Monday, January 8, 2007

Do You Know?

Ever feel like THIS is NOT the way life should be?

Ever feel like AFTER ALL YOU'VE DONE, AFTER ALL YOU'VE GIVEN, you deserve better than

I bet that's how the Hebrew people were feeling in Exodus 1. Think of all they and their
foretfathers had been through. Abraham and the promises and his faithful following,
Jacob's wrestling with God, Joseph kicked out of the family, sold as a slave, falsely
imprisoned, and all the dreams, and finally rescuing the country and moving the family to

Whew! That's enough, isn't it? Time for a rest, right?

"Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt." (1:8)

You get the feeling we're in for a whole new series of events. And you'd be right. Because
now the Hebrew people are slaves. The Hebrews were "oppressed" and "forced labor" for
foreigners. Their taskmasters "worked them ruthlessly". And at one point, Pharoah orders
all of the boy babies to be slaughtered. An attempt to wipe the Hebrews off the face of the
earth, end their culture, write them out of the story.

The thought comes to the mind of the reader: doesn't anyone remember history? Doesn't
anyone remember the previous chapter to this story? Doesn't anyone remember how God
intervened? How the Hebrews were used to SAVE the country, the ancestors of the very
people who are now mistreating us? Doesn't anyone remember Joseph?

No. Not this king. "The new king...did not know about Joseph."

It's like chugging up the next huge hill on a rollercoaster when you were sure the first one
was IT...the hill to be feared, with the huge drop-off, taking your breath away. You pull into
the station, thinking the ride is complete. But now the ride starts up again and you're going
down a whole new set of tracks with bigger challenges than you had faced before.

It's the life of the People of Faith, God's people.

Seems like a bit of a bummer. Seems like a devotional for a Monday.

But even in a story like this, there is a glimmer of hope.

Don't miss them at the beginning of this story. They aren't royalty. They aren't rich people.
They aren't powerful.

They're nurses, midwives really. They help deliver the babies. They refuse to give into the
king's genocidal plan because "they feared God".

I wonder, WHY did they fear God? Could it be that someone had told them the story about
Joseph? Could it be that someone told them that when a famine was coming, it was the God
of the Hebrews who had given them warning?

Maybe so. However they found out, they had some history with God, knew God had a
history with them, and they did what was right.

The king didn't know about Joseph. But the midwives did.

How 'bout you?

Grace & Peace.

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