Good morning. Martin was doing a bit better yesterday. He has a long way to go to recovery but at least he took a step in the right direction. Let’s continue to pray. Remember Kathy and MamTsimi as well. A couple of others I know have gone for testing. Let’s continue to pray. I have a counseling session and a discipleship session scheduled for today. The T4i pastors have a Zoom meeting scheduled with Ps Conrad from Zambia. Please pray for all of these things.
We now come to the book of Exodus and we see the faithfulness of God to His promises to the patriarchs. We want to learn about God’s working from this chapter.
- Vv 1-7—how do we see the faithfulness of God in their increase?
- As we noted toward the end of Genesis, the promises of God were “slow” to be fulfilled. God promised Abraham seed as the sand of the sea and yet when he died, he had a son and a grandson. Not until we reach Jacob do we begin to see the multiplying of the nation. By the time they reached Egypt they were 70 strong, not including the wives.
- Furthermore, God’s placed them in a greenhouse or an incubator to both keep them from the corruption of the world and to allow them to grow strong. We need to think of them as living in the best of both worlds. They are regarded highly because of Joseph’s actions in saving the nation and yet they’re kept separate so as to not be assimilated into the Egyptian culture. God was faithful to fulfill His promises. It took a long time, but God was faithful and still is even though His promises to us have taken a long time to fulfill too.
- Vv 8-14—how do we see the faithfulness of God in a king that didn’t know Joseph?
- We need to go to the history books to understand what is taking place here and when we do we learn something very interesting. A people known as the Hyksos’ conquered and ruled Egypt from around 1650-1550 BC—just about the time of Moses. It’s a bit hard to date everything exactly, but it seems likely that this regime or its replacement is the king that knew not Joseph. Whatever the exact way this worked, the coming of this new dynasty would mean that the nation of Israel went from being a favored, pampered people, to a disfavored, enslaved people. The king’s fear that they would rise up and join their enemies was well-founded especially if the king was worried that the previous dynasty would rise up and attempt to regain power.
- This gave the setting for the Exodus. Before this new king who knew not Joseph, the people of Israel would have had no reason to want to leave. Things were great. They lived in a flourishing land and were in favor among the people. So, God sent in a new king to change their conditions and give them the desire for change. This new condition would be the setting by which God would send them out of the land and back to Canaan. In chapter 2 we’ll see provide the leader of this revolt.
- We see a similar thing in Acts 8 where the church, destined to be a light to the world, was satisfied with being a light to the city of Jerusalem. So, God sent in a hornet by the name of Saul to stir them up to action and the gospel spread all around the world as a result.
- The church of our day has known relative peace and has grown and multiplied as a result. Is it possible that this Covid pandemic is God’s way of stirring up His people again? Let’s learn from God’s history and be readied to work in a new world with a new normal.
- Vv 15-22—how do we see the faithfulness of God in the midwives?
- Pharaoh had his own form of abortion in ancient Egypt. We need to understand that the 21st century isn’t as advanced as people would like us to think. While technology has certainly advanced the morals have not. What was a targeted genocide in Pharaoh’s day has become worldwide in ours—the killing of babies. It was popular among the Romans and it’s justified today as a woman’s “rights.” But let’s call it what God calls it—Murder.
- But even here, God was in control. I think we see that in a couple of ways. At first glance it’s curious that when Pharaoh attempted to make life hard, the people just kept multiplying. But if we think about it, this makes sense. If you make life hard on people so that the only pleasure left to them is marital pleasure, well of course the population is going to increase. This was the reason Pharaoh had to instigate his murderous policy.
- But even here God was showing his faithfulness to the nation. God has His people where He wants them and in this case they were in the position to protect the Hebrew male children. They disregarded the laws of Pharaoh because they had a higher ruler in God. It’s normally wrong to disobey the government or other authorities. Only in a case like this where the governing authorities are going against God should we ever rebel. Because the government was prescribing what God forbade, murder, these women disregarded Pharaoh’s law and kept the babies alive.
- An interesting question arises at this point, was it wrong for them to tell Pharaoh that the women gave birth before they got there? That was clearly untrue. I think we’ll need to leave these answers to God ultimately. But it does seem that there are Biblical exceptions to always telling the truth. Just as there are times that taking a man’s life is justified (self-defense, accident or state execution), so it seems there are times when not telling the truth is also justified. Certainly, it’s not wrong to deceive when playing sports—pretending to go one way and going the other. It’s not wrong in a joke or in a prank where our intention is the good of the person we’re pranking (like a surprise party). And here we see these two women protecting others who would otherwise be killed.
- What lesson(s) did you gain today?
- For me, the great lesson this morning is that God is faithful to work out His plans in all circumstances. He can work in the macro—like the change of a nation’s dynasty—or in the micro—the bringing of a virus into the world—to work His plans and to get His church where He wants us to be. Our duty is to do His will. We need to be faithful to Him as He is faithful to us. Let’s look for what He’s doing and get busy doing it.
Your Thoughts or questions?