As the title of the book indicates (Exodus)...it 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. 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 now..here 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.