No Matter What
— — HARDSHIP IS NOT A BAD THING— —
After Joseph died, several generations have passed and things took a turn for the worst…
Reading: Exodus 1:8-22
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 to afflict 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.
Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?” The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”
I honestly don’t know why people do this kind of thing. I feel like it’s just like in the history books. The people of Israel were simply living their lives. They were living the good life due to the impact that Joseph had in the land of Egypt. I guess word didn’t go around about what Joseph did for Egypt so this new king was suddenly struck with fear due to the large population of the people of Israel in Egypt. His solution was to enslave them.
——There’s one thing that is easy to see when I read the Bible is the impact of obeying God no matter what.——
When the people were enslaved by the king of Egypt, something unexpected started happening—they grew even larger in population. Hardship is not a bad thing! It’s clear that through the hardship something was happening within the people. Bonds were built stronger. Love and support must have clearly increased among them. The king of Egypt was clearly confused about what was going on because their spirits were not crushed. I’m pretty sure that some of us can relate to this kind of treatment. Slavery and oppression is nothing new, but of course we know this.
But here is the crazy thing about this situation. The king ordered the midwives to kill the baby if a boy and let the girl live. This is the moment that I realized there is one thing that is so easy to see in the Bible—the impact of obeying God no matter what. The midwives feared God. The midwives knew that God was with the people of Israel. They had a choice to make and they chose to not go against God’s people. When questioned by the king, they even came up with a story saying, “…the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” As a result of this, God blessed the midwives. Then the order came to all the Egyptian people they should take the newborn Hebrew sons and throw them into the river.
It’s very clear that just because God is with you does not mean that everyone is going to like you. It’s clear that in your success people will be angry and will attempt to do harm to you. They will even go as far as to attack your family. They want to destroy your family line simply because you are doing well. Sounds familiar?
But what are we to do in this kind of situation. It is clear to me that no matter what, we must stay committed to God. No matter how difficult things get, we have to hold on to our integrity. God is watching. God sees everything that goes on. Sometimes He moves quickly, but sometimes He doesn’t move so quickly. We saw this in Joseph’s situation where it felt like God had abandoned him.
What will you do the next time you come to a point of hardships. Will you compromise and listen to the authority that tells you to do something that you know violates what God has told you? Or will you did as the midwives did and dare not mess with the children of God’s people?
I know for me that I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back to the former way of thinking and doing things. I must have faith that things will turn around and I will rise. You must believe it that you will rise. God is with you.
God bless you