Reading: Exodus 1: 8-14
Verse 12: But the more they were oppressed, the more they flourished.
Life has been good for the Israelites. God had sent Joseph ahead many years before as a slave. God blessed Joseph’s life. He did not live as a typical slave. God blessed him over and over and eventually he rose to second in command under Pharaoh. Famine had struck the land but Joseph had prepared the country well. Joseph’s family came to Egypt looking for food. Because of his position, Joseph was able to bring his whole family to the region of Goshen, where they grew and prospered. God blessed the Israelites and they grew in number, in livestock, …
Over time Joseph and his generation died off. God continued to bless the Israelites and they continued to grow in number. Enter a new king. This new Pharaoh did not know Joseph or their history with the Israelites. But he knew his country needed the labor of the Israelites. They had become the backbone of the economy. Then he came to fear them. He saw how numerous they were and he feared them. He feared they would one day be numerous enough to leave so he began to deal very harshly with them. He inflicts oppression and hard labor on the Israelites. “But the more they were oppressed, the more they flourished”. Even in the midst of the hard times, God continues to bless His people.
At times we too find ourselves hard pressed and we may even feel like we are being oppressed. At times our good life becomes difficult. In these times, do we cling to God or do we question God? Do we hold fast to our faith and trust our difficulties to the Lord? The Word tells us that God is always at work for the good of those who love Him. Where in our lives do we need to live into this today? When we find ourselves hard pressed, may the God of the peace that passes all understanding lead and guide us through.