Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Exodus 1:8-10 (NIV)
Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far 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 1:8-10 (MSG)
A new king came to power in Egypt who didn’t know Joseph. He spoke to his people in alarm, “There are way too many of these Israelites for us to handle. We’ve got to do something: Let’s devise a plan to contain them, lest if there’s a war they should join our enemies, or just walk off and leave us.”
“Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph [nor the history of his accomplishments]. He said to his people, “Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are too many and too mighty for us [they greatly outnumber us]. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, so that they will not multiply and in the event of war, join our enemies, and fight against us and escape from the land.” -AMPLIFIED
The story of the Exodus begins, still part of His-story, God’s, and we find that all of the sons of Jacob have dies. “Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation…” We have a “but” though, and it is an important “but” to take into account because it will affect what is about to happen to the children of Israel. “…but the Israelites were prolific and increased greatly; they multiplied and became extremely strong, so that the land was filled with them.”
We must understand that many years have passed since the death of Joseph, 200 years, in fact. This would explain why the new king did not know of Joseph and the blessing he had been to the country of Egypt. The fact that this new king had no remembrance of Joseph became a problem for the Israelites; as well as the little matter of them growing and increasing greatly. There were so many Israelites that they were quickly outnumbering the Egyptians. There was the fear that they would join with an enemy of Egypt and there would be a pulling down of the kingdom from within.
The demeanor of the Egyptians toward the Israelites changed drastically; from friendly and approachable to suspicious and hostile. Because of this fact Israel had to struggle for their very existence. All of this was leading up to the fantastic story contained in Exodus of their dramatic deliverance from the land of Egypt and their struggle to survive in the desert on their way back to Canaan, their Promised Land. All of this was made possible because of God’s dramatic intervention on their behalf.
Pharaoh’s diabolical plan began with enslaving the Israelites, progressing to hard labor, and then to the killing of the newborn boys. All this came to pass because no matter what the Egyptians did to the Israelites, they continued to “be fruitful and multiply”. God’s blessings were upon them; though Pharaoh did not perceive it that way.
Scripture tells us, “So they organized them into work-gangs and put them to hard labor under gang-foremen. They built the storage cities Pithom and Rameses for Pharaoh. But the harder the Egyptians worked them the more children the Israelites had—children everywhere! The Egyptians got so they couldn’t stand the Israelites and treated them worse than ever, crushing them with slave labor. They made them miserable with hard labor—making bricks and mortar and back-breaking work in the fields. They piled on the work, crushing them under the cruel workload.” Exodus 1:11-14 (MSG)
The Psalmist reminds us of an important truth that we all need to remember when we are faced with hate, anger, suspicion and animosity. Let this passage be an encouragement to you, “Watch this: God’s eye is on those who respect him, the ones who are looking for his love. He’s ready to come to their rescue in bad times; in lean times he keeps body and soul together. We’re depending on God; he’s everything we need. What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own his holy name. Love us, God, with all you’ve got—that’s what we’re depending on.” -Psalms 33:18-22 (MSG)
Father, when I am surrounded on every side by those who hate you and despise me; please remind me that you are always there with me . I am depending on you God; for there is no one who can shelter, protect, provide and care for me like you do. Thank you for being my Great “I AM”. Thank you for being my All-in-All. You are all I need, Lord, and I am trusting you.