“Stuck in Egypt”
II.) Vs. 1-7 Keeping His Promise
III.) Vs. 8-14 Another brick in the wall
IV.) Vs. 15-22 Enmity between Gods people, and the devil
It has been said that history is nothing more then His —- story! We saw this when we went through the book Genesis. That book started with God and the birth of creation; yet strangely Genesis records more of mans failure then it does Gods success. Look, for a moment, at the final verse in Genesis (50: 26), as we read that Joseph died, and was put in a coffin. That is the end result of man living apart from God, a wooden box in a land where God didn’t attend them to be. Since the third chapter of Genesis, we read that death came upon creation because of mans sin. We live in the realm of death soon are later we all will have to deal with it. Death teaches us that apart from God, our lives are a failure. As great a foe as death is there is still someone that conquers death. God has overcome death, in fact right after mans failure He began to purchase mankind back from the jaws of death as we read in Gen. 3:21 “…for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” We are told in Heb. 9:22 that “…without shedding of blood there is no remission.” So God knew all along of mans rebellion and even after the fall shed the blood of an innocent animal to make a covering for their sins.
The name Exodus was given at the time of it’s translation into Greek. The word means “exit, way out, road out or departure”. The Hebrew title follows the pattern of naming a book off of the first few words of the book, “These are the names..”. Thus the rabbis call it “The Book of Names” this is the title of the book in Hebrew. How fitting this is as Exodus is all about God creating a “road out for man kind from deaths bondage; so the road is a road towards redemption.” There are three main sections to the book:
- Chp. 1-18 Let My People Go: In this section we will see that it is about God getting His People out of Egypt.His people out of bondageH The main focus is the Lord raising up a man to be a deliver, and the processes by which God will use Him to free his people.
- Chp. 19-24 A special treasure, a holy nation: The next section deals with God revealing His attributes to His people. There we will see that God does not just call His people out of something He call them to something as well.
- Chp. 25-40 Living among His people: Finally, we will discover Gods purpose for all people which is to dwell with them in fellowship. We shall see this in Gods commanding them to build a tabernacle.
We see a parallel to all of us, God desires to free us from sin and calls us to Himself that He might dwell with us! The author of the book is none other then the main figure of the book, Moses. His life is broken apart in this book in groups of forty years.
- Chp. 2:1-15: His first forty years are seen in Pharaoh’s place. So for forty years he thought he was something when he was nothing.
- Chp. 2:16 – 4:31: His second forty years were spent in the desert of Midian. So he spent the next forty years think he was nothing when he was something.
- Chp. 5-40: His last forty years he in the wilderness as the leader of God’s people. So the last forty years he realized that God delights in using nothing to accomplish something.
The book also reminds us of four great events which point to events in a believer’s life as well:
- The Passover: The judgment of God upon sin, Passover the people of God because the shedding of innocent blood. Of coarse this speaks of our conversion when we confessed our need for Jesus and His blood was sprinkled on the door posts of our heart.
- The crossing of the Red sea: This is where God took a bunch of people and made them His people. We speak of this work when we say that we are a new creation. This happens at the same time of our conversion when we brought out of the bondage with the world and into His kingdom.
- The giving of the law: Here God brought to His people at Mount Sinai the realization of His character of Holiness. For the believer this is our growing process as we get into His word and realize more and more who He is.
- The construction of the tabernacle: This is Gods provision for dwelling with man. It is here that we see that God desires to dwell with us in spite of us and it is all based upon what He has done for us.
II.) Vs. 1-7 Keeping His Promise
Vs. 1 The word “now” is not how this book starts in the original language, rather it starts off “And”. What this shows us is this is nothing more then the sequel to Genesis. So Moses goes back to give us some important information as to where he left off in Genesis. Let me make several points here that are needed to fill in the gaps:
These seven verse fill in a time frame of over 430 years. The reason this is important is that this was not some arbitrary time frame it was an exact time frame according to Gods plan to reach the world. In Gen. 15: 13 we read that, “Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.” Why this 400-year period and why did God allow them to go through persecution?
- Clearly, God used Egypt to bless Israel, not only in protecting them from the famine, but also in protecting them from dwelling in the land of the Amorites, who were far more superior in number. The Jew’s were given the land of Goshen and God causes a famine to send them to a nation that was fiercely prejudice as they believed themselves as racially superior towards all people. In Genesis 46: 34 Joseph’s told his family to tell the Pharaoh, “Your servants’ occupation has been with livestock from our youth even till now, both we and also our fathers,’ that you may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.”
- Further more God had a plan that needed to be carried out towards the Amorites. Gen. 15-16 “But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” What an amazing statement this is. God removes His people from a land in order to prepare them for a time when they will go back into the land to remove those who are an abomination to Him.
When they left the land of promise they were 70 strong, when they re-entered the land 430 years later they were over 2 million strong. God had promised that He would greatly multiply His people and He kept His promise.
Vs. 2-5 Notice that the name Jacob is used and not Israel. Jacob means “he grasps the heel”. Israel means, “He struggles with God”. Yet when you get to verse 7 the descendants are called the children of Israel. We can clearly see the work of God in the life of the people of God. We often see things only from one perspective, God sees through the lens of eternity. He sees us from deceivers to overcomes! Next we are given he manes of those who were Israel’s son’s:
- Vs. 2-3a Leah’s and Jacob’s first six sons’ in order of their birth.
- Vs. 3b, 5 Then you have Rachel’s second son Benjamin whom she died during child birth. Joseph is not mentioned here for he is already in Egypt (verse 5).
- Vs. 4 Then we are given the two sons through Rachel’s maid servant Bilhah Dan and Naphtali. Lastly, we have Gad and Asher the two boys from Zilpah Leah’s maid servant.
It took 50 years for the clan to grow from 5 to 70, yet with a standard growth rate of 6% in 430 years they would grow to over 2 million.
Vs. 6-7 Here we see that Egypt became a birth place for the nation. It is good to recognize that God has a plan for you, but it is equally important that you realize that this plan will have some turns in it that you would never have expected. I can see Abram looking up into the sky hear the Lord tell him that his descendants would one day number as the stars in the sky, then also hear that this was going to be through slavery in a nation not their own. LIFE DOES NOT MAKE SENSE! We are not to make sense out of life, folks, our peace comes not from the journey but rather who it is we are walking with! With all of this blessing it is difficult to understand the need to be delivered, until we read the rest of this chapter.
III.) Vs. 8-14 Another brick in the wall
Vs. 8 When Stephen told this story in Acts 7 he says that the people grew and multiplied in Egypt “till another king arose who did not know Joseph.” The word another in the Greek means another of a different kind. The Pharaoh that was in power during Joseph’s time was Egyptian, but according to Isa. 52: 4 the Pharaoh of this time was Assyrian he was a different nationality altogether and during the time he came into power he ran out the Hykos who ruled during Joseph’s time out.
Vs. 9-10 It appears that Gods blessing upon the Israelites became obvious to all. I think at times you can tell God is blessing in the direct proportion to how much warfare you are experiencing! All to often I hear Christians say things like, “I don’t know what I’ve done wrong that God is punishing me for.” Perhaps it is not that you have done anything but rather that God is preparing you for something still greater! The fear and jealousy of the people of the Pharaoh was obvious, they were concerned that their enemies would exploit the blessing of Israel and join forces, making a security risk.
Vs. 11-12 The first phase of the enemy’s plan is given to us here, oppression. So we read here that they sat taskmasters over them. They put the Israelite men into work crews forcing them into slave labor. Two cites are listed as having been built be the forced labor of the Israelites were treasure cites made of brick which the Israelites made with straw supplied by the Egyptians. The pyramids were not built by the Israelites as they had already been in existence by this time.
The more they afflicted them the more they grew. That is the way it often goes the more the world tries to put down the believer the more they are blessed and prosper.
Vs. 13-14 when they saw that that was not having the desired results they removed the straw from the process. The idea here of the enemy is that of preoccupation with the things of the world. Take the children of God away from the blessings of God and into the things of the world that enslave them. That is what the Pharaoh did here, just got them preoccupied with the things of Egypt.
IV.) Vs. 15-22 Enmity between Gods people, and the devil
Vs. 15 Here we are told of the second phase of the enemy’s plan, “killing all the male Jewish boys.” This is not new Satan tried it through Cain as he killed his brother, Herod would try it in Jesus’ time killing all the male children two years old and under, of coarse Hitler and Stalin tried it as well. There has always been enmity between Gods seed and Satan’s seed.
So God rose up two midwives who were probably over all the other midwives. Now most often midwives were chosen because they were barren themselves. These two ladies named “beauty and splendor”. It always amazes me that God seems to place people that seem to be insignificant or perhaps thought of as cursed to be used for His purposes. Have you ever wondered about why God has chosen you? Perhaps its not for what you have but what you don’t have.
Vs. 16-17 The fear of the Lord was the reason why they did not do as Pharaoh had requested. The question often comes up here is it all right that they lied to Pharaoh.
- We don’t know that they lied to Pharaoh. Verse 19 tells us that they told them that the Hebrew women delivered faster then did the Egyptian women so the children were already born prior to their arrival. It could be that they just decided not to arrive in any hurry, thus what they said was true.
- Second there is a higher law to obey and that is Gods. Clearly what God rewards here is not the way in which they acted but rather the reason why they acted, (verse 21). It was that they feared God that the Lord looked upon.
Notice the twofold blessing here:
- Vs. 20 First the nation was blessed by the obedience of these two ladies. When we choose to obey God no matter who we are the Nation is blessed because of our obedience. Mother’s never think of your role as unimportant, because of your obedience this nation will have a future.
- Vs. 21 Look at this carefully here were two ladies that traditionally we believe were barren, yet because they feared God were blessed with children. Do you see the point? What was it that Pharaoh was putting to death? Male children! The Lord places these gals right with the rest of the mother there in Egypt. Folks a lot of times God brings us through things to test our hearts then blesses us with what it was that test our heart to begin with. May I just say that there are no wasted days in the class room of Gods grace, every day is vital that you pay attention!
Vs. 22 Here was the last of Satan’s plan and it involved the Egyptians. To get the nation to be involved with the killing of the Israelite boys. In all of this what we see is the reasons that led up to God bring forth a redeemer. And the fact that He uses ordinary people.