Today’s reading comes from Exodus 1-3. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word.
It’s amazing how fast time flies. As we close out the month of January we are putting Genesis and Job behind us and starting the book of Exodus. We last saw the patriarchal family burying their father Jacob in the same grave as their grandfathers Isaac and Abraham, and having their brother Joseph embalmed. Almost four hundred years have passed from the time they came to Egypt to the time Exodus begins. It is now somewhere around the year 1,500 B.C. Moses, the baby born in chapter two of today’s reading is the author of the book of Exodus.
Joseph and all his generation has died. The 2011 version of the NIV translates Exodus 1:8 with these terms … “Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.” The NIV84 translates this same passage … “Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt.” Reading today the 2011 NIV put a new thought in my mind. The name and legacy of Joseph was forgotten. His impact, his work to keep Egypt wealthy and prosperous was gone from their memories. Now what was the reason for this? I think this is the result of the pride that the Pharaoh’s had in themselves.
Pharaoh was believed by himself and by his people to be a god. This swelled the head of a Pharaoh greatly, so much so that he thought that everything that happened in Egypt was all because of him. But yet, he was also fearful. He did not remember what Joseph had done for their nation, or why his decedents were living in the land, but he saw them growing in number and enslaved them. Even with all his pride he had no security.
The cool thing in all of this, Pharaoh had no god other than himself. The Israelites, while God may have seemed silent, always had God hearing their cries and remember them. God was with the midwives as they protected the babies born … Exodus 1:20; he heard their cries and was concerned about them … Exodus 2:25; and God tells Moses he has seen the misery of his people … Exodus 3:7-8. Friends, when life seems challenging, when you seem at the end of your rope, when it seems bleak, remember, even though God may seem silent, he is aware of what you are going through. In time he will work it out for good.