Exodus 1

Exodus 1 changes everything in the land of Egypt.  “Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation”.  There is a changing of the guard as the generation of Joseph is all gone.  That didn’t stop the growth though: “the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly….multiplied and grew exceedingly strong…. the land was filled with them”.  God’s promises pass through the generations.  What he said to Abraham continues to be manifested in his descendants – they are growing exponentially.

But there was “a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph”.  This is a mere generation later – but what Joseph had achieved was now forgotten.  New leadership is on the scene and things are going to change.  Fear sets in – the new king is afraid that the Israelites will join his enemies and become a liability, so he decides to “taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens”.  He felt the need to try and contain their multiplication somehow.  Keep them so busy and tired they don’t have time to have kids.  But it doesn’t work.

But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied….the more they spread abroad…..the Egyptians were in dread….they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves….made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick….all kinds of work in the field….made them work as slaves”.  The strategy was pretty straightforward.  Make them work hard – make their lives bitter making bricks and mortar and also work in the field.  They go from being the chosen during Joseph’s time to now mere slaves and very abused slaves at that.  But this isn’t working either as they still continue to multiply.  So the king decides to try another approach.

He tells the midwives to kill all new babies that are born male.  That is pretty harsh.  The “midwives feared God” and ignored his request.  He asks them why and they make up a lame excuse.  All the while “the people multiplied and grew very strong”.  Things are just not working for the king.  He is continuing to lose this battle.  In fact – because the midwives feared God rather than the king – God begins to bless them with families too.  Things are really getting out of hand.  Now the king goes to another extreme: “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live”.  He is commanding his people to get rid of the baby boys.  They are to be thrown into the river.  That doesn’t look like a very good way for God’s promise to be fulfilled.  But we’ll see what God does with this attempt to thwart His plans.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Brad Kowerchuk on August 3, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    How do the events as in Exodus 1:7,14 build our faith that just as God supported the Israelites during their trials, he will do so for his faithful followers today?


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