[Exodus Chapter 1]. Shifting Destinies – Can You Take the Pressure? Do you know when change is at hand in your life? How do you respond to change? Do you allow yourself to be a victim? Or, do you take your authority and ride the chaos of change into the next assignment God has for you?
[Exo 1:1-22 KJV] 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. 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. 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.
The book of Exodus presents itself as written by Moses himself, but modern scholarship dates it to the Babylonian exile (6th century BCE), with further revisions in the Persian post-exilic period (5th century). Why do modern scholars so often dispute the dating and authorship of scripture? This is called higher criticism or the “school of higher criticism,” that looks at scripture as inherently unreliable, and therefore they search out the archeological record to debunk what the passage actually says. In the book of Exodus, the belief is that it was not written by Moses or in Moses’ lifetime but rather much later by an unknown author or authors, perhaps a scholar in the 6th century before Jesus they identify by the name of Dueteronomous. They believe this because (in their view) it was written in a late form of Hebrew that (they claim) didn’t exist in the time of Moses and the fact that in the book of Exodus Moses is referred to in the third person.
Jewish and Christian tradition viewed Moses as the author of Exodus and the entire Pentateuch, but by the end of the 19th century, the increasing opinion of alleged discrepancies, inconsistencies, repetitions and other features of the Pentateuch had led scholars to abandon this idea and the idea of the scriptures being inspired or infallible altogether. According to current thinking, a first draft was probably written in the 6th century BCE during the Babylonian exile; this was supplemented and completed as a post-Exilic final edition at the very end of the 6th century or during the 5th century, and further adjustments and minor revisions continued down to the end of the 4th century (in their view).
Modern Scholarship further doesn’t consider Exodus is historical but rather a fabrication contrived to spiritually support the Israelites in captivity during the 5th and 6th centuries. These scholars insist, “The purpose of the book is not to record what really happened, but to reflect the historical experience of the exile community in Babylon and later Jerusalem, facing foreign captivity and the need to come to terms with their understanding of God.”
The interesting thing here is that in all the considered opinions of scholarship, they never give pause to consider that it actually was written by Moses and that the events described actually happened (because that view is intellectually offensive). Paul dealt with such skepticism in his day and made the following observation:
[1Co 8:1 KJV] 1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
One of the central and mostly universal tenets of faith is that of the infallibility of the scriptures. This is:
“Biblical infallibility is the belief that what the Bible says regarding matters of faith and Christian practice is wholly useful and true. It is the “belief that the Bible is completely trustworthy as a guide to salvation and the life of faith and will not fail to accomplish its purpose.”
Over time even conservative organizations such as the Assemblies of God water this doctrine down. They insist that the Bible is “inspired” as an infallible guide to faith. That is not the same thing as believing the scriptures themselves are infallible. What does the scripture then declare concerning itself? The apostle Peter puts it best:
[2Pe 1:21 KJV] 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
We hold then that the Bible is unique, reliable, and an authority unto itself not subject to the examination of men but rather men are held to the examination of the truth of the Scriptures as to whether they are in the faith or lost in unbelief.
The King who Knew Not Joseph:
The chapter begins with a summary of the generations of Jacob down to their entering into Egypt to escape the famine by coming under Joseph’s care. In time, Joseph died and all this generation. This is the principle of the old wineskin. Things change. There is a natural life cycle to things we must recognized. We see this in the church. In DL Moody’s time where Sunday School was concerned – things have changed. In the days of the tent, revivals – things have now changed. The God who never changes requires of us constant change. Therefore we must hold everything loosely.
In verses 7-11, we read that in their time in Egypt, the children of Israel were fruitful, abundant, and multiplied to the point of being a threat to the ruling class in Egypt. As a result of this, the fortunes of the people of God change under a brutal new king. Why would God allow this to happen? Because the time has come for them to make their exit from Egypt and to enter into their ultimate place of promise in Canaan.
This transition would not be easy, and the children of Israel would not readily accept the challenges ahead. We resist change because of a desire for security. This is rooted in unbelief. Jesus said, don’t take thought for tomorrow. So while change is uncomfortable, we must accept it is inevitable. Resistance to change is an indicator of a controlling spirit and a spirit of fear and rebellion.
In verses 12-14, Pharaoh instructs the taskmasters to afflict and burden the people of God. Why does he do this? Because he sees them as a threat to his reign. The spirit of Pharaoh is alive today. Pharaoh will compel the people to make bricks without straw because he desires to keep them in slavery. Today if people want to get free from the burden of debt, this is a negative economic indicator, and the corporate world brings massive layoffs. Bricks without straw in our day equates to “payments without jobs.” Even though Pharaoh thought to diminish the Israelites through hard labor, the fact was they survived and, in fact, thrived in the midst of everything the enemy threw at them. Paul applies this blessedness to the believer in 2 Cor. 2:14:
[2Co 2:14 KJV] 14 Now thanks [be] unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
God is not a God of failure or downturn. Don’t ever think that God’s choice is for you to suffer. Christian culture and popular doctrine insist that God wants to teach you through suffering. That is a total lie. Remember the words of Jesus:
[Jhn 14:26 KJV] 26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Notice that the Teacher is called the Comforter, not the Afflicter. Also, notice that Jesus insists that the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) will teach you ALL things. The Devil is not God’s substitute teacher when the Holy Spirit needs a day off. Cancer teaches you nothing that God wants you to know. Poverty teaches you nothing that God wants you to know. The Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit alone is your teacher, and God’s will for you as it was for the Israelites is that you ALWAYS come to TRIUMPH in Jesus’ name.
Look at vs. 15-17. When the king couldn’t defeat or deflate the people of God, he decides to cut them off before they could be brought to the birth. How did the midwives respond? They feared God. We need to have the “spirit of a mid-wife” with respect to our own destinies – don’t allow the rigors of modern expectations to contaminate our obedience to God or our hope in God. Your destiny will not become an abortion.
What happens next? The king calls the midwives before them to ask them why they are not aborting the Israelites babies (v. 19)? They explain to the king that the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women. Egypt is a type of the world. A true woman of God is not like the women of the world. Is that true? Look around you in church some time. Do the women look and act like the women of the world? A woman of God will act differently, dress differently and comport herself differently than the Kardashians, the Taylor Swifts, etc., etc. This also speaks to the vision and faith of God’s people. People out in the world bring things to the birth through deceit, lies, manipulation, etc. Something born of God comes out fully formed possessed of a vibrant faith that gives all the glory to God and not to the flesh.
Because of the faithfulness in the hearts of the midwives, God rewarded them and dealt well with them (v. 20). How about you? Is God treating you, ok? Would you like Him to handle you differently in life? Perhaps if you adopted the attitude of these godly women, you would see a level of faith you are yet to experience. These women braved the consequences of disappointing Pharaoh, and God rewarded them. To move away from persecution or shrink from criticism is to forsake the blessing of God over your life. Have you disappointed a Pharaoh lately? Or are you walking on eggshells trying to keep everybody happy? Jesus assures us that not everyone will be excited about what God is doing in our lives, but the blessing would be with us regardless:
[Mar 10:30 KJV] 30 But he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
Are you ready for the hundredfold return? Today very well known ministers are telling thousands that the God of Prosperity is not the God of the Bible. Is that true? Jesus promises us (John 10:10) life and life more abundantly. It is time to reject the poverty message and the slander of these religious devils against men and women of God who are preaching the truth of faith and prosperity according to the provisions of the shed blood of Calvary. God wants you, blessed!
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