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Israel’s Sufferings

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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What Dinah’s Brothers Did

what dinahs brothers did

Shechem may have been a victim of “love at first sight,” but his actions were impulsive and evil. Not only did he sin against Dinah; he sinned against the entire family (34:6-7). The consequences of his deed were severe both for his family and for Jacob’s (34:25-31).
Even Shechem’s declared love for Dinah could not excuse the evil he did by raping her. Don’t allow sexual passion to boil over into evil actions. Passion must be controlled.

When Shechem raped Dinah, the consequences were far greater than he could have imagined. Dinah’s brothers were outraged and took revenge. Pain, deceit and murder followed. Sexual sin is devastating because its consequences are so far reaching.

The verse that has touched our hearts while reading the chapter is as follows:
But they said, “Should our sister be treated like a whore?”

Let’s Pray: Lord, we humans have a tendency to let our carnal needs govern us rather than our spiritual bend. This leads to a lot of sinful acts and makes us guilty and remorseful. Our acts also hurt others and the chain reaction continues, leaving the people hurt, hateful, angry and frustrated. Heavenly Father, be with us during the times when we are inclined towards bodily needs and are about to sin against us. Help us flee from such situations and be holy for you. Amen

Chapter 34: What Dinah’s Brother’s Did

1 Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the region.
2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the region, saw her, he seized her and lay with her by force.
3 And his soul was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob; he loved the girl, and spoke tenderly to her.
4 So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, “Get me this girl to be my wife.”
5 Now Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter Dinah; but his sons were with his cattle in the field, so Jacob held his peace until they came.
6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him,
7 just as the sons of Jacob came in from the field. When they heard of it, the men were indignant and very angry, because he had committed an outrage in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing ought not to be done.
8 But Hamor spoke with them, saying, “The heart of my son Shechem longs for your daughter; please give her to him in marriage.
9 Make marriages with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves.
10 You shall live with us; and the land shall be open to you; live and trade in it, and get property in it.”
11 Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, “Let me find favor with you, and whatever you say to me I will give.
12 Put the marriage present and gift as high as you like, and I will give whatever you ask me; only give me the girl to be my wife.”
13 The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully, because he had defiled their sister Dinah.
14 They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us.
15 Only on this condition will we consent to you: that you will become as we are and every male among you be circumcised.
16 Then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters for ourselves, and we will live among you and become one people.
17 But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and be gone.”
18 Their words pleased Hamor and Hamor’s son Shechem.
19 And the young man did not delay to do the thing, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. Now he was the most honored of all his family.
20 So Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying,
21 “These people are friendly with us; let them live in the land and trade in it, for the land is large enough for them; let us take their daughters in marriage, and let us give them our daughters.
22 Only on this condition will they agree to live among us, to become one people: that every male among us be circumcised as they are circumcised.
23 Will not their livestock, their property, and all their animals be ours? Only let us agree with them, and they will live among us.”
24 And all who went out of the city gate heeded Hamor and his son Shechem; and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city.
25 On the third day, when they were still in pain, two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and came against the city unawares, and killed all the males.
26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went away.
27 And the other sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and plundered the city, because their sister had been defiled.
28 They took their flocks and their herds, their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field.
29 All their wealth, all their little ones and their wives, all that was in the houses, they captured and made their prey.
30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me odious to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites; my numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household.”
31 But they said, “Should our sister be treated like a whore?”

 
 

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