Now the Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides the women and the children. A mixed multitude also went with them, along with both flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought from Egypt; it was not leavened, since they were driven from Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any food for themselves.
God had given them a peaceful home for which they gave thanks daily. For the most part, the neighborhood was really no different than most, and it was a relatively quiet area until the new neighbors arrived. From the moment they moved in, it was noise and drama for everyone to see and hear. For the couple who had made their home there over three decades, it was a shattering of the peace they truly treasured. Over time, things just seem to escalate, and the years of this chaos took their toll. They were about to bite the bullet and put their house on the market when everything just stopped. After seven years, the neighbors had decided it was time to move on. One day they were there, and the next day they were gone. They said not a word to anyone but just disappeared.
When we are dealing with oppression that tries to rob us of our peace and hold us in a place of misery, it can seem like an eternity. I have found myself many times asking God for a simple roadmap or timeline so that I know when the light at the end of the tunnel is coming. Without knowing when deliverance will arrive, each day can seem like its own eternity. Even in the case of the Israelites, who had heard from God for so long that deliverance was on its way, they did not know the day or the hour. Then, in an instant, they were told to leave. It happened so quickly that they did not even have time to prepare for their exit. God put an end to their bondage in a moment, in an instant, as He often does. Before we even have time to respond to what has happened, we are suddenly free.
God’s instances of deliverance always make us realize how brief our sufferings really are. Sometimes, even just weeks or days after being set free from whatever had its grip on us, it may feel like all of that is in the very distant past. In the moment, the waiting makes it seem like forever. The anticipation builds and builds because we do not know when that time will end although we are firm in our faith that an end surely will come. It may seem like torture to keep us waiting, but our lack of knowing during that time has its purposes as well. The comfort should be this: no matter how long we wait for deliverance, God always brings it in an instant. Father, thank You for being faithful to set us free in your perfect timing, and help us to be patient during our short times of suffering here.