Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. Exodus 1:8
Over the past few months, with all of the chaos happening around the world, I have found myself thinking many times, "What is happening right now?" Maybe you have found yourself also asking this question. I recently read an article that when something happening is unknown and confusing, the human brain recognizes that situation as traumatic. What our world has been facing over the past months has certainly been traumatic. We have been surrounded by disease, death, pain, fear, and more. My friend, in our questioning and uncertainty, we can hold on to the truth that we are not alone. God is with us and working. We are going to be reminded of this truth this week as we look at Moses, who almost certainly looked at his life and asked, "What is happening?"
Let's begin our study of Moses in Exodus 1, where we find that life for the people of Israel took a sudden, drastic change. You see, the previous king of Egypt had a great relationship with the people of Israel, and he knew about their history. Because of this, things had gone well for Israel. However, verse 8 tells us that "a new king came to power in Egypt." This king did not know Israel's rich history. He also did not know that the Israelites were God's chosen people. This king became very fearful of the Israelites were great in number and very powerful. Because of this, he makes the call that all Hebrew baby boys should be killed, which must have been more horrific to the people of Israel than we could ever imagine. At this point, the Hebrew people must have looked around at each other and asked, "What is happening?" The bright spot in this story is that two Hebrew midwives stepped up into the confusion and darkness. They refused to follow the orders to kill any Hebrew baby boys. They lied to the king that the Hebrew babies were being born faster than they could arrive to help deliver the babies. One of the babies who was saved as a result of this was Moses, the man who ultimately freed the Israelite people from slavery in Egypt.
In your monsoon right now, maybe you feel like everything is spinning out of control. Even in the chaos, you can make a difference. You can honor God in the midst of your monsoon, and you can have an impact on all of those around you. Maybe God wants to use you to make an impact for Him in a really dark place.
As you look at your life and the monsoon you are facing, there are certainly many different ways that you can redeem this time. What can you do to honor God during this time? How can you share your faith? How can you reach out to someone with the love of God? My friend, one thing that I am certain that is happening during your monsoon is that God is working and might possibly be using you to make Him known during this time. Take some time to think of one idea of how you can make Christ known during this time and do that thing today.
Read Exodus 1:1-22 (NLT)
These are the names of the sons of Israel (that is, Jacob) who moved to Egypt with their father, each with his family: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. In all, Jacob had seventy descendants in Egypt, including Joseph, who was already there.
In time, Joseph and all of his brothers died, ending that entire generation. But their descendants, the Israelites, had many children and grandchildren. In fact, they multiplied so greatly that they became extremely powerful and filled the land.
Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. He said to his people, “Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are. We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don’t, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country.”
So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king. But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became. So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy. They made their lives bitter, forcing them to mix mortar and make bricks and do all the work in the fields. They were ruthless in all their demands.
Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah: “When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.” But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too.
So the king of Egypt called for the midwives. “Why have you done this?” he demanded. “Why have you allowed the boys to live?”
“The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women,” the midwives replied. “They are more vigorous and have their babies so quickly that we cannot get there in time.”
So God was good to the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply, growing more and more powerful. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River. But you may let the girls live.”