November 17, 2022
“A new king who had not known Joseph came to power in Egypt. He said to his people, 'Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and powerful than we are...'”
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“A new king who had not known Joseph came to power in Egypt. He said to his people, ‘Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and powerful than we are. Let us deal shrewdly with them; otherwise they will multiply further, and if war breaks out, they may join our enemies, fight against us, and leave the country.’” Exodus 1:8-10
I find it interesting that the Pharaoh stated no specific fault with the Israelites. In fact, there is no accusation of wrongdoing, only suspicion. Pharaoh’s suspicion seems to be evidence of the guilty conscience of a viciously ambitious man. He was hard-hearted.
There are two well-known Biblical times when Hebrew infants were murdered: Pre Exodus Egypt and Pre-advent Bethlehem. Both Herod and (this particular) Pharaoh shared similar climbs to power. They took their positions by force and dirty politics.
The monarch of this new Egyptian dynasty was probably Rameses II. Joseph served one of the Hyskos (Shepherd) kings, an Asian dynasty whose rule in Egypt began in Egypt centuries before him. The Hyskos rule came to an end not long after the death of Joseph. The Hyskos were driven back into Asia, and a descendant of a native Egyptian dynasty regained the throne.
This new Pharaoh undoubtedly was raised on nationalistic pride, fueled by generations of hatred and mistrust of foreigners.
I grew up in the Southern United States. In those days, there were intense race struggles between Americans of African and European descent. Most often, the hatred had nothing to do with the character or actions of any particular individual. It was rooted in base fear, mixed with ambitious competition for power and control of an uncertain future.
Similarly, Pharaoh’s prejudice against the Hebrews was completely unfounded and irrational, as was Herod’s in Jesus’ day. Pharaoh simply loved power more than people. Because his power was secured through violence, he believed that any shift in that power must surely come through violent means.
So, what great lesson can we learn from this injustice? Several, but let’s focus on this notion: In the times immediately preceding God’s deliverance of Israel, The Lord began simultaneously preparing Egypt to expel the Hebrews and Israel’s desire to leave.
Take a moment and reflect on your present life situation. Has the Lord given you a vision and begun a “calling” for you toward which you are to start moving? Do you sense He wants you in a particular place or position? What factors is He allowing to develop in your life in preparation for your release from your present situation to ensure your reception into His place of deliverance or mission?