Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday, January 31: Exodus 1-3 ~ Jay

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is:Exodus 1-3

As the title of the book indicates (Exodus) is time for God's people to leave.  Lots of gems and potential points for comments in today's passage, but I am a 2 finger typist:)

I find it very interesting that almost 400 years have passed since Joseph brought his family into Egypt and now a new leader decides that this group of people outnumber even the Egyptians! In vs. 2 of today's passage it tells us that Jacob's descendants numbered 70..... and when the new Pharaoh took stock of where his kingdom was at, they now numbered greater than the Egyptians...which would have been over 2 million people.  Recall that Joseph reiterated God's promise to his brothers in Genesis 50:24-25;  24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”  Now after approximately 400 years have passed, they are still in Egypt (no promised land yet) and on top of this they are going to be placed into brutal slavery. I would imagine doubt and skepticism would have set in about these promises of God's deliverance that were passed down from generation to generation.  Not much different than today.  We have God's promise that he will return and claim us to himself...but do we live each day with the thought that God is working through his plan and today could be the day? 

Another point that struck me was in Chapter 1 vs. 17. 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. When these Midwives were ordered by the most powerful person they knew to kill the male children, they did not follow these commands because they feared God. The consequence of disobedience was likely death, yet they feared God?  Where did this powerful fear of God come from? Certainly they would not have have had the same passing down of God's promises from generation to generation (as the Hebrews did), yet they feared God? Being observant they likely saw how the Hebrew people lived, conducted themselves, and how they were blessed; From this the midwives would have developed their overwhelming respect for the Hebrew's God.  It brings me to question my own life; If those around me observe how I live and conduct myself on a daily basis - Do they in turn fear God?

Something else that stood out to me was in Exodus 2 vs 24-25. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.  This passage re-confirms in my mind that God does hear us, God is true to his promises, and beyond that He has "emotion" and  concern for us. This was confirmed again in Exodus 3 vs 7. The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 

 The final point that I took notice of was around when God asked Moses to take on this great task of approaching Pharaoh and leading the people out of Egypt. He speaks to Moses out of a bush that is burning, without the bush being consumed.  On top of that God's voice is audibly heard coming out from the bush...yet Moses comes up with two lame excuses. #1 - Who am I;   #2 - What if they ask me the name of the God of our Forefathers?  How humorous this seems to us Moses is standing in front of God and visibly witnessing God's power yet he makes excuses to try and get out of this great responsibility God has called him to. Applying this personally..How ridiculous my excuses must sound to God when he calls me do his work.  

So summing up my thoughts around today's passage:

1) God is true to his word and fulfills his promises.
2) Our timing may not be the same as God's timing.
3) We need to conduct ourselves so others see and respect God through us.
4) God hears us and is concerned about us.
5) When God puts a task in front of us and asks us to step-up, we need to be willing - no matter how many excuses we might think are valid.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Exodus 4-6


Nathan Reimer said...

One part of this reading that I often over look, or don't think much of, is how much faith Moses mother had to leave her baby boy floating in the river in a hand made basket. His mother did have her daughter keep an eye on the basket, but it does sound dangerous to leave an infant like that. What was she thinking, how did she see this playing out? The only answer I can think of is she had great faith and trust in God. If God would ask us to put one of our children in a dangerous position that could very easily result in death, would we do it? We more than likely won't have to make this decision today, but good food for thought

Conrad said...

I like your question as to whether or not others fear God because of your lifestyle from how you conduct yourself daily. I think that is a question we should all ask ourselves and hopefully others do fear God by our example. If they don't, maybe we need to make some changes.

TammyIsBlessed said...

Great points Jay!

I love God's sovereignty and His sense of humour. How awesome is it that Moses' mother got paid to mother her own son?!

Pamela said...

Tammy--that same thought came to me today as I read it! When I was taking a woman's history course in university years ago I wrote a detailed essay on Hatshepsut....who just may have been the one who rescued Moses.

This is long but very interesting:

The Biblical description of how Moses was discovered along the banks of the Nile River by “Pharaoh’s daughter” (Ex 2:3–10) is intriguing since it has parallels with the known character of Hatshepsut. In the Bible, the person who directed Moses’ rescue from the Nile, and later adopted him, is always referred to as “Pharaoh’s daughter” (Ex 2:5, 7, 9, 10; Acts 7:21; Heb 11:24). From the Bible we learn she had slaves and attendants. “Pharaoh’s daughter” must have been an important, powerful, and capable woman to command people to do her bidding. If Hatshepsut was about six or seven years old when Moses was born, it could well be that she was, in fact, the “Pharaoh’s daughter” of the Bible. It is conceivable that Pharaoh’s daughter, even at age six, was very powerful. And, no one could have foreseen the enormous effect of her plucking a Hebrew baby from the Nile to become her new “toy.” Further, a fascinating detail of how women of royal birth were titled in Dynasty 18 is provided by Robins (1993:26):

Women of royal birth [in the 18th Dynasty] can be identified by the use of the title ‘king’s [Pharaoh’s] daughter’, since there is no evidence in the 18th Dynasty of women who are known to have had non-royal parents being given this title. This rules out the possibility that this title was sometimes awarded to enhance the status of non-royal women.

Hatshepsut was the sole child who survived past infancy of the Queen consort, Ahmose, and her Pharaoh father, Thutmosis I. Queen Ahmose gave Thutmosis I four children, three of whom died in their youth (LoMusio 1989:85). Thus, Hatshepsut was the only woman in 1526 BC who could have had the title “Pharaoh’s daughter,” the designation given in Exodus to the person who saved Moses and later adopted him.

The Exodus account (2:3–10) continues to describe how “Pharaoh’s daughter” told Moses’ sister to take him to a nursemaid who, it turns out, was Moses’ natural mother. How long his mother cared for Moses is not recorded; however, Exodus 2:10 says “when the child grew older, she [Moses’ mother] took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son.” In her penetrating look into modern Arab culture, Sandra Mackey writes “boys are breast-fed much longer than girls, often for as long as two to three years” (1987:127). It might be assumed that in ancient times a similar practice prevailed, especially if the nursemaid was the boy’s mother who knew, once the boy was returned to “Pharaoh’s daughter,” she might never see him again. From this information it is conceivable that Moses may have lived with his natural Hebrew family for more than three years. This could help explain why Moses had empathy for the victim when he saw an Egyptian abusing a fellow Hebrew (Ex 2:11–12; Acts 7:25–27).

Pamela said...

Here's the link: