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Israel’s Sufferings

23 Aug

Baby-Moses-E

The Second Book of Moses called Exodus: The Passover Lamb

The book of Exodus is named after the focus of the first fifteen chapters of the book: the liberation of Israel from Egypt by “the God of Abraham… Isaac, and… Jacob” (3.15). The Exodus, however, is not a goal until itself; the book continues with various laws which distinguish the community (chs 20-23, 34), as well as the instructions for the construction of the tabernacle (chs 25-40), which are narrated in great detail, and assure that a holy God will reside among the people.

Pharaoh was afraid the Israelites were becoming so numerous that they would organize and threaten his kingdom, so he made them slaves and oppressed them to kill their spirit and stop their growth. The Egyptians tried to wear down the Hebrew people by forcing them into slavery and mistreating them. Instead the Hebrews multiplied and grew stronger. When we are burdened or mistreated, we may feel mistreated. Our burdens can make us stronger and develop qualities in us that will prepare us for the future. We cannot be overcomers without troubles to overcome. Be true to God in the hard times because even the worst situations can make us better people.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
But the Israelites were fruitful and prolific; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.
17 But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live.
21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.

Let’s Pray: Gracious God, we commit ourselves to you. Transform us and help us to truly be your children. Let the hardships and troubles bring out the best in us and we never lose your site during our testing times. Provide us the strength to obey you rather than the men. We offer this prayer to you in the name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Chapter 01: Israel’s Sufferings

1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household:
2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
5 The total number of people born to Jacob was seventy. Joseph was already in Egypt.
6 Then Joseph died, and all his brothers, and that whole generation.
7 But the Israelites were fruitful and prolific; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.
8 Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
9 He said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we.
10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”
11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor. They built supply cities,
Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh.
12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.
13 The Egyptians became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites,
14 and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field labor. They
were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them.
15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,
16 “When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live.”
17 But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live.
18 So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and allowed the boys to live?”
19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”
20 So God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and became very strong.
21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.
22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.”

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