Read Genesis 49
Jacob's prophecies; deaths of Jacob and Joseph; the Hebrews oppressed in Egypt.
After Joseph's death, the prestige the Israelites had enjoyed in Egypt gradually declined and then disappeared. There arose up a new king over Egypt who felt no obligation to the descendants of Joseph (Ex. 1:8). Instead, he was fearful of the Israelites' growing numbers and said to his administrators: Behold, the people . . . of Israel are more and mightier than we . . . let us deal wisely with them; lest . . . they join . . . our enemies, and fight against us. . . . Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. . . . But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel (1:9-12).
Desperate for an answer to his dilemma, Pharaoh demanded of the Hebrew midwives . . . if it be a son, then ye shall kill him (1:15-16). Sometime after this horrible edict was issued, a man of the house of Levi . . . took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman . . . bare a son: and . . . she hid him three months (2:1-2). But then, fearful of being discovered, she prepared an ark of bulrushes . . . and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags (reeds) by the river's brink (edge) (2:3).
If it had not been for Pharaoh's cruel edict, Moses would never have been rescued by Pharaoh's daughter and given all the advantages of the world's greatest empire of that time. God was preparing Moses to lead the Israelites to the promised land.
We may be forced to endure suffering under the control of a situation where we may be as powerless as the baby Moses in a homemade ark floating in the Nile River. It could be that death has left us without a parent or spouse. Some may feel defeated following a divorce. Others may have received a diagnosis of terminal illness from a doctor. Throughout life, all of us will face unforeseen and unavoidable sorrows.
In spite of all life's difficulties, every Christian, regardless of circumstances, can say with the Apostle Paul: I am persuaded (convinced), that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come . . . nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38-39).
Thought for Today:
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light (I Pet. 2:9).
As the Messiah who would come through the tribe of Judah. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah . . . until Shiloh (Peacemaker) come (Gen. 49:10). Jesus . . . the son (descendant)of . . . Juda (Luke 3:23-33).
Gen. 49:10 gathering, obedience; 49:20 fat, rich; 49:21 hind, deer; 50:15 requite us, pay us back in full; Ex. 1:10 when there falleth out any, in the event of; 1:13 serve with rigour, work as slaves under cruel circumstances.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Country: Nauru (11,000) in the central Pacific • Major languages: Nauruan and English • Religious freedom • 57% Protestant; 24% Roman Catholic; 10% Buddhist and Chinese folk-religionist • Prayer Suggestion: Pray persistently; you will receive an answer (Luke 11:9-10).
Optional Reading: Matthew 17
Memory Verse for the Week: John 3:16