Moving Backwards

May 14, 2004

Moving Backwards

Exodus 5th Chapter

Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the LORD, the God
of Israel, says: “Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in
the desert.”  2Pharaoh
said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not
know the LORD and I will not let Israel go.”  3Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews
has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer
sacrifices to the LORD our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the

4But the king of Egypt said, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people
away from their labor? Get back to your work!” 5Then
Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you are
stopping them from working.”

6That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and foremen in charge of
the people: 7“You are no longer to supply the people
with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. 8But
require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the
quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, “Let us go and sacrifice
to our God.” 9Make the work harder for the men so that they
keep working and pay no attention to lies.”

10Then the slave drivers and the foremen went out and said to the people, “This
is what Pharaoh says: “I will not give you any more straw. 11Go
and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be
reduced at all.”  12So
the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw. 13The
slave drivers kept pressing them, saying, “Complete the work required of
you for each day, just as when you had straw.”

I haven’t played chess in years, but
after I read our text the Lord placed that very game on my heart, particularly
the piece know as the pawn.  Often the
pawn is known as the most expendable piece on the board.   Not only because of its limited movement
but also because a player has more pawns to sacrifice than all the other pieces
in his/her possession.  So after seeing
what the Israelites went through I began to wonder if they felt they were pawns
in a game they were not going to win.

The 1st verse starts with Moses going to Pharaoh and telling him the Lord wanted the children of Israel
free.   I’m sure that Moses’ expectations were different than the immediate outcome.  He probably thought, “I’ll go to Pharaoh and tell him the Lord wants his people free and it will happen.”  Of course it did not happen and if you look
primarily at the Israelites’ situation you would probably say they moved backwards.  Instead of getting out of
slavery they got deeper into slavery.  Before Moses went to Pharaoh the Israelites were given the materials to
make the bricks.  But afterwards, they had to go and get their own materials to make the same amount bricks (8th).

Again, it looks as though these people were moving backwards – but they weren’t.  God never has plans for us to move backwards.  He may take you through a storm in which you absolutely, positively don’t see any way out, but He’s not moving you backwards.  He may even allow the storm to get worse while you’re right in the midst of it; however He is not moving
you backwards.  You will always be advancing in spite of what it looks like.  The reason we are placed in our trials is so that God can bring us out and get the Glory.  Often we are put in our trials not only to see God move but also to get to know for ourselves that He will move, He will deliver, He will save, and He will not forget us.  Then we can tell that brother or sister who is going through what we have been through that God will save them because He is not a respecter of persons.  What He did for me He will do for you.

There is not one Christian who is a pawn to God.  Each person has been divinely created for a purpose by the Most High God.  He’s carefully placed parents, grand parents and great grand parents together so that His plans of salvation through you would be accomplished.  We are mighty warriors through Christ Jesus with a Holy calling to win the lost and restore each
other.  There are things that each of us has been appointed and anointed to do so remember when you’re in the midst of
the battle, you aren’t fighting FOR victory; you are fighting FROM victory.  You will win, overcome, succeed, prosper, be the head and not the tail – you just have to take the journey to get there.

Also, did you ever stop to think that God probably put you in your trial so that you would finally learn to HATE THAT DEVIL YOU’RE FACING!  Too many of us get comfortable with our demons.  Now maybe, just maybe God has allowed a trial in our lives so that we would no longer cuddle up to our demons.  You see, when we cuddle up to our demons that’s when we move backwards.  If you don’t believe me just look at the devil called debt.  We were comfortable with it so we went a little deeper; then suddenly we wound up neck deep in debt when we should have hated that devil from the “get go.” 

Demons, excuse my English, ain’t nothing to get comfortable with.  This is the lesson the Israelites had to learn.  They were really beginning to get complacent as slaves.  In later chapters of Exodus we see that complacency resurface as they are out in the desert complaining about how bad the desert was and how good Egypt was.  If given the opportunity many of them would have gone back to Egypt as slaves.  This is a really good example to show us that the direction of deliverance is not backwards.  God placed them in a position to really hate where they were and to be more determined to get out instead of stay in.  If He had not, they would probably still be there today.

To close,  None of us are disposable, indispensable, useless or worthless.   If we were then we would have a legitimate reason for staying down, defeated and depressed.  Instead, each of us has a value and a divine destiny.  None of God’s children are pawns.  However, we can take a lesson from the lowest member of the chess family.  
Even though it is the smallest piece there is one thing a pawn will not and can never ever do – move backwards! 
They always advance and they even attack when the opportunity presents itself.  So begin to see your trial as
an opportunity to attack the devil and attack him.  Because in each trial, forward is for you.  In every hardship and heartache, forward is for you.  In situations that don’t work out the way you thought they would, forward is for you.  Most of all when you stand toe to toe with the devil, remember FORWARD is for YOU – FAILURE is for HIM!