Read Genesis 49 -- Exodus 1
In Today's Reading:
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 disappeared. There arose up a new king over Egypt who felt no obligation to the descendants of Joseph (Exodus 1:8). 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 . . . . 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 you shall kill him (1:15-16) Sometime after this horrifying edict was issued, a man of the house of Levi . . . took as a wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman . . . bore 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 (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, although he was unaware, to lead the Israelites to the promised land.
We too may face suffering where we seem to be under the control of a situation where we are as powerless as the Israelites were. It could be that death has left us without a parent or spouse. We may feel defeated following the breakup of our family or have received a terminal diagnosis from a doctor. We all will face many unforeseen sorrows.
Still, every Christian 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 (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 rigour = work as slaves under cruel circumstances.
As the Messiah Who would come through the tribe of Judah. The scepter shall not depart from Judah . . . until Shiloh come (Genesis 49:10). Jesus (was of the lineage) of Joseph . . . the son of Juda (Luke 3:23-33).
Government Official: Gov. Ruth Ann Minner (DE) · Country: Liberia (3 million) in West Africa · Major languages: English and more than 20 local languages of the Niger-Congo language group · Religious freedom · 41% ancestor worship and witchcraft; 21% Muslim; 13% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord; our God is the Mighty God (Psalm 50:1).
Optional Reading: Matthew 17
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:4