Highlights In Today's Reading:
Jacob's prophecies concerning his twelve sons; Judah to be an ancestor of the Messiah; Hebrew people oppressed in Egypt. The Israelites' stay in Egypt ends. The chosen people of God begin a new era as He plans to lead them to the Promised Land.
Verses for Today:
But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians . . . made their lives bitter with hard bondage (Ex. 1:12-14).Because of the Israelites, the Egyptian leaders were grieved — a word expressing a mixture of hatred and great fear. They greatly feared that the Israelites, whose population was growing rapidly, could one day join forces with an enemy and turn against them (1:10). Because of this, the Egyptian authorities set cruel leaders over the Hebrew slaves and oppressed them unmercifully. And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives . . . When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live (1:15-16).
God allowed the cruel treatment from the Egyptians because the Israelites worshipped Egyptian gods and felt secure in Egypt, a type of the world. The suffering was needed to make them eager to leave. If they had continued to be treated royally as they had been during the days of Joseph, they would have had no desire to cross a dry wilderness desert, conquer the Canaanites, and possess the land that God had promised to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
God had also revealed to Abram that his descendants would be oppressed for 400 years, but would then be released (Gen. 15:13-14). So, this promise now was about to be fulfilled.
Whenever we see the people of God being misunderstood and suffering cruel persecution, we may be tempted to ask: "Why, God do You permit this?" But God knows and has a purpose for allowing every trial. God is able to use each act of opposition as a means of fulfilling His will. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you (I Pet. 5:10).
During times of peace and prosperity, there is a tendency to be less concerned about praying and seeking the will of God. This can result in participating in popular but evil activities.
Thought for Today:
Therefore I esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way (Ps. 119:128).
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah . . . until Shiloh (the Peacemaker) come (Gen. 49:10). As the Messiah who would come. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed (Rev. 5:5).
GENESIS 49:8 in the neck of =n control over; 49:10 sceptre =uler's staff of authority; 49:26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors =he blessings I have received are greater than those received by my ancestors; 50:15 will certainly requite =ill fully repay. EXODUS 1:10 when there falleth out any war =f war occurs; 1:12 grieved =earful of their size; 1:17 feared =ad reverential, heartfelt submission to; 1:19 are lively =ear quickly, easily; 1:20 waxed very mighty =ecame very numerous.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy • Government Official: Gov. Ruth Ann Minner (DE) • Country: Swaziland (985,000) in southern Africa • Major languages: English and siSwati • Religious freedom • 67% Protestant; 19% animism, spirit-possession cults, and divination; 11% Roman Catholic; 3% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: The promises of God should be an encouragement to you to seek God in prayer (Amos 5:4,6).
Optional Reading: Matthew 17
Memory Verse for the Week: