(Exodus 1:5-14) "All the descendants of Jacob were seventy persons; Joseph was already in Egypt.
Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, "Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land,"
Therefore they set taskmasters over them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel.
So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.
Can you even imagine being forced to work as the people of Israel were made to do? Especially a short time after Joseph had passed away, I'm sure after Joseph's death the people of Israel were curious to find out how their world would turn out when a new king had taken over, I'm sure that they were hopeful of their future..They shouldn't be worried for a new Pharaoh to rule..Should they? After all, The Pharaoh before had treated them well and Joseph took care of them! What did we have to fear? Or so they thought!
The people of Israel suffered terribly and were beaten and forced to work long hours, I'm sure their skin was probably burned by the long hours they were made to work out in the hot sun, Not to mention how tired their feet were and how physically drained they were after they worked and slaved all day long!
I've seen so many shows on the History Channel and National Geographic of how "well" the Egyptians "Treated" their workers back in the days of Pharaoh But that is just not so! In fact it angers me so much to think about them telling all of this on T.V when clearly they have never read the truth from the Bible of how the people of Israel were treated under Pharaoh! These poor people were treated worse than a dog! In fact the Egyptians treated animals far better and with more dignity than the people of Israel were even treated!
They had to be set free somehow! There was a person that was sent to brake the chains of the slaves and give freedom to God's people..His name was Moses! Now here's the thing about Moses, He wasn't the strongest or the most brave, Nor could he speak eloquently as others could, But Moses could do one thing better than anyone else could.."Listen" Moses was a very good listener! God needed someone who would hear his voice and follow his leading so God told Moses to "Go!" and Moses went as God told him to! Sure he questioned God and he didn't believe at first that he could be the one that could complete such a task so important as this one was, And Moses' brother Aaron had to speak for him but Moses could clearly hear the voice of God and his brother Aaron wasn't afraid to speak in front of a crowd..So God used Aaron to bring freedom to the people of Israel also! I've always had such an understanding of Moses since as a child I was so very shy and at times still am very shy, Even though I've overcome most of my shyness I still struggle at times with it, That's why I always felt a connection to the story of Moses because I knew just how he must've felt speaking out loud to people, Because that's how I used to feel all the time But God set me free from the anxiety of standing in front of a crowd and speaking to people! I praise God for that because there's no way I would be able to lead God's people into worship like I do today if I was still afraid like I used to be! Moses had a calling on his life and that was freeing the people of Israel from bondage and also freeing them of suffering from the hands of Pharaoh and the Egyptians! Let's start at the beginning of the story and move into the end of the story..
(Exodus 1:1-10) "Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife and Levite Woman.
The Woman conceived and bore a son, And when she saw that he was a fine child, she hit him three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank.
And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done with him. Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it.
When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, " This is one of the Hebrews' children." Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, " Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?" And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go." So the girl went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, " take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him.
When the child grew up, She brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, "because, "She said, "I drew him out of the water."
As children we hear this story often But when you become older I think we are able to further understand the meaning behind this story, It's very compelling and also the story is epic in many ways! The stories in the Bible aren't boring at all! that's why we continue to go to our favorite Bible stories when we grow up I believe! The most exciting part of this story to me is how persistent Moses and Aaron were to free God's people! There were many plagues that were sent to try to convince Pharaoh to free God's people but nothing would convince him to let his people go! In fact it took the plague of the death of the first born before Pharaoh would take it seriously! Finally he said he would "let God's people go." But he still came after them after he had given his word that he had freed them and when Pharaoh came after God's people, God finally ended it and Pharaoh was defeated and God's people were finally free from the Hand of Pharaoh!
Sometimes it takes as past our "comfort zones" to do God's work..much like the way Moses and Aaron had to do, But God only needed someone who would be obedient and would listen to his command and through that obedience The people of Israel were set free from slavery! Amen! That's still such a powerful story to me even after all these years! These stories are so amazing to me..Isn't God awesome?!