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you shall not go empty // Exodus 3:21

Originally published Wednesday, 01 June 2016.

 So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go. And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.” Exodus 3:20-22

They had hurt and labored and groaned under the oppression of the Egyptians for years. Their hearts had grown heavy. Their hands were calloused. Years had been lost, and generations had been sacrificed to slavery.

And, into that heartache and loss, God promised: "You shall not go empty."

How could this be? How could God right the wrongs done to His people? How could He fill the places of loss?

The remedy was peculiar. Simply, the women were to ask for jewelry and clothing from the Egyptian women. At first glance, it doesn't seem to be a foul-proof military strategy. Yet, it was God's divine means of raising victory for His people and plundering the Egyptians.

God would not send His people out without providing for them. He wouldn't ignore their years of labor without ensuring their just wages. He would defend them and care for them.

As He will for you and for me.

Friend, your hands may be empty and heart feeling hollow in this season. Maybe life's stripped you and exhausted you and beat you down you as well.

God will restore what you have suffered and sacrificed for His name.

We shall not go empty or needy or ill-prepared or vulnerable. Today, God promises to restore us, not with jewels and clothes, with Himself, the greatest treasure:

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10


Thank you, Lord, for being a God who restores. And, thank you that you are sufficient to cover all our needs. Help us trust today in your good purpose, especially when in seasons of affliction and oppression. May we come to know more fully about your promises to us through our need of you. In your name, Jesus, amen.

31 Days of Purpose: Devotions from the early life of Moses

From a boat-basket to a burning bush, Moses’ call to leadership is filled with everyday people and situations, all divinely orchestrated for God's divine purpose. As we study the early years of Moses, we see a consistent theme of God raising up the unlikely and transforming the average with His anointing. That's me, and that's you - common people, yet commissioned for a high calling. Let's step into it this month, together. Click here for the whole series.