Genesis 49 -- Exodus 1
During the 400 years that the Israelites were in bondage as slaves in Egypt (Genesis 15:13; Acts 7:6), the children of Israel . . . increased abundantly . . . and the land was filled with them (Exodus 1:7).
Eventually, there arose up a new king over Egypt, who felt no obligation to the descendants of Joseph (1:8). This new king was fearful of the Israelites' growing numbers and felt he had to do something to suppress their population growth. So, he said to his administrators: Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we . . . let us deal wisely with them; lest . . . when there falls out any war, they join with our enemies, and fight against us. . . . Therefore they 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). The word grieved expresses a mixture of hatred and fear.
Desperate for an answer to his dilemma, Pharaoh demanded of the Hebrew midwives (concerning the birth of a child) . . . if it be a son, you shall kill him (1:15-16). After this horrifying edict, Pharaoh demanded of the Egyptians that every (Israelite) son that is born you shall cast into the river (1:22). Sometime after this edict was issued, a man of the house of Levi . . . took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and . . . hid him three months (2:1-2). But then, fearful of being discovered, she prepared an ark of bulrushes . . . and put the child (Moses) in it; and she laid it in the flags (reeds) by the shore of the river (Nile) (2:3).
It appeared that God's people were defenseless in the hands of evil men. Each of Pharaoh's edicts against Israel became more frightening. Pharaoh could clearly see the growth of the Israelite population; but, he mistakenly assumed that he could prevent further increase in the numbers of his slaves.
Pharaoh was a tool in Satan's hand; but, God providentially overruled his wicked plans. If it had not been for Pharaoh's cruel edict, Moses would never have been rescued from the water 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 too may face suffering where we seem to be under the fearful control of a situation as powerless as the Israelites under the rule of a king . . . who did not know the God of Joseph. It could be that death has come and your family has been left without a parent or spouse. You may feel defeated following the breakup of your family or have received a diagnosis from a doctor that a loved one has terminal cancer. There are many unforeseen sorrows that most of us will face. But regardless of how hopeless our situation may seem, be assured that the All-Sufficient and All-Wise God is in control, and God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
Praise the Lord! Every Christian can say with the Apostle Paul: I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
Genesis 49:10 gathering = obedience and respect; 49:20 fat = rich; 49:21 hind = deer; 50:15 requite us = pay us back in full; Exodus 1:10 when there falleth out any = in the event of; 1:13 serve with rigor = work as slaves under cruel circumstances.
Pray for Hands for Christ and Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Bowers · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in honor of Ken and Carol Sharp · Country: Singapore (3 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Chinese and Malay · Religious freedom · 54% Chinese religions; 17% Muslim; 5% Protestant; 4% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: The Lord is a shield for you in times of trouble (Psalms 3:1-3).
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