Exodus 1:1-22 Bondage in Egypt as an illustration of the world

1 Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.

2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,

3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,

4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.

5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.

6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation.

7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.

8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.

9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:

10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.

11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.

12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.

13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:

14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.

15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah:

16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.

18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive?

19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.

20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.

21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.

22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.

 

The Hebrew name for the book that we call “Exodus,” is Sh’mot, which means, “names” and comes from the first words of the book.  Israel had moved into Egypt under Jacob as a clan but would leave as a nation.  They had spent about 200 years in the land and were now finding themselves under the rule of an Egyptian king who did not know Moses and he was not about to honor the deals that the previous Pharaoh had with Israel and Joseph.

His reasons were twofold:

  1. This was the first Egyptian Pharaoh to rule in a long time.
  2. The Israelites had grown in number and prospered to the point that the land was filled with them.

 

This was a threat to the new Pharaoh and so he devised a plan to subdue the people of Israel and turn them into slaves.  His tactic was something that would be used against Israel many centuries later by another treacherous leader:  The race card.

Pharaoh also tried to have the male Israelite children killed, first by speaking to the midwives and then by going directly to his people.  His plan worked partially because many cities were built through the slave labor from the Israelite people but due to the faith of the God-fearing midwives and obviously the Providence of God, the people grew even more.

 

The people of Israel were in a dire situation but according to Scripture, they were right where God wanted them to be.

 

Now God had declared to Jacob that His people would spend a long time in Egypt:

 

Genesis 46:

 

2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.

3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:

 

This declaration went even farther back to Abraham:

 

Genesis 15:

 

12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

 

They had now spent 350 to 400 years in great affliction and I wonder if some of the Israelites remembered these two promises given to them so long ago.

 

Were they reminded of His promises as they watched their child being slaughtered by a people who knew nothing about God and for that matter were in direct opposition to Him.

 

Did they hear from Him?

 

Had they lost heart due to His silence?

 

Did they think that God had forsaken them or had forgotten them?

 

Were these now distant promises seen as empty words?

 

How would you react in this situation?

 

Would you or I have the faith to cling to His promises?

 

Today we are, in a lot of ways, in the same circumstance as Israel was her in this chapter.  Man is either in bondage to sin or bondage to the mortal body, longing to be free.

 

Most of the time in Scripture, Egypt is seen as a type of the world or the world system.  A place that is completely against and willfully separated from God.

This worldly system’s ruler is Satan and this Pharaoh will be a type and illustration of the adversary in many ways as we move through this book.  This particular Pharaoh is willfully acting out one of the chief schemes of Satan in trying to stop the growth of Israel and thus the development of the Promised Redeemer.

 

Like Satan, Pharaoh tries to keep God’s people in bondage and slavery to the world.  His goal is to stop any and all growth of the Christian, but he also wishes to keep the sinner right where he is in his lost condition.

 

We were all once lost and slaves to sin before our Redeemer came; before He lead us out of Egypt through the salvation that comes through the grace of Jesus Christ.  Yet now we still have that sinful nature; that part of us that is warring with the Spirit of God.  This fact and the constant thwarting of Satan threatens to keep us stuck in bondage to this world, but, if we are in Christ, if we have partaken of the redemption and grace that comes through His salvation, then we can rest in the fact that we too have a promise from God:

 

Hebrews 13:

 

5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

 

Matthew 28:

 

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

Life on this earth can be cold and hard sometimes.  We may be in a position where we suffer hardship or loss.  We were never promised an easy life with all of the things that we want.  But, if we have His Spirit, we can have the full assurance that He is with us; working through us and for us in all things.  Most of the time He will be working silently in the background of our lives.

 

He knows what it is like to live on this earth and to suffer.  God came to this earth; fully God and yet fully man, and it is through His suffering that the Son teaches us how to be obedient to the Father.

 

Hebrews 5:

 

7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

 

Jesus Christ is with us always if we have obeyed Him and through Him we learn that we grow closer to the Father through tests, trials, and suffering.  Through this we learn that God is always working in the background FOR US!!!!!

 

And if God is for us, who can be against us!!!!

 

Romans 8:

 

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33 Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

AMEN!!!

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About Clint Rodgers

I am a father of 2 wonderful children and the husband of a beautiful woman who has taught me more about compassion for goofballs than I could have ever learned. I have know Jesus for many years but about 5 years ago I truly met Him and now I do my best to follow Him as I walk in this world
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