Exodus 1

Exodus 1 has a major change happening.  Jacob and all his sons have been living in Egypt under Joseph’s care and protection for several decades, but now Joseph and all his brothers are dead.  God has been faithful to His promise as “the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them”.  But things changed on the leadership side of Egypt as well.  There is a new king on the throne.  “Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph”.

It is a fact of life that so many things in this world are based on relationships – who you know and how you relate to the people around you.  Joseph and his family have had a very smooth and good run.  But now, the new kind doesn’t have any relationship with the family and the perspective changes.  “Come, let us deal wisely with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of war, they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land”.  Fear begins to take root and a big change of attitude comes with that fear.

So they move the descendants of Jacob from being free men living peaceably in the land with them, to slaves.  They afflict them with hard labor and make them build cities.  The thinking was that by making this change, they would contain their growth as a people group.  “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel.”  You can’t change God’s plan with some scheme of man.  God is faithful to His word no matter what resistance man may put up.  They just keep expanding.

So even though “they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field”, God continued to multiply them and cause their numbers to grow.  So Pharaoh decides to try a new tactic – to have the midwives kill all the baby boys when they were born.  But these ladies were God fearing and did not obey that order, and the people continued to multiply.  Pharaoh commanded all the people to cast every son into the Nile and only allow daughters to live.  He was paranoid about the sons of Israel taking away his power.

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