I really resonate with this chapter – when we follow God, things often get worse before they get better. God sends Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh, who gives the predictable response – NO, you can’t leave. And then he makes it all worse – you have to make more bricks.
For the disciples, it was harder to follow Jesus than to be fishermen, for Paul it was harder to follow Jesus than to fit in with the Pharisees, for disciples today, it is harder to deal with family, finances, and many other things when we follow Jesus. So why should I even do it? Because when I follow God something comes alive inside my soul that no amount of suffering can take away – the disciples found this purpose, Paul knew this joy, and those who follow Christ with authentic devotion today know that love that only God can give – nothing else can give it, nothing can take it away.
The people do not know this joy, purpose, or love – yet. God is going to lead them out of slavery – not just the location of their slavery, but the thinking like slaves. God is going to grow them, but it will be hard.