The local TV meteorologist occasionally points to his map and says something like, “Well, friends, I’m afraid that things are going to get worse before they get better!”

Such a forecast could very well have applied to Israel when God prepared to free His people from Egypt. The barometer of events was falling rapidly, and the dark, ominous sky of oppression would soon break forth into a churning, flashing storm of cruelty unleashed by Pharaoh.

The king accused the Hebrew slaves of loafing on the job (Ex. 5:17). Their workload was multiplied, and the situation went from bad to horrible (v.18). Personally humiliated, Moses cried out in bitterness to the Lord for an explanation (vv.22-23). He found it hard to believe that a glorious exodus could be just around the corner.

The plans of the Lord were not being frustrated, however. Before conditions would get better for His children, God tested them by allowing their suffering to increase.

Even when we are obedient to the Lord, the skies of adversity may not always clear immediately. Circumstances may get worse before they improve. But praise God, His grace will sustain us, and the storm will pass!