Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Promise Perfected - Part 1

So, Israel and his whole household went down to Egypt from the land of Canaan. God had sent Joseph ahead of them to help preserve His nation. They went to be cared for during the time of a severe drought and famine. When they went to Egypt, they were 70 people in all (Exodus 1:5). Little did they know that they would stay in the land of Egypt for over 400 years and during that time, God would mold them into a great people and nation. Egypt was to become the crucible of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s descendants.

The Bible says that after the generation of Joseph and his brothers died, a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power. The people of Israel lost their voice with the new generation of leaders. They had to quit depending on Joseph and the good will he brought to now trusting more in God and His provisions: a part of the perfection process.

The Egyptians not only forgot who Joseph was, but also became frightened about the growing number of Israelites. They said, “Look, the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.” (Exodus 1:9-10) So the Egyptians enslaved them and oppressed them by placing taskmasters over them and forcing them into labor to build up some of their cities. They made their lives bitter, but the more they oppressed them, the more they spread and increased.

The king of Egypt even devised a scheme using Hebrew mid-wives to put to death any male children born to the Israelites in an effort to slow their growth. When that did not work, he made a decree that every male born to the Israelites were to be cast into the Nile River to die. (Exodus 1:15-22)

Who would deliver Israel from this oppression? They cried out to God in their suffering…

Next post: The Promise Perfected – Part 2…

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