February 20, 2018
Day 51 of our reading is in Exodus 1 and so begins the affliction of the Israelites in Egypt. And this affliction is not a light thing. In fact, the Egyptians purposely made their lives "bitter" and the word "rigor" is used here with the meaning "to break apart".
Under extreme pressure, there were "strong", "lively" Hebrew women that were not going to be broken by the affliction of Pharaoh and the Egyptians. These are remarkable women that did not cave under the pressure but in fact, rose up and did the exact opposite of what they were told to do.
Affliction and persecution will come to each of us at some point in our life. And it's encouraging to read that other, God-fearing people, suffered affliction but did not "break". No matter how much we are beaten down in this world, don't break! We can stand just as these women did, fearing God above what men could do!
After Joseph's death, the children of Israel increase in numbers
1 Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.
2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.
6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation.
7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.
A new king, who knew not Joseph, arises
8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.
9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:
10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.
11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.
12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.
13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:
14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.
The midwives save the male children
15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah:
16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.
17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.
18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive?
19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.
20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.
21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.
22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.
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It’s always a blessing to find examples in the Bible of people struggling with similar things I struggle with in life.
the constant awareness that God Himself has cloaked us with purpose, promised His undying abiding love and has proven many times He cares about each step we take help us raise our head high and forge our way to victory............regardless of circumstances that would suggest otherwise. Praise the Lord! Thank you Lord for this vision you have placed in each of our hearts.!