This past Sunday, we took a look at Exodus 1. What began initially as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to His people, quickly turned as the nation was oppressed by Pharaoh. This is a great reminder of the reality that God’s people will face persecution from those opposed to the fulfillment of God’s plan.
- The Blessing of God’s Promise: v.1-7
Reminded of the Faithfulness of God: v.1-6 Looking at the first 6 verses you don’t see an explicit reference to the faithfulness of God. You actually see a list of names and a brief recounting of the end of Genesis. In seeing those names, we’re reminded of God’s faithfulness to His people. How we need to be constantly reminded of God’s faithfulness to us! Are you aware of God’s faithfulness in your life today? If that seems hard to wrap your mind around, take a few moments and begin to write down different ways that God has been faithful and allow that to fill your heart and mind with respect to all that God has done.
We Know that Every Blessing Comes from God: v.7 While Israel is multiplying, it’s clear that God is the one who is allowing this to happen. Much like Paul’s statement to the Corinthians, “what do you have that you did not receive?” we would do well to remember that every blessing that we have comes to us from God.
- The Persecution of God’s People: v.8-22
No Remembrance of God’s Faithfulness: v.8 They didn’t remember Joseph. There’s a profound sense that they no longer remembered God’s work through the people of Israel. That’s why it’s so important for us to be people who are quick to remember God’s faithfulness.
The Trajectory of Persecution: v.10-22 The story escalates quickly after Pharaoh has forgotten about God’s work. His insecurity fuels a hostility towards the nation of Israel that moves from enslavement to genocide. He plans to kill off every boy that is born, in attempts of suppressing Israel. Pharaoh represents all that God is not. Where God brings freedom and life, Pharaoh brings enslavement and death. What Israel needed is what we all need, a Savior who would come and free them from their slavery and destroy their enemy. This is exactly what Jesus has done for us!
God’s Blessing in Persecution: v.12, 20 We see that the people continue to multiply amidst the persecution of Pharaoh. Specifically, we see that this blessing came in the form of children. It wasn’t that they were wealthy, had comfort or military victory; but that God gave them more children. This is a great reminder for us to look for the ways that God is caring for His people in the midst of persecution, and also to be reminded that God has not abandoned us in our times of struggle or difficulty. Can you see how God is working in the midst of your current struggle or trial?
God’s Purposes in Suffering: As a way of conclusion, we looked at a few ways that we see the purposes of God in the midst of suffering.
To Help us Grow – Suffering helps us to grow in our commitment and love of Jesus. This is the same recipe that God used to grow the church in the book of Acts. Suffering produces growth within us.
To Reveal Our Need of Salvation – Suffering helps us to see our need for salvation. It wasn’t until Israel suffered that they began to cry out to God.
To Give Us an Eye for Eternity – Suffering helps us to remember that this world that we live in is broken by sin, and that we are sojourners here. Suffering reminds us that something better is to come.
It is Always Redemptive – This is the pattern of the cross. Christ suffered for our salvation. We closed the sermon out by playing a clip from a video.