10 Then the slave drivers and the overseers went out and said to the people, “This is what Pharaoh says: ‘I will not give you any more straw. 11 Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all.'” 12 So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw. 13 The slave drivers kept pressing them, saying, “Complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw.” 14 And Pharaoh’s slave drivers beat the Israelite overseers they had appointed, demanding, “Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?”
15 Then the Israelite overseers went and appealed to Pharaoh: “Why have you treated your servants this way? 16 Your servants are given no straw, yet we are told, ‘Make bricks!’ Your servants are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people.”
17 Pharaoh said, “Lazy, that’s what you are—lazy! That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks.” Exodus 5:10-18
The Israelites were caught between a rock and a hard place. They were required to work harder and produce the same number of bricks each day. On the other hand, they must have kept reminding leadership that they would be going into the wlderness to sacrifice for a few days. In fact, God had sent Moses and Aaron to intervene on their behalf and yet they were still making bricks.
We find ourselves in a similar dilemma. We know heaven and Christ Jesus is our reward, but in the meantime there’s grueling labor to be done here. In other words, we know what’s promised but we also live in the here and now.
It’s not a terrible dilemma, of course, because billions of people don’t know what their future looks like. Still, we find ourselves caught between two worlds. It’s a healthy place to live.