Lord, I don't always understand your ways. I don't know why my friend has to suffer, but I trust you. I ask that you look with mercy and grace toward my friend. Nourish his spirit and soul in this time of suffering and comfort him with your presence. Let my friend know you are there with him through this difficulty. Give him strength. And may you, through this difficulty, be glorified in his life and also in mine. Even more critical than physical healing, we humans are in need of spiritual healing.
Spiritual healing comes when we are made whole or " born again " through accepting God's forgiveness and receiving salvation in Jesus Christ. Here are verses about spiritual healing to include in your prayers:. Another type of healing we can pray for is emotional, or healing of the soul. Because we live in a fallen world with imperfect people, emotional wounds are inevitable.
But God offers healing from those scars:. Share Flipboard Email. Cultivating Prayer as a Way of Life. Mary Fairchild is a full-time Christian minister, writer, and editor of two Christian anthologies, including "Stories of Cavalry. Updated April 17, Psalm , NIV.
The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.
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The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. Matthew , NIV. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering. But the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. Luke , NIV. Today our Lord continues to pour out his healing balm when we pray for the sick:.
And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. Dear Lord of Mercy and Father of Comfort,. As you heal and renew your servant, Lord, may he bless and praise you. All of this, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Whether this was true repentance or not, only the Lord knew. Previously, they had contributed their gold ornaments to the making of an idol, and this had been their undoing.
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Perhaps they were starting to learn their lesson—the hard way. This was a special tent that Moses used when he wanted to consult with God. God graciously met with Moses and spoke with him face-to-face, the way friends talk together Num. The cloudy pillar that led the nation on their journey would hover at the tent door, and the people would know that Moses and the Lord were in conference. Moses reminded the Lord of His promise to accompany the people on their journey.
Was God now going to go back on His word? Moses based his appeal on the grace favor of God, for he knew that the Lord was merciful and gracious and that the people were guilty. If God gave them what they deserved, they would have been destroyed! His heart must have leaped for joy when he heard God promise to accompany the people and lead them to the place of rest that He had promised. It all depends on our relationship with God. Moses knew the ways of God Ps. God did give Moses a guarded glimpse of His glory and he was satisfied. Would He accompany them like a policeman watching a criminal or like a Father caring for His beloved children?
The answer came when the Lord ordered Moses to prepare two new stone tablets, for this meant He was going to replace the tablets that Moses had broken! God would renew the covenant! Early the next morning, Moses kept the appointment, the tablets in his hands.
But before He did anything with the tablets, God proclaimed the greatness of His attributes vv. Moses repeated these words to God at Kadesh-Barnea Num. The fact that God renewed the covenant is evidence that He forgave His people and gave them a new beginning. But God also repeated the essential elements of the covenant, especially the laws about idolatry vv. When Israel moved into their Promised Land, it would be very easy to compromise with the enemy, first by making agreements with them, then by joining in their feasts, and finally by intermarrying with them and adopting their pagan ways.
It was important from the very beginning that Israel repudiate and destroy everything associated with idols and to realize that what adultery was to marriage, idolatry was to their covenant with the Lord. Expositors — Moses ascended the mountain once again and proceeded to intercede in prayer on Israel's behalf a second time v. The sincerity of Moses' devotion to his people is seen in his request: "Blot me out of the book" v.
The "book" or "scroll" is called the "book of the living" in Psalm and is referred to in Isaiah "recorded among the living" Ezek ; Dan ; Mal ; cf. I will blot out of my book" v. Thus the OT principle is reaffirmed: the person who sins is accountable for his own sin Deut ; Ezek , 13, Whereas in the past the Lord had led , 51; ; ; and Moses was only his servant, from then on Moses and an angel were to lead v. The plague came on the people because they caused the calf to be made or asked for it. Frequently in Scripture events may be directly attributed to people when they only occasioned them since the one could implicate the many as a member of a community, just as today one traitor could compromise a whole army or nation.
Judas is said to have purchased the field that actually the priests purchased, since it was Judas's returned money that occasioned it Acts Threatened separation and Moses' prayer The Lord issued the command to move on v. The angel promised here is altogether different from "the angel of his presence" in Isaiah , since God declared that his "Name is in him" Thus this angel was a christophany, an appearance of Christ in the OT.
Although the Lord promised to send his personal representative, he himself would "not go with [them]" v.
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This withdrawal of the divine presence assured in was because of the presence of sin. Reminded once more of their stubbornness, the people were asked to "take off [their] ornaments" v. Akin to putting on sackcloth and ashes, the people "stripped off their ornaments" as a sign of mourning for their sin v. This "tent of the meeting" was outside the camp and a temporary structure used until the more permanent shelter was constructed The verbs in v.
Moses visited this tent whenever he desired a meeting with the Lord v. When Moses entered it, "the pillar of cloud would come down" v. A similar descent would later cap the completion of the tabernacle ; The presence of the pillar of the cloud at the tent entrance evoked a spirit of worship from the people v. He believed that a mere angel was no substitute for the presence of God.
Moses asked the Lord for a demonstration of his love so that he might know and serve him better v. The Lord responded by promising, "My Presence [lit. With this new word, the Lord reinstated the angel of his presence in whom he invested his "Name" as the leader of Israel's way to Canaan. Moses knew that God's presence was essential to Israel's testimony before the world v.
Without it they would be indistinguishable from the rest of the world. That was the response the Lord was waiting for; so he told Moses that it would be as he requested v. But Moses sought one further thing: he desired to see God's "glory" v. By his "goodness" is meant his whole character and nature. In a later theophany the Lord passed by what may have been the same cleft of the rock cave for the discouraged prophet Elijah 1 Kings A further aspect of the revelation of God's glory was the proclamation of his name.
The name of God includes his nature, character, person Ps ; Luke ; John , doctrine Ps ; John , 26 , and standards of living Mic In this context his name includes his "mercy" his "grace" and his "compassion" raham ; lit. Romans quotes this verse and applies it to the sovereignty of God. The one restriction that the Lord gave was that Moses would not be permitted to see the Lord's face v. In fact, "no one may see me and live" v. When the glory passed by, Moses would be hid in the "cleft in the rock" and covered by the Lord's hand v. Then the hand of God would be removed so that Moses might see God's back v.
Renewal of the covenant Since Moses had broken the former tablets , which "were the work of God" , it was appropriate that he "chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones" v. No contradiction exists between God's statement that he "will write on them the words that were on the first tablets" and vv. Apparently these are alternate ways of saying the same thing: What Moses said, God said, and vice versa.
The law is the direct expression of the mind and will of God. Some make v. Then the Lord "passed in front of Moses" v. Verses 6b-7 are essentially repeated in Numbers ; 2 Chronicles ; Nehemiah ; Psalms ; ; ; ; ; ; Joel ; Jonah ; and Nahum On "compassionate" see the comment on The "gracious God" bestows his unmerited favor on those who have no claim whatsoever on it.
His graciousness is explicated by "slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Woe to them who reject God's grace! His chastisement will be felt to the "third and fourth generation.
I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face! Gen So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared. Numb And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, O LORD, are with these people and that you, O LORD, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel. Neh And the leaders of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua son of Kadmiel, and their associates, who stood opposite them to give praise and thanksgiving, one section responding to the other, as prescribed by David the man of God.
Ezra the scribe led the procession. It was next to the room of the officials, which was over that of Maaseiah son of Shallum the doorkeeper. The great need for the emancipating work of Moses is made very clear in the first chapter of Exodus. This chapter reports that Israel was under the bondage of an extremely cruel slavery in the land of Egypt. Their very existence was being threatened by the murderous oppression from the Egyptians.
A deliverer was desperately needed. And as God always does, a deliverer was raised up by Him in due time to bring about the rescue of the children of Israel from their terrible slavery. That deliverer, the great emancipator of Israel, was Moses. To help us appreciate the oppressive circumstances of Israel in Egypt and, thereof.
It is not a pretty picture. Unfortunately, the picture is not unique. We can write chapters like Exodus 1 about every age of man. When man turns from God and serves his own base passions, he can become like a brute beast in his treatment of his fellow man. Though society be educated, sophisticated, and computerized, without God it can become a jungle in morals and manners. In the study of this first chapter of Exodus, a chapter that serves as an introduction to the coming of Moses, we will consider the souls in slavery vv.
Here we take a look at the Israelites, the people who will be emancipated by Moses. We learn of their presence, their productivity, and their pollution in Egypt. We note three things about Israel's presence in Egypt: the reason for it, the region of it, and the ratification of it. The reason for it. What is Israel doing in Egypt? Even a casual reader of the Bible knows the answer. The last quarter of the book of Genesis gives us the explanation for why Israel is in Egypt for a detailed study of this section of Genesis, see the author's book on Joseph. Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, was sold by his cruel brothers to slave traders.
They took Joseph to Egypt and Joseph was sold into slavery there. He was the first of the Israelites to experience slavery in Egypt. But Joseph did not remain a slave. Though his slavery led to prison, one day he came out of the prison to be the number two ruler in Egypt and to save Egypt from being destroyed in a severe seven year famine. The famine brought Joseph's brothers to Egypt for food which eventually led to Jacob and all his family in Canaan moving to Egypt to be under the care of Joseph. What started out as a great tragedy ended up a great blessing.
God is a Master at causing our dark circumstances to bring us great light. The region of it. Joseph desired that his brethren dwell in Goshen, and he succeeded in obtaining orders from Pharaoh for his brethren to dwell there Genesis — The region of Goshen was located on the eastern side of Egypt. It was a most fertile area of land, being watered by the delta of the Nile River. This made it a great place for Israel with all their flocks. It provided them land that was most helpful to their prospering and growing into a great nation.
Israel settled there and remained in Egypt for some four hundred years before their emancipation under the leadership of Moses. God knows where to put us to provide for our specific needs at the time they are especially needed. The ratification of it. Israel's presence in Egypt was under the approval of God Genesis We need to make that clear, for generally a trip to Egypt by the patriarchs evidenced disobedience.
Egypt spoke of the world. Full of paganism and materialism, its effect upon the character and spirituality of God's people was generally most negative. Egypt does not represent spiritual life but spiritual death. Abraham's trip to Egypt Genesis —20 , the first such trip by God's chosen people to Egypt, was an act of unbelief and resulted in lying and many other problems such as the acquiring of Hagar, the Egyptian maid that plagued him all his life.
Later in Israel's national history, their alliances with Egypt Isaiah 30 and the emigration by some to Egypt Jeremiah 43 evidenced their rejection of God and always cost them plenty. But there were exceptions when Israel's being in Egypt did not reflect disobedience. One case was that of Jacob and his family going to Egypt in Joseph's time. Carnality would like to make the exception the rule, but spirituality knows better and does not go to Egypt unless there is a clear, unmistakable command from God.
The productivity of Israel in Egypt was the fulfillment of a promise which God had given Jacob when Jacob and his family were moving to Egypt. God promised Jacob, "I will there make of thee a great nation" Genesis The fulfillment of this promise gives us some good lessons about the fulfillment of all Divine promises. We especially note the lessons concerning the place, problems, and patience involved in the fulfillment. The place of fulfillment. God's promise specified the place for its fulfillment.
Had Jacob and his family not abode in Egypt as instructed, they would have missed the blessing of this fulfillment. Not every place is the Divinely appointed place of blessing. It is, therefore, very important that we be in the particular place where God said the blessing would be if we expect to receive the promised blessing. We can see this truth in other incidences in Scripture as well as in the case of Jacob. As an example, the prophet Jeremiah was instructed to go to the potter's house to hear from God.
Jeremiah was told, "There I will cause thee to hear my words" Jeremiah Had Jeremiah not gone to the potter's house as instructed, he would not have received the blessing of hearing God's Word. Those who complain they are coming up short on the promised blessings of God are often those who are not careful about being "there" in the place of blessing.
Promises are not apart from responsibilities. One of the great responsibilities is to be "there" in the appointed place of blessing. For those who have difficulty with knowing where "there" is and many church people evidence they have much trouble here , we can give some help.
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As an example, "there" will be church on Sunday morning, not the beach or the lake or home watching TV or mowing the lawn. But wherever God's "there" is, that is where the promised blessing will be; and it is, therefore, the best place for us to be. We need to be "there" no matter what our feelings. The problems of fulfillment. As we noted at the start of this chapter, Exodus 1 records some of the great persecution problems which confronted Israel in Egypt which threatened to destroy them.
Yet, in spite of these great persecution problems, the Israelites still grew and multiplied. God's promise proved, as always, to be stronger than man's problems. If God said He would make Israel a great nation in Egypt, He would do it in spite of the problems which slavery brought upon the Israelites. The devil really fights the promises of God, and at times the saints in viewing their current circumstances may wonder if God's promises will prevail.
But have no fear. If God promised, God will fulfill! How encouraging this should be to God's people. If God can fulfill the promise of productivity for Israel amidst the opposition that abounded in Egypt, He can also fulfill His promises to us in spite of the opposition of our enemy who so discourages us at times by making our circumstances very negative. The patience of fulfillment. This productivity of Israel did not occur overnight. It took several hundred years before they became a great people and nation. In fact, Israel was in Egypt for some four hundred years before they left the land as a nation.
There were just seventy souls v. But year after year the number increased until finally they were a great people and nation. The flesh is so impatient regarding God's promises. It wants total fulfillment of the promise moments after the promise is made. If the promise is not fulfilled quickly, it complains quickly. But the writer of Hebrews spoke the exhortation we so often need regarding God's promises. He said, "Ye have need of patience that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise" Hebrews Having to wait for the fulfillment of the promise will test our faith, of course.
But this gives us opportunity to strengthen our faith and to give greater proof of the sincerity of our faith. These are two things we indeed need a lot more of today. We need stronger faith in order to live more victoriously, to overcome temptation, and to serve faithfully. And we need greater proof of the sincerity of our faith in order to have a better testimony to the world.
The Israelites did not maintain a strong stand in the faith in Egypt. Some, of course, stood true, such as the parents of Moses. But a great portion of Israel was polluted spiritually and morally. We learn of this pollution of the Israelites in Egypt by looking at several passages of Scripture outside of Exodus, specifically Joshua and Ezekiel —8. In the Joshua text, Joshua told the Israelites after they had arrived in Canaan, "Put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood [the Euphrates], and in Egypt, and serve ye the Lord" Joshua The phrase, "and in Egypt," in this text reveals the fact that idolatry was practiced by the Israelites in Egypt.
This fact is confirmed in the Ezekiel text in which God is reported as saying to Israel when they were about to leave Egypt, "Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt" Ezekiel Israel did not heed well what God said on that occasion, however; for the next verse in Ezekiel says, "But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me; they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt" Ezekiel Israel's rebellion is hard to believe.
You would think they would have been glad to do anything to get out of the hard bondage in Egypt, but sin had a grip on them. Israel not only needed to be taken out of Egypt, but Egypt needed to be taken out of Israel. Unfortunately, Israel was taken out of Egypt much easier and quicker than Egypt was taken out of Israel, though removing Israel from Egypt was no easy and quick task.
Egypt being a land of ease and luxury would encourage spiritual and moral decay in undisciplined souls. Goshen, which "is to this day considered the richest province of Egypt" Edersheim , would especially provide ease and luxury, for the fertileness of the land and the warm climate prevailed there. The ideals of Abraham's monotheistic faith and strenuous hardihood grew dim and faint" F.
God had located Israel in a choice place in Egypt to make it conducive for them to prosper and grow. But like so many folk in every age, material advantages instead of being used to help one spiritually were used to degrade. In our land this condition prevails so obviously in our churches. Church members have nice houses, automobiles, clothes, many luxuries—all of which should give them more time and convenience and means for serving the Lord.
But instead, these material advantages have often taken the members away from the Lord and His service. These folk are so busy spending their time and material gain on fleshly pleasures, that they have little time for God. This explains why many folk are off pleasure seeking on Sunday instead of being in church. It also explains why our churches are shot through with moral degradation.
Divorce, children born out of wedlock, and moral scandals of numerous kinds permeate the membership of many churches. Material blessings and advantages are not wrong in themselves; but when they are used to pamper the flesh instead of promote the spirit, character will be destroyed.
When this happens, God is forced to bring many and mighty afflictions upon folk in order to bring them back to Him even as He afflicted Israel in Egypt—which we will note much about in this chapter. This statement indicates that more than just a different person became king; for the words "new king" indicate "a king who follows different principles of government from his predecessors" Keil. Acts speaks similarly when it describes the change as "another" king. All of this tells us that this new king was not of the same dynasty that had ruled when Joseph was the number two ruler in Egypt.
Some believe the new king was a foreigner who had conquered Egypt. But whoever he was or wherever he came from, the coming of this new king to the Egyptian throne signaled a big and hostile change in the policy of the Egyptian government towards Israel. We will examine this change of policy by noting the deficiency, deduction, and design of the sovereign. The great deficiency of the new sovereign was in the fact that he "knew not Joseph" v. Though Joseph was such a great man, yet he was forgotten. How often mankind forgets the best and noblest of people and deeds.
Solomon, in Ecclesiastes ,15, also gives us an illustration of this failure of mankind. However, though man forgets noble deeds, those who serve the Lord can be comforted by the fact that "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shown toward his name" Hebrews This deficiency of the king in not knowing about Joseph would bring about the ruin of Egypt.
The king could know ten thousand other things, but it would not make up for his failure to know about Joseph. Where this king was raised and trained, the knowledge of Joseph was not honored or thought necessary to learn. This king was obviously trained in many ways about government or he would not be king. He knew how to gain control of a nation. He had political power. He would have respect by many. But his lack of knowing about Joseph would curse him and his nation. This ignorance of the king about Joseph illustrates the peril of ignorance in spiritual matters.
The prophet Hosea spoke of this peril when he said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" Hosea Israel lacked in spiritual knowledge in Hosea's day, and it ruined them. It ruined their character and brought Divine judgment upon them. They eventually went into captivity; and for several thousand years the Jews had no national status.
All because they lacked in spiritual knowledge. Times have not changed. The most important knowledge is spiritual. Specifically, we need to know Jesus Christ. As the failure to know Joseph resulted in the ruin of Egypt, so the failure to know Jesus Christ will result in the ruin of the soul which means eternal damnation for the soul in hell fire. You may be well learned in many areas; but if you do not know Jesus Christ, you will experience the worst fate a human can possibly experience.
Yet, in spite of this fact, our land mocks and dishonors this spiritual knowledge today. You cannot teach about Jesus Christ and His Redemption in our public schools. You cannot teach from the Bible, the greatest book ever to come to mankind. You can learn many things in our public schools, but you will never learn the truth about Jesus Christ. And no ignorance is so great and so perilous. How deficient our education system is today because it will not teach about Christ and the Bible. Come on, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when war occurs, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land" vv.
Because the king knew not Joseph, he made some very unwarranted deductions concerning the Israelites. Summed up, he viewed Israel as a liability and not as an asset. He feared that in war they would side with the enemy which would give the enemy an advantage in attacking Egypt , and he feared they were large enough in number to leave the land though Egypt opposed.
But his fears not justified. His deduction that Israel was "more and mightier than we" v. This king is not the first nor the last ruler to view Israel in a negative way. A number of rulers and their nations have viewed Israel this way, and all have suffered as a result. God's promise concerning His people is, "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" Genesis Beware of talk and national policy which is anti-Jew. It will destroy a nation. This does not mean, of course, that all that the Jews and the nation of Israel do is right.
Rather, it exhorts an attitude towards the Jews that in national relationship is that of an ally, not an enemy; and in personal relationship is that of respect and honor, not ridicule and persecution. This attitude is mandated by God's Word. When men do not know Jesus Christ, as the king did not know Joseph, they will have difficulty in discerning situations correctly and making proper deductions of them. What God calls good, they will call evil. What God condemns, they will commend and justify. What God forbids, they will require.
And what God requires, they will forbid. Does not this explain the strange thinking that permeates our society. Our society forbids prayer in school but permits and encourages the favorable teaching of homosexuality to the students. Through environmental laws, we protect the eggs of animals; but at the same time we permit and promote abortion of humans. Furthermore, God's people, like Israel in Egypt, are being represented as dangerous to society. Liberals speak of conservative Christianity in terms of "dangerous" and "harmful. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens" vv.
The design of the new king was to put Israel under such a severe slavery that it would keep them from multiplying and thus not be, as he feared, a threat to join up with Egypt's enemies or be strong enough in numbers to be able to leave the land though Egypt opposed it. We note the folly of the design, the foulness of the design, the failure in the design, and the feelings from the design.
The folly of the design. But what the new king said and what he did were two different things. What he called "wisely" is called "subtilly" in Acts Dealing "craftily" is never true wisdom. But evil men are forever wrongly characterizing their evil actions as "wise'' and "smart. They were very foolish and stupid. They alienated the very people he ought to have sought as allies. Men may think they are so smart to engage in some evil plan.
They may think that through it they will gain much in possessions or prestige or power or pleasure. But when it violates the law of God, it will one day evidence itself as complete folly. Yet, men argue craftily against God's ways. Even professing believers become very clever in arguing against the will of God at times.
With crafty arguments, they to try to justify divorcing their mates, decreasing their giving at church, skipping church services, cheating in business, and marrying the unsaved. But this is not wisdom. Rather, it is great folly; and time will prove it so. Their craftiness will turn on them and ruin them. The foulness of the design.
They made "the children of Israel to serve with rigor" v. The meaning of the word "rigor" in verse 13 summarizes the cruelness and purpose of the slavery. It is derived from a root which means 'to break in pieces, to crush. Israel's slavery was inhumane. They were treated in the same beastly manner as the war prisoners of the Nazis, communists, and other cruel peoples were treated. Under this cruel, forced labor, the Israelite slaves "built for Pharaoh treasure cities [storage cities for supplies for the army], Pithom and Raamses" v.
The work conditions were terrible, for "There is not such exhausting toil as that of working under the hot Egyptian sun. It is instructive to note that the slavery which was imposed upon the Israelites gives a good picture of the work of sin upon mankind. We see the work of sin in three ways here: sin enslaves, embitters, and extracts. First, sin enslaves. The sin of the king of Egypt enslaved multitudes of Israelites.
Sin ever enslaves. It does not bring freedom. Sin enslaves to evil and destructive habits. Sinners often think that godly people lack freedom to do as they please because the godly do not indulge in evil habits. But it is the sinner, not the godly, who lacks freedom.
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Second, sin embitters. Sin does not make people happy. Sin advertises itself as that which brings great fun to one's life beer advertisements especially emphasize this lie. It is true that sin does bring pleasure for a season Hebrews But that season is mighty short; and after it is over, bitterness sets in on a permanent basis unless one comes to Christ for cleansing from sin. Third, sin extracts. When the taskmasters were done with the slaves each day, the slaves would have little strength left for anything else.
Sin always takes the best from us. It extracts a great price. It bankrupts us morally and spiritually. It takes our energy, our time, our possessions, our character, our interests, our health, our happiness, and finally our soul. When church members allow sin to gain control of their lives, they no longer have much interest and time and energy and means by which to serve the Lord. Sin has extracted it all from them. The failure in the design.
Slavery failed to diminish the number of Israelites. Though the death rate among the Jews might increase through slavery, the birth rate increased even more. How this reflects the work of affliction. Affliction often looks to destroy us. But instead it builds us up. Afflictions are not pleasant experiences. They are bitter and painful. But God uses them to benefit us. The affliction that came upon the Israelites through slavery in Egypt fulfilled another promise God made about His people in Egypt Genesis We noted earlier that God had promised that Israel would be fruitful and multiply to become a great people and nation in Egypt Genesis Now here we note God also promised them affliction in Egypt.
We like the promises about fruitfulness, but we do not like the promises about affliction.
But affliction and fruitfulness are not unrelated. Affliction brings fruitfulness; yea it is often necessary for fruitfulness.
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The Psalmist expresses some of the benefits of affliction when he says, "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept thy word" Psalm and "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statues" Psalm How often God has to employ affliction as a disciplinary measure to cause people to finally turn from their wicked ways.
All affliction is not chastisement for sin, of course; but a lot of it is. But whether it is for chastisement or not, it can benefit us much in our faith and character. Israel's affliction would help them to improve in faith and character—something they greatly needed. We noted a bit earlier that Israel had become involved in heathen idolatry and its licentious practices while in Egypt. Affliction purifies and would, therefore, help Israel to clean up. It helped to get Egypt out of Israel as well as give Israel a desire to get out of Egypt. It would help them to turn to God. Affliction would also toughen them for the rugged wilderness journey.
Living in ease and luxury in Egypt would not fit them for the journey ahead. But affliction would correct that problem. The feelings from the design. The Hebrew word translated "grieved" in our text means "to loathe, abhor, to be weary of; implying mingled chagrin and abhorrence" William Wilson. These were most unhealthy feelings to have about the Jews. But when you mistreat anything, you will eventually come to abhor it. If you do not give God due honor, you will end up scorning God and loathing the things of God.
If you do not honor your church, you will scorn it. This explains why many professing Christians have so little interest in church. Also, we would add here that when a husband and wife mistreat each other, they will discover their love for each other will diminish and their marriage will be imperiled. In our land we have mistreated so many things we ought to be honoring, and the results have been very ugly. We now loathe virtue, integrity, industry, religion, authority, and godliness because we have not honored these things. But on the other hand we give respect and honor to the vilest of practices because we refuse to take a strong stand against these evils.
Since the hard bondage which the Israelites had been put under had failed to stop their multiplication, the king of Egypt devised another murderous plan to eliminate the Jews—kill the male babies. He did not stop the savage slavery but simply added more cruelty to the slaves. If the king of Egypt had his way, there would not have been any people left for Moses to emancipate.
But he was fighting God and would not win. You may be able to eliminate some other races, but you will never eliminate the Jews. God said through Jeremiah, "Though I make a full end of all nations to which I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee" Jeremiah To emphasize the indestructibility of the Jews, God also gave through Jeremiah the impossible formula for eliminating the Jews: "Thus saith the Lord, who giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who divideth the sea when its waves roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever" Jeremiah , The only way the king of Egypt will get rid of the Jews is to get rid of the universe—and that he cannot do!
The plan to kill the male Jewish babies made infanticide the law of the land for the Jews. Does this not sound familiar? Yes, indeed. We do not call it infanticide; but we call it abortion or as the liberals prefer, "prochoice. As did the king of Egypt, many countries today practice killing the innocent babe to control population.
Abortion, not drowning, is the usual method of killing today. But like the drowning, abortion is so barbaric, so cruel, and so terribly unjust. We marvel that God's judgment has not descended in devastating ways on America already for our abortion practices. But it will! Egypt went many years before they suffered the Divine hand of judgment upon them.
But it eventually came, and how heavy it was. If you think America will escape with light judgment, you have not read the Bible or history books. In examining this slaying of the Jewish infants, we will note the orders for the slaying, the obstacles to the slaying, the obstinacy in the slaying, and the objectives in the slaying. 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" vv.
The order to slay the male Jewish babies involved betrayal and brutality. The midwives' work was to assist women to have a successful birthing experience. Their work was to help preserve life. This was fundamental, basic. Yet, the Egyptian king ordered them to do just the opposite.
Hence, the midwives were ordered to betray the trust that women had in them. The midwives were to pretend they were helping save life when, in fact, they were to trying to kill. How deplorable the orders—and they were government sanctioned. Abortion is the same. It operates under gross deceit. First, the doctors who abort betray their medical oath to save life. They are suppose to be saving life, not killing it. However, abortion takes that which is living and kills it. That is completely contrary to the fundamental principle of being a physician. Second, women who come for abortion are told terrible lies.
They are told that the abortion will not hurt physically, but how untrue! We have read testimony in which women have confessed that abortion hurt worse than the worst childbirth pain. Women are also told that abortion will not hurt them emotionally. That, too, is a great untruth.
We have read testimony that informs us of the heavy guilt which comes upon the woman who has aborted her baby. It is a guilt which destroys all the joys of living. And the guilt hangs on forever. According to the testimony of those who have experienced an abortion, they have a tendency to size up the age of children who are in their presence and to especially focus on the child that is of the age their aborted one would have been if not aborted.
Yes, abortion, like the infanticide in Egypt, is filled with great deceit. The cruelty of the proposed infanticide in Egypt is unthinkable to decent people. No one is so innocent as a new born child. Yet, without defense, the child is to be murdered. The midwife was to do whatever was necessary to kill the male child. Suffocation, unstopped bleeding, or a blow to the head could all be easily resorted to in order to quickly slay the child.
And these things could be done in a manner that the mother would not know that the midwife was killing the child. In our hardened day of abortion, many will not be repulsed in this brutal slaying of the new born Jewish boys. But sin is brutal whether the heart is hardened to it or not—and abortionists are indeed hardened to it.
They are so hardened to their brutal, bloody, barbaric, and beastly practice that they can go on with their murdering day after day. However, if one of the abortionist people is shot down by a gun, suddenly the abortionist people become very compassionate and full of feeling and righteous indignation against the gunman's deed. But in this they are so grossly hypocritical!
They are the last people in the world who have a right to complain about brutal death! Also, it needs to be noted that the gunman killed a murderer when he killed an abortionist, whereas the abortionists kill the innocent. The king's carefully laid plans to slay the infants ran into a big obstacle—the midwives.
We note the fear, failure, and favoring of the midwives. The midwives "feared God" v. They may have also feared the cruel, wicked king. But they feared God more. The One they feared the most was the One who could kill the soul, not just the body cp. Luke ,5. And that fear purified their conduct! Because they "feared God," they "did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive" v. The fear of God will give man character, but the fear of man will corrupt man. A big problem in the world today is that we have great fear of man but little fear of God.
We are so concerned about what man thinks of us and what man will do to us that we adjust our conduct to try and please man even though that conduct may be grossly wicked. Those who fear God will adjust their conduct to please Him regardless of whether or not it pleases man. When the king found out things were not going as he planned, he "called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive?
And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered before the midwives come in unto them" vv. Though what the midwives said had some basis for truth, yet they lied, for their intention was to deceive the king. The midwives had refused to do what the king said to do; but when asked about it, they offered an excuse that was not true. The true reason why the male babies had not been killed was that the midwives had simply refused to kill them.
While the midwives refusal to obey the king's murderous decree is so very commendable, it does not justify their lying. Some may argue that if they had not lied, they would have lost their lives. Maybe so, but dishonest living is not better or more honorable than honest dying. Furthermore, do not discredit the results of telling the truth. Telling the king the truth may have so shamed the king that he would have changed his ways.
And if the midwives had told the truth, what a great influence this would have had in promoting integrity in many people over the years. We need to promote truth, not lying. Truth is not so weak that we must resort to lying at times to advance the cause of God. We have an obligation before God to be truthful. That obligation does not cease when our life is on the line. But, of course, it takes much spiritual strength to stand true at all times.
The midwives were not as strong spiritually as they ought to have been. They, of course, did not have the spiritual advantages we do today. But that does not excuse their lying. It does, however, shame many saints of our day; for the midwives performed far better in the faith even with their failure than most saints perform today with all the spiritual advantages that are present in our land. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses" vv. The midwives conduct brought them much favor from God. This favor was a faithful, family, and fitting reward for their not killing the Jewish male babies.
First, it was a faithful reward. God is faithful to always give due reward for our service to Him. Joseph Parker rightly said, "They who serve God serve a good Master. No honest man or woman can do a work for God without receiving a great reward. If God were to withhold reward until we were perfect, none would be rewarded. When the coach says, "Nice game," he is not justifying the player's mistakes.
Later he will go over those mistakes. But the "nice game" compliment still stands. God never condones evil, but neither does He withhold due blessings. The blessing would have been greater, of course, had the midwives not lied. Second, it was a family reward. The phrase "made them houses" v. The blessing of families given the midwives was a great blessing, but it is would not be cherished much in our day, for families are not valued much in our time.
But God values them, and the midwives valued them. Families are indeed choice blessings. They bring great strength to society, the nation, and the church. Weaken the family and you will weaken society, the nation, and the church. Third, it was a fitting reward. The midwives being blessed with families reminds us that service done for God is often repaid in kind. These midwives had preserved families by their daring disobedience of the king's command, and God in turn gave them families.
We sow and reap, and we reap what we sow not only in our evil conduct but also in our good conduct. The king of Egypt is obstinate in wanting to kill off Israel. If one plan fails, he will adopt another. This new plan was a drowning, disheartening, and a demanding plan. Drowning plan. Drowning the babies sounded so easy and efficient. Joseph Parker described it in a sanctified sarcastic way, as he is so skilled in doing, when he said, "Pharaoh did not charge the people to cut the sod, and lay the murdered children in the ground; the sight would have been unpleasant, the reminders would have been too numerous; he said, Throw the intruders into the river: there will be but a splash, a few bubbles on the surface, and the whole thing will be over.
The river will carry no marks; will tell no stories; will sustain no tombstones; it will roll on as if its waters had never been divided by the hand of the murderer. Abortionists are like this. While they do not throw their dead babies in the river, they do virtually the same thing when they throw them in trash containers lined with plastic bags. These bags are picked up by garbage trucks and then taken to landfills. There they are dumped in the deep ditches of the landfill and covered over with dirt.
In due time the landfill is made like a green field. No tombstones, no markers. Just a nice green field. But God sees in the river, God sees under the surface of the landfill, God sees in the hearts, and God will judge! Men often think they can conceal their sins; but to the contrary, "Be sure your sin will find you out" Numbers Disheartening plan. This plan had to be very disheartening to the Israelites. It made what normally would be a time of great rejoicing a time of great sorrow instead. How well this unhappy situation shows the vile work of evil. Sin turns blessings into curses, and joy into sorrow" J.
Few things are as delightful as the coming of a newborn into a family. Yet, in our society, many children are being born unwanted by their parents. Birth is unwelcomed; it brings no joy, only unhappiness. Abortion tries to solve the birth problem but only creates worse problems. Why this attitude about new babies? The answer is sin. Mankind cannot live a foul, immoral lifestyle and maintain the delights of childbirth. Demanding plan. Drowning the male Jewish babies became the law of the land for all the people of Egypt, for they were commanded by the king to kill the innocent.
How wicked an evil government can become. And, unfortunately, we are seeing this in our own nation today. When police officers are ordered to guard an abortion clinic so it can continue to operate, it is the government ordering men to help murder the innocent infants.