night;
And still their burden never got light.
They were very sorely afflicted,
On them was all manner of pain inflicted.
They were greatly oppressed,
But the God of their fathers kept them blessed.
“Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.” Exodus 1:11-12 KJV
Another translation puts it this way “So the Egyptians put slave drivers over them to crush their spirits with hard labor.” Exodus 1:11a Good News Translation
It was the plan of the Egyptians to actually crush the Israelites, demoralise them and render them absolutely powerless.
“They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.” Psalms 94:5 KJV
However, that was not to be the case. The Egyptians meant evil for the Israelites but somehow in His mysterious ways God turned the evil plot around for good. “For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.” Psalms 94:14 KJV
The more they were afflicted, the more they grew. In the time of their affliction God did not leave them for the Egyptians to conquer. In fact God increased them so much so that the Egyptians began to dread and fear them. The same people who enslaved them, their captors, their tormentors, began to fear them and be infuriated by them. Only God can let that happen. Hear what His word says: “Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.” Proverbs 22:22-23 KJV
I bring a word of encouragement to you today. If ever you are being oppressed and afflicted, never give in. God will fight for you. There will be many afflictions but God will deliver us from them all. The time of affliction is the time for God to arise and show Himself strong on our behalf. But we must cry out to Him first. Let us call Him Father, and ask Him to deliver us from whatever the situation and He will. When Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt it was one trial after the other for him. But see how he ended.
“And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him. And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.” Acts 7: 9-10 KJV
In affliction, God will bring out our inner beauty too. He will go right down to our very foundations and rebuild them.
“O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.” Isaiah 54:11 & 14 KJV
Our God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. In times of trials, tribulations and afflictions it might seem that He is far away. But not so at all. All we need to do is call out to Him. He is our Strength in the time of affliction.
OLUYINKA EGO-MARTINS ©