Have you ever noticed that shortly after a mountain-top experience where you feel God calling you to some miraculous path, you find yourself in the midst of a mess that seems the exact opposite of what you thought God was saying?
Called into ministry with a church that's closing its doors? Called to adopt but the hurdles seem insurmountable? Called to a mission trip, but suddenly unemployed?
That was Moses' situation: God called him to lead Israel out of bondage, and instead, their bondage became even more painful. Not surprising that this chapters ends with a pre-teen angsty-sounding complaint to God, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.”
I'm so glad that God doesn't give us what we deserve when we say, "you haven't done what you said you'd do at all!" And I'm so glad that the account of the Exodus is such a great illustration of how God works in our lives. Yes, things often seem worse before they get better, before we see God's hand of deliverance, but that worsening is not without purpose.
No spoilers, but there is a reason God allows their toil to become more burdensome and Pharaoh to harden his heart. There is a reason why God allows obstacles when He has called us, too. We may not see the point of it in that moment, but in hindsight, we often can see that those challenges built prayer muscles and faith that was essential later in our journey.