Monday, 5 January 2015

Exodus 1: Pharaoh afflicts the Israelites

Hello dear friends and welcome to our studies in exodus.  I really hope that you will be blessed during our time together.  Please consider following my blog by clicking on the followers gadget on the left (below the 'Welcome', leave a comment at the end sharing your own personal thoughts, or you can contact me using the form on the left sidebar and I will get back to you shortly.

There are a few verses that really jumped out at me in this first chapter of Exodus.
Let's start with verse 12: 

"But the more they (the Egyptians) afflicted them (the Israelites), the more they multiplied and grew".

After years of blessing and ease for the Israelites, there is a sudden change in circumstance for them. They are no longer treated with respect on account of Joseph; instead they are abused and persecuted. Sometimes things like this can happen in the workplace. Maybe you have a really good boss who you get on well with. Work is a pleasant place to be. Then circumstances change and you get a new boss who doesn't really take to you or you to them. There may be some tension or friction. It takes a while to sort through your feelings about them. Sometimes things work out well and the situation eases but other times, it just doesn't work out.
Why did this happen to the Israelites? It was because the new king of Egypt was afraid of them, afraid of their number and their strength (v9). So he decided the best course of action was to try and crush them, instead of working with them. Often, when others see Christians being blessed and doing well, they get afraid or even jealous and their natural reaction is to try and harm them. We as Christians may be perceived as a threat to some people (v12). Perhaps you are being persecuted for your faith - in work? In school? In your community? So, what's the answer? How do you deal with this? Follow in the footsteps of the midwives. They were only women at the mercy of a very powerful and ruthless king. Times would've indeed been difficult then. Did these midwives take the easy way out? Did they consider that not only were their jobs at stake here, but even their very lives could've been lost? No! They were brave ladies, and at great personal risk, they continued to obey God in spite of the king's commandment. We must always respect and honour those in authority - Romans 13:1 KJV,

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God", except of course when they go against God's command.

Result? Exodus 1:20 KJV,

"Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty." God always honours those who honour Him; maybe not always immediately, but He will definitely do it.
Remember, dear sister in Christ, if you are going through some sort of difficulty today where you feel that you are being afflicted and don't really know how to deal with it, then remember the midwives, be strong and remind yourself of the words in Isaiah 12:2 KJV,

"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation."

 A thought for prayer: Pray for those who are suffering persecution for their faith, whether this be on a global scale or in a place of employment.

Wishing you many blessings in the days that lie ahead

Karen x

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