“The Crushed Grape Produces the Choicest Wine”
(quote in title is from unknown source)
Please notice this brilliant gem of God in verse 12 of the passage below (Exodus 1:11-14 NLT):
“So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king. But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became. So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy. They made their lives bitter, forcing them to mix mortar and make bricks and do all the work in the fields. They were ruthless in all their demands.”
What an amazing God!
As the ancient Egyptians attempted to press down the LORD’s people He blessed them to spread out…to persevere…to survive their bondage and to eventually be set free from their oppressors!
They suffered…but they did not suffer forever, and they did not suffer alone.
The same is true for us who suffer as we follow Christ each day, for us who have trusted Jesus for our forgiveness/salvation.
Now matter how
-brutally others treat you (verse 11);
-worn down you are with crushing labor (verse 11);
-forced you may be to do that which you would rather not (verse 11);
-mercilessly you are worked (verse 13);
-bitterly you are treated (verse 14);
-ruthlessly much is demanded of you (verse 14);
Jesus is with you every step of the way, working for your good to bring
-refreshing water out of your sweat and tears;
-rainbows out of your thunderclouds;
-spiritual growth out of the manure of life.
Isaiah 61:2-3 NIV–Jesus was sent
“to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.”
The Israelites couldn’t see that the LORD was with them, they probably did not remember His great promises to Abraham.
But He allowed them to be crushed so that they could spread out…
just as grapes are crushed to produce wine…
just as seeds die so that they can grow and produce nourishing food…
just as God’s Son, Jesus, was crushed so that all who trust in Him can live forever.
Romans 8:17-19 NLT:
“And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.
But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.
For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.”
There may be pain in the night…
…but joy comes in the morning (Jesus Culture–please click HERE for this powerful song).