I think Dr. Jonathan wrote this and gave or sent it to me:
The first chapters of the book of Exodus it chronicles the suffering of the Israelites as they journey out of Egypt towards the Promised Land. In the beginning Moses asks Pharaoh to give the Israelites three days off of work in order for them to journey out into the desert and offer sacrifices to God. Moses’ obedience to God results in Pharaoh’s response of increasing the people’s workload in addition to refusing his request.
In retrospect it appears that the Israelite’s painful suffering seems to have been finely orchestrated by God. He allowed the initial abusive slavery and then the added stress.
Is it possible that the intent of the unrelenting pain was not to destroy the Israelites but to ensure that they wanted to leave Egypt and never return to their captivity?
Would the Israelites have wanted to leave Egypt if all had been well and God blessed them materially in the same way that He blessed them in multiplying their numbers?
Why did God not just bless them financially in Egypt and let them live in peace? What was so wrong with Egypt?
Well, true satisfaction in life comes in the form of knowing why we exist. What is the meaning of life?
An instrument functions best in its environment, which is why you don’t use unprotected electrical tools under water or place a polar bear in the Sahara. Likewise, we were made for God, not idols of our imagination.
Back to the hardships in Egypt:
How many would have fled from fighting the giants in the Promised Land if all they could remember were the comforts of Egypt? How many would have been prepared to stand strong in the face of opposition instead of returning to their captivity?
The Israelite’s knowledge of God was very limited and corrupted by their association with the Egyptians. In the same way today many people will not be swayed by even those who are trained to argue the most logical proofs for Christianity. Some may even argue against Christianity because they benefit financially from lies and evil. Will they ever believe in God without something tragic and dramatic occurring in their lives? Even then, they are vested in their lies and chances are that they would prefer to die in their lies than admit that they were wrong.
When teaching a child not to do bad things, such as playing with matches, one may as needed even allow the child to be burnt so that the lesson may be well imprinted in his mind and body. Pain is a very good teacher and necessary.
The pain of love lost has taught us to be faithful. Be it that we were cheated on or we cheated and lost someone we loved. That pain is a good teacher, despite how much it hurt. That pain teaches us the importance of faithfulness and takes us into deeper relationship and deeper love.
Pain may be needed be it one Israeli in 1450 BC, a famous TV personality, or a nobody. How many minutes of real and at times severe pain is would it be worth suffering to gain Eternity worth where unimaginable satisfaction, fulfillment and joy will be experienced?
A life of ease can potentially wreak the havoc of filling one with doubt, confusion and uncertainty. At times the purpose of our suffering is to give meaning to life, it gives us direction and affirms the decisions the decisions and direction we must take.
As the Israelis suffered, it was impressed in the very core of their being that Egypt was a place they did not want any part of. Later on we will see that they will also come to find out who really is God, learn of his character and the purpose of life.
The Many spiritual lessons is are thus well imprinted in our hearts and bodies through suffering. Thankfully, those who believe in Jesus Christ and have given themselves completely to him, now have the power of God living in them to bring down the strongholds that they will encounter overcome all adversities. Although a Christian may have the power, many times he does not use it or act Christ like. God has given us free will and he never takes it away.
…more can be said