Theme of the Week: Exodus
Bible Verse: “Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.” Exodus 1:8
Scripture Reading: Exodus 1:1-22
Time. Its passing can bring the long-awaited fruit of dedication and discipline. It can close raw wounds and turn them into scars. The relentless march of days can foster the hope of a dream on the ever-nearing horizon. Each new day anticipates the unknown future—perhaps bright and full of promise, perhaps dark and foreboding. The passing of time can also dim the known past—its people and events lost in the hazy edges of memory.
In the opening verses of Exodus, we find ourselves in a story that has jumped through a time warp. The descendants of Abraham are now living in Egypt, but the last people we read about (Jacob/Israel) and his family have all died, and their legacy, Joseph’s legacy—his rise to prominence and the saving of Egypt from years of famine—is entirely forgotten. But the people themselves, the ever-growing population of descendants of Abraham, are not. They have prospered in the land where their ancestors escaped the famine. They stayed in the land. Their growing numbers fostered fear in the Egyptians.
So the king, who did not know Joseph, enslaved them, punishing them with terrible labor and toil. It’s unclear how that was meant to be population control (Scripture indicates that population control was the goal of slavery, “But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread” – Exodus 1:12). The fear of the Hebrews grew in the hearts of the Egyptians. Pushed to his frantic and fearful edge, the king of Egypt gave a terrible order to kill all newborn Hebrew males.
It is here that we must pause. Even isolated this proclamation from a power-hungry ruler should cause our hearts to constrict, but this proclamation is part of a continuing story. A story that has its genesis in the promise given to Eve that her seed would crush the serpent’s head. Generations later, we hear a proclamation from an Egyptian king that puts that promise in Jeopardy. And while the promise of living in a land not their own and being enslaved and mistreated (Genesis 15:13), the king’s edict causes us to wonder about the commitment to Eve.
Has God forgotten? Has the passing of time caused His promise to fade? There seem to be centuries of silence from God (at least as recorded in Scripture, and this will happen again before another significant event in salvation history). And now, the family promised to be a blessing is threatened. No longer a single family, Abraham’s descendants have grown into numerous and prosperous people, but they are in danger, and God has been silent. But it is a silence of anticipation. Join us this week as we explore the book of Exodus. Retracing some of its significant events and lessons. We will see how God once again reveals Himself and His plans as He did with Abraham. Let’s read together who God is and how God has worked.
Prayer: God of redemption, your hope is always before us, and your faithfulness is always behind us. Though our days are fraught with anxiety and waiting, we trust that you see us and care about us. Help me today to rest in you and see you for who you are and not for who my circumstances would make you. You have promised never to leave me. Thank you for that promise. Please help me to remember it. Amen.
Reflection: Have you ever felt like God has been silent? In what circumstances are you waiting for God to show up? How do you wait faithfully, knowing God’s timing and plans are not always ours?
Copyright © 2023 Impactus | Promise Keepers Canada. All rights reserved.