Exodus 5:1-9 “And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go. And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword. And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens. And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens. And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.”
Text Exodus 5:9 “Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.”
The setting in Egypt was that the people of God were growing in number and the tasks that had been placed upon them were being met with no problem. Then Moses and Aaron showed up talking about God, honoring God, giving God His rightful place in the lives of His people; “Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.” Pharaoh considered the words of God to be “vain words.” The word “vain” means an untruth by implication a sham. To combat God, Pharaoh implemented a fiendish principle that actually worked then and actively works, even today! It was a social principle; If you are more concerned about labor, you are less concerned about the LORD! Pharaoh knew that by taking away the straw, it would require more labor to produce the same amount of brick; therefore they would have less time to think on the things of God. Is this principle not prevalent in the lives of so many people today? They are so busy making a living, who’s got time to think about the things of God? It is a spiritual principle: If you are more concerned about work, you are less concerned about worship! How many Christians get caught up in all the aspects of doing things for God? They have been convinced that it’s all about working for God that they have lost sight of the God of the work and they have forgotten that He wants to be worshipped! Speaking to the woman at the well, Jesus said, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (John 4:23). There is a place for labor and work; just not at the expense of neglecting the LORD of the work and worshipping Him!